3 Unique Dining Experiences in Mesa, AZ

If you’re looking for something different in your dining experiences, we’ve come up with a shortlist of restaurants in Mesa that are both unique and highly rated. We hope you’ll like what we’ve picked out.

The Grid: Games & Growlers

If you love to play games, you’ll have a good time at The Grid: Games & Growlers. You can play air hockey, Dance Dance Revolution, Skee-Ball, foosball, pinball, and VR games. Selections sometimes rotate in and out. Most arcade and console games are free to play, from the old-school Atari 2600 up to current-generation consoles. Board games are also available.

The food is reasonably priced bar fare, starting with appetizers such as pretzel bites with cheese, chicken parmesan bites, and mac and cheese bites cleverly shaped like game controllers. Entrees include a grilled pizza sandwich, tacos, a hummus plate, wings, and more. Vegan options are available upon request, or you can order vegan “wings” made of deep-fried cauliflower. For drinks, try an upscale beer on tap or a cocktail.

The Grid is at 525 S. Gilbert Road and is open daily. The restaurant plays rock music and hosts a number of events, such as gaming tournaments and karaoke.  


If you’re mainly into board games with family and friends, head to Gilbert to Meeples, where you can choose from more than 100 games. The impressive library runs the gamut from classic to modern games. You can play every expansion of Dominion, The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and more. It’s a great way to take your family out to try out a game before buying.

Gameplay at a table is free if you make a minimum purchase of $25. If you don’t plan to eat, you’ll pay $10 for your table. The rate goes down to $5 with purchase of an entree and $2 with a tab of $15. Tables seat a maximum of five people. Games can also be rented, and customers can buy memberships that have discounts and perks.

The food is casual comfort fare: a variety of loaded hot dogs, nachos, salads, regular and loaded fries, chili, macaroni and cheese, and other sides.

Meeples is at 3821 E Baseline Road, Suite J-140. It’s open Monday to Saturday.

Organ Stop Pizza

Enough about games. How about organ music? Organ Stop Pizza says its Wurlitzer theater organ is the largest in the world. It has more than 5,500 pipes and is powered by three turbine blowers, with a fourth on standby. The original organ was installed in the Denver Theater in 1927. It was rebuilt in 1975 and includes pieces from other Wurlitzer organs. The music begins 30 minutes after opening. Performances are 30-45 minutes long, with breaks of 10-15 minutes between sets.

We don’t often see a pizza like Organ Stop Pizza’s combination pizza, which is piled with cheese, sausage, pepperoni, ham, beef, bacon, mushrooms, black olives, green pepper, and onion. Several other specialty pizzas and build-your-own and gluten-free options are on the menu, along with pasta, sandwiches, appetizers, salad bar, and ice cream.

Organ Stop Pizza is at 1149 E. Southern Ave. and is open every day.

We hope you’ll like these three unique dining experiences in Mesa. Maybe you’ll come up with some of your own novel spots.

5 Can’t-Miss Summer Festivals in Phoenix, AZ

Summer Festivals in Phoenix, AZ

Arizona is a prime destination for fun, particularly during the summer. Why not get out there and discover the variety of events hosted each year, right here in the valley? Here are five of the best summer festivals in the Phoenix area.

1. Suds and Slides

Head out to Mesa’s Riverview Park on June 22 for Suds and Slides. It’s like summer camp, but for grown-ups. This festival is the perfect time for adults over 21 to grab a cold beer, indulge in delicious bites, and play summer-camp-themed games. There will be waterslides, a dunk tank, mini-golf, and beer pong. The fun starts at 2:00 p.m. Advance tickets are just $15 per person, or get a four-pack for $50.

2. Elevate Music Festival

Elevate your mood and enjoy a variety of live performances at this 7th annual Christian music festival. Catch three nights of live performances, June 21 through 23. Held indoors at the Grand Canyon University Arena on 3300 W. Camelback Rd., the lineup includes Carrollton, Lincoln Brewster, Danny Gokey, and many more. Single day tickets start at $24.50, and free parking is available.

