Armadillo Grill might be known for its famous fried pickles but this cool, fun and exciting neighborhood bar and grill boasts something for every type of guest. Owner Brenda Lambrecht originally bought the restaurant located in the prime Camelback corridor with a business in 1997 but has since taken it over and grown and evolved the Armadillo Grill.
We looked at thirteen restaurants a day for five or six months to find where we wanted to be. We love Central Phoenix