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3 restaurants near Tempe campus offer bargain meals for Arizona Restaurant Week

Ruben Perezthica, a lead line cook, compleltes a dish and puts it out to be served at Culinary Dropout in Tempe on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.
Ruben Perezthica, a lead line cook, compleltes a dish and puts it out to be served at Culinary Dropout in Tempe on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.

Arizona Restaurant Week is a bi-annual event hosted by the Arizona Restaurant Association to promote local Arizona dining establishments and to showcase the culinary diversity of the Grand Canyon State.

During the week of Sep. 16 – 25, over 100 restaurants will offer multi-course dinners at reduced prices, which include menu items that are normally out of reach for those on a student budget.

Arizona Restaurant Week is a statewide event, and there are three restaurants near Tempe campus that gladly offer Sun Devils a taste of fine dining.

House of Tricks

Operating out of two century-old adobe houses between Mill Avenue and campus, award-winning restaurant House of Tricks will offer a three-course dinner during Restaurant Week at $44 a person.

Starters include seared diver scallop and squid ink caviar (made from actual squid ink) with orange broth, fennel oil and a rice paper cracker. Entrée selections include the Sierra Nevada braised rabbit leg and golden beet gnocchi made with aged balsamic vinegar reduction and kale.

Manager Kirk White said the restaurant’s garden setting makes an ideal place to take a date.

“We’ve been voted by College Times and the New Times as the best place to take a first date,” he said. “It’s a beautiful environment, we have amazing food and if you do it right, you can have a great meal at a really inexpensive price.”

Sierra Nevada braised rabbit with Parmesan polenta, sage oil, and sautied oyster mushrooms with summer vegetables

A photo posted by House Of Tricks (@houseoftricksaz) on

Culinary Dropout

All three of Culinary Dropout’s Valley locations are participating in Arizona Restaurant Week. As with the others, the Tempe restaurant near Farmer Avenue and First Street will offer three-course dinners at $44 a couple, with a shared appetizer, individual entrees and dessert.

Second course selections include roasted salmon with roast scallions, black rice and soy gastrique, as well as fried chicken with buttermilk biscuits and honey drizzle.

Branch manager Hayden Harassas said Culinary Dropout patrons can expect a “great bang for their buck” during Restaurant Week.

“We don’t decrease our portion sizes at all,” she said. “There also some of those higher-priced menu items on there in the second course … they’re welcome to try those things in the restaurants and get a taste of something a little bit different that maybe they’ve never had before.”

We're celebrating #nationalfriedchickenday -- are you? In case you're not we pretty much celebrate it everyday.

A photo posted by Culinary Dropout (@culinarydropout) on

Salut Kitchen Bar

Salut Kitchen Bar is located on University Drive between Rural Road and McClintock Drive. 

For Restaurant Week, Salut will offer a three-course meal with a glass of red or white wine at $33 a person. Main course selections include the Mediterranean chicken kabob with grilled peppers, hummus, pita and tzatziki. Starters include Salut’s signature hummus nachos with roasted garlic hummus, pomegranate reduction and feta cheese.

General manager Brian Riesenberg said Salut Kitchen Bar is one of the more ASU-centric restaurants in Tempe.

“Both of the owners are ASU alumni,” he said. “We’re doing Sol Devils right, we’re cooking the food for them. During the week, we bring over lunch to all the ASU football coaches.”

Arizona Restaurant Week starts on Sep. 16. A full list of participating restaurants can be found on the event's website.

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