Every year, thousands of winter visitors, many of them retirees from the Upper Midwest also known as “snowbirds,” flock to the Valley to enjoy our pleasant weather.
And, while here, many are on the lookout for a restaurant like those “back home.” Here are five East Valley restaurants well-known for satisfying a Midwesterner’s appetite on a retiree’s budget:
Iowa Café: Hawkeye State natives have been enjoying breaded pork tenderloins ($8.99 with sides) and Maid-Rite loose-meat sandwiches ($4.79, pictured at right) at this café for a quarter-century. Be sure to leave room for a slice of pie ($2.59), available in 18 flavors plus seasonal varieties. 5606 E. McKellips Road, Mesa, (480) 985-2022, www.iowacafe.com.
Bavarian Point: The Upper Midwest was settled by German immigrants, and their transplanted descendants still can enjoy traditional favorites like bratwurst and knackwurst ($13.95), wiener schnitzel ($14.95), sauerbraten ($14.95) and rindsroulade ($13.95). 4815 E. Main St., Mesa, (480) 830-0999, www.bavarianpoint.net.
Farmhouse: Although this rustic restaurant left its original location — an actual farmhouse — nearly a decade ago, it still serves the same giant cinnamon rolls ($3.25) and meatloaf sandwiches ($8.50). Except for an occasional daily special, nothing on the menu costs more than $8.50. 228 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, (480) 926-0676.
Hangar Café: This breakfast-and-lunch spot situated just off the runways at busy Chandler Municipal Airport usually draws a full house on weekends to watch the planes take off and land. And how many places can you get a chicken-fried steak, eggs, hash browns and toast for less than $7? 1725 E. Ryan Road, (480) 899-6965.
Trophy’s Steakhouse: Owned by snowbirds from South Dakota, this family-run, hunting-themed steakhouse features reasonably priced steaks — an 8-ounce flat-iron steak with side is just $13 — as well as weekly wild-game specials. 7215 S. Power Road, Queen Creek, (480) 840-3981, www.trophyssteakhouse.com.