3. Hell City Tattoo Festival

Celebrate the incredibly creative art of tattooing at this unique festival Aug. 23 through 25. Hell City Tattoo Festival Phoenix is a world-class convention packed with hundreds of brilliant artists from all over the world. This is the perfect venue at which to engage with skilled industry professionals under one roof and learn more about other forms of body modification. Enjoy a wide range of entertainment all weekend while you experience the fine art of tattooing on a new level at the Arizona Biltmore. Doors open each day at 9:00 a.m.

4. Glow Nation

The country’s latest blacklight water and dance festival takes over Phoenix this summer on July 6, starting at 3:00 p.m. This glow-in-the-dark traveling festival promotes a fun and active lifestyle featuring top DJs that spin the latest hits. Join the Glow Nation fun at Margaret T. Hance Park on 67 W. Culver St. Tickets start at $20 and include glow accessories and a full-on light show.

5. Real Wild and Woody Beer Festival

Join your fellow beer lovers at the Phoenix Convention Center at 100 N. Third St. on July 27 for the Real Wild and Woody Beer Festival. Celebrate 30 years of local craft brewing with 75 or more of the Southwest’s best brewers as they introduce their fresh, new flavors and seasonal specialties.

With more than 350 craft beers from barrel-aged brews to specialty casks, there’s something for everyone to pour at this festival. The indoor summer event is the perfect chance to sample a new distillation, enjoy live music, and devour complimentary snacks provided by top local restaurants. Tickets are $60 for general admission and are available from the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.

Phoenix always has an event in the works, and this summer is no different. With so many great festivals, the hardest part is deciding which one to attend.

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3 Awesome Things to do in Phoenix

Top Thigns to do in Phoenix - Rocky's Auto CreditThere’s no shortage of awesome things to do in Phoenix, Arizona. With so many educational and exciting activities across the city, there’s something fun for every member of your family.

Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights

Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights is a 5,000 square-foot landmark that has stood tall against the desert landscape since 1930. The four-story castle can be seen from the freeway and sits on 44 acres of untouched desert. The castle is maintained by the Tovrea Carraro Society in an effort to preserve and protect the space it is on. Continue reading

3 Top Attractions Near Phoenix

Top Attractions near PhoenixPhoenix, the capital of Arizona, is a huge city that houses many exciting attractions that include beautiful landscapes, interesting museums, art galleries, and excellent restaurants. Here are a few attractions that you simply cannot miss.

  1. The Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum, which is rated as one of the top 15 museums in the U.S., houses a collection of over 6,000 instruments from all over the world. Regions such as Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and the U.S. are represented in the Geographic Gallery. In the Artist Gallery the greats of the music world are celebrated in ever-changing exhibits. You can see and hear instruments that were played by legendary musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton. Continue reading

Craving Ice Cream This Summer? Try These Places Around Mesa, AZ

When you’re looking for a delicious way to cool down this summer, you can’t beat one of these ice cream shops around Mesa, Arizona. Whether you love a simple scoop of vanilla, classic banana split, or something unique, you’ll find what you’re searching for at these top ice cream shops.

Twisterz Frozen Dessert

Twisterz Frozen Dessert offers a fun and colorful place to sit down and enjoy your ice cream. Some of the popular flavors you’ll find at the shop include Belgian cookie gelato, tiger’s blood Italian ice, triple chocolate yogurt, and cookies and cream yogurt. To create your perfect dessert, you can also choose from over 50 toppings, including toasted coconut, Butterfinger pieces, sour worms, strawberries, blueberries, rainbow sprinkles, and brownie bites. Finally, top off your creation with whipped cream or one of their delectable syrups. Continue reading

5 Reasons Phoenix Is The Best Place to Live in Arizona

Phoenix is the capital and most populated city in Arizona. It is rich with shopping, delectable cuisines, and endless entertainment opportunities. Phoenix is the best place to live in Arizona for the following reasons.

Consistently Warm Weather

The Southwestern location of Phoenix makes it consistently warm. Although the summers can get a little humid and temperatures can get pretty high, this can be an advantage come winter. When other states are bundling up and braving snowstorms, Phoenix rarely drops into freezing temperatures. The sun is often shining, and the skies are frequently clear. If you need a break from the constant heat, Phoenix is a just a short drive to the mountains, which can give you as much as a 20-degree Fahrenheit decline. Continue reading

Get Your Fitness on With These Phoenix Classes

Woman in black and white doing a lunge at a Pilates class.Are you ready to lose weight, tone up for beach season, or just stay in shape and have fun with some other Phoenix residents? Visiting the gym is a good choice, but you can step up your exercise regimen by joining one of the city’s many fitness courses. These five classes provide a new and motivating way to stay in shape. Try at least one of them to help you meet your health goals this year.

