Desert Dining in Phoenix

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By Amy Young

Phoenix’s surrounding suburbs and towns boast quite a few casinos; each of them offering diverse and tasty dining choices that have visitors pouring in, even if casino games aren’t on the agenda. Here are three area casino eateries for your dining pleasure.

ORANGE SKY AT TALKING STICK RESORT

Hand-carved meats are on the menu at Orange Sky

Hand-carved meats are on the menu at Orange Sky

Though this North Phoenix resort boasts a lively, stylish casino floor, it’s the delicious food and scenic views that easily lure guests to Orange Sky, the fine dining establishment that sits atop the venue’s 15th floor. Its floor-to-ceiling windows allow panoramic views of the desert landscape, as well as the bold orange sunsets that inspired the restaurant’s name. The menu boasts a selection of fresh seafood, aged steaks and locally harvested vegetables. It highlights flavors of the desert in dishes such as the Agave-Chile Beef Tenderloin and the Pumpkin-Seed Crusted Spicy Shrimp that includes a side of fried nopales—pads of the edible nopal cactus. A smaller but just as delectable menu is offered at Orange Sky’s accompanying O Lounge. talkingstickresort.com

RED ROCK BUFFET AT FORT MCDOWELL CASINO

Diverse fare abounds at Fort McDowell Casino’s Red Rock Buffet

Diverse fare abounds at Fort McDowell Casino’s Red Rock Buffet

Buffets have long been synonymous with casino culture. Maybe because they, like their festive casino counterparts, offer variety, adding fun to the overall experience. Located just steps away from the casino excitement, the Red Rock Buffet has a big, comfortable dining room that is welcoming to the whole family. The place maintains a moderate price range for its all-you-can-eat set-up. Serve yourself stalwarts like prime rib, fried shrimp, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a huge selection of sweet treats. Weekly Dining Specials include Lobster Weekends and Crab Night, adding those fresh shell food delicacies to the already expansive list of choices. fortmcdowellcasino.com

SHULA’S STEAK HOUSE AT WILD HORSE PASS HOTEL AND CASINO

Shula’s Steak House offers an elegant dining experience

Shula’s Steak House offers an elegant dining experience

There’s a vintage vibe that runs through this steak house, from menu items like the classic Wedge Salad, to the stained wood floors and soft lighting that work together to create a warm ambiance. Owned by longtime Miami Dolphins football coach, Don Shula, this namesake restaurant offers vintage steakhouse options such as the Filet Mignon with an Oscar Style topping, which crowns the tender beef with crabmeat, asparagus and Hollandaise sauce. Twin lobster tails, stone crabs and a daily fish selection comprise some of the seafood menu. The signature cocktail selections keep the legendary theme flowing with offerings like a Dirty Martini and an Old-Fashioned. wingilariver.com

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