Comfort Food Favorites in Scottsdale

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

It’s tradition. When cooler weather arrives in the Sonoran Desert and the holidays are lurking right around the corner, locals celebrate by busting out our stretchy pants and diving into our favorite comfort foods. Because no matter how delicious salads are, after a summer of chilled greens we’re ready for some decadently hearty fare. So, put on your elastic-waisted “big” pants and join us in savoring these Scottsdale comfort food favorites.


Leek & Potato Chowder at Proof

If soup and a baked potato had a baby, it would be this rich bowl of goodness at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale’s Proof Canteen. Creamy potatoes and fragrant leeks form the chowder’s base – the perfect foundation for a generous topping of Arizona cheddar, crisp bacon and fresh chives. Be sure to save room for a seasonal treat like the autumnal Molasses Stout Cake with brown butter whiskey sauce and vanilla ice cream.


Bavarian Pretzels & a “Big Weenie” at Brat Haüs

It’s Oktoberfest all day, every day at Old Town’s Brat Haüs. Start with a hot, chewy Bavarian pretzel dipped in beer cheese fondue. Next up? The “Big Weenie” – a foot-long Haüs brat smothered in sauerkraut, dijonaise and relish. Wash it all down with a stein of Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel, a full-bodied dark beer brewed at a Benedictine monastery in Kelheim, Germany.


Tenured Mac & Cheese at The Vig McDowell Mountain

Enjoy The Vig’s stellar McDowell Mountain views before your order of Tenured Mac & Cheese arrives, because once it does you’ll have eyes for nothing else. This dreamy blend of campanelle pasta and white cheddar, American and gruyere cheeses can be customized with your choice of steamed broccoli, grilled chicken, shrimp or – wait for it – short ribs. You’ll never look at blue-box mac and cheese the same way. Ever.


Roasted Squash Flatbread at Mowry & Cotton

The Phoenician’s Chef Tandy Peterson puts a tasty fall twist on the classic flatbread. Fresh flatbread dough is slathered with house-made creamed walnut “sauce,” topped with roasted squash and smooth  Jersey cow ricotta, then browned gently to toasted perfection. If you’ve saved room for dessert, try the warm S’mores Pie, a decadent layering of grahams, dark chocolate and burnt marshmallow.


Brontosaurus Rib at Starlite Barbecue

Comfort food abounds at this Old Town gem. We’re talking hot fried chicken, smoked and grilled meatloaf, and the hefty Brontosaurus Rib, two pounds of succulent short rib on the bone. For your side, try the cast-iron turkey stuffing or Starlite Buttermilk Biscuits with butter and preserves.


Western Bacon Burger at Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse

This two-fisted burger is made from 100 percent Arizona born and raised, grass-fed and -finished beef. The juicy patty is crowned with melty aged cheddar, black pepper bacon, crispy onion rings and chipotle barbecue sauce. The Salt & Vinegar Fries, served with house-made ranch for dipping, are the perfect side. Still have room? Go for the Salted Caramel Butter Cake adorned with slow-roasted peaches and vanilla ice cream.


Roasted Pumpkin Soup at LON’s at the Hermosa Inn

Reserve a table by the fireplace on LON’s spacious patio and soothe your soul with a bowl of Roasted Pumpkin Soup. It’s a gourmet twist on a classic fall flavor that comes embellished with spiced crème fraiche and pumpkin seed brittle. Make your meal more substantial with an order of LON’s Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese – a velvety blend of Arizona’s own Hayden Mills pasta and truffle goat cheese.