Movestrong at TriFIT Wellness

The Movestrong course at TriFIT Wellness (505 East Camelback Road) is an excellent choice for beginners who want to start their training from scratch. Under the guidance of a personal trainer, 10 or fewer classmates will go through a boot-camp style exercise routine that varies for each class. You can check for available classes and sign up online. New visitors can try a week of free courses without signing up for a membership. Continue reading

Swing Your Way Into These 5 Golf Courses

Whether you live in Mesa or you’re coming here for a visit, there are several great golf courses that are worth checking out. The next time you’re ready to hit the links for a good round of golf, make sure you head to one of these courses.

Troon North Golf Club

Troon North Golf Club is perhaps the most popular course in the area.  Here you’ll find two 18-hole golf courses that wind through the scenic ravines and foothills of Pinnacle Peak. Both courses offer amazing desert scenery with arroyos, cacti, and rock outcroppings, although many golfers consider the Monument course the more scenic of the two.

If you decide to tackle this course, you’ll want to watch out for hole number nine, which is affectionately known as Hell’s Bunker. Or you can choose to take on the Pinnacle course, which is more walkable and known for its elevated greens and long bunkers.

Gold Canyon Golf Resort

Gold Canyon Golf Resort sits right at the base of the Superstition Mountains, which makes for some stunning scenery when you’re playing the two 18-hole championship golf courses. The first course, Dinosaur Mountain, is consistently ranked one of the best in the state. It features incredible elevation changes and six par three holes. The other course is the thrilling Sidewinder, which will lead you through fast greens, narrow fairways, and a challenging desert layout.

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway during your play, head to We-Ko-Pa Golf Club. Instead of looking at houses and dealing with traffic noise, you’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning mountain views in nearly every direction as you play on the two 18-hole courses. The Cholla course offers holes that zigzag through canyons and over ridges. There’s also the Saguaro course, which is a walking course that offers wide playing corridors.

Orange Tree Golf Club

Located on what was once an old orange grove, Orange Tree Golf Club is now a desert oasis with an 18-hole USGA-rated championship golf course. Here you’ll find a relatively level terrain with mature trees and stunning views of Camelback Mountain. The resort is also known for its efforts to go green, including implementing a recycling program, cutting down on water usage, and reducing non-recyclable waste.

The Boulders Golf Club

While almost all golf courses in the area will offer scenic views, The Boulders Golf Club has some of the most unique. Jay Morrish sculpted two 18-hole championship golf courses out of the prehistoric rocks and boulders that surround the land. The North course is the older and more balanced of the two and offers amazing views of Black Mountain. On the other hand, many golfers believe the South course is more scenic with holes that go right up to the rock formations.

When you’re in Mesa and looking to get outside to enjoy a great golf game, you won’t be disappointed when you check out one of these top golf courses.


Image via Flickr by Phil Sexton

Our ‘Staycation’ Hotel Guide to Phoenix, AZ

Staycation Hotels in Phoenix, AZ | Rocky's Auto CreditGoing on a great vacation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to travel far. If you live near the Phoenix area, you can enjoy a vacation close to home if you book a stay at a nearby luxury hotel. Have a staycation at one of these luxurious Phoenix hotels, and take advantage of all the amenities and activities of a resort.

Royal Palms Hotel And Spa

The Royal Palms Hotel and Spa in Phoenix has beautiful accommodations whether you choose a guest room, villa, or casitas. All the rooms have Desert Dream pillow-top mattresses and flat-screen televisions. The terraces and luxury suites offer views of the Camelback Mountains, while the villas offer a more private experience. Stop by the Alvadora Spa for a relaxing massage or treatment, or head to the fitness center for a private workout with one of the hotel’s trainers. The Royal Palms also has an outdoor pool with poolside cabanas available for rent, and there is a restaurant right on site.   Continue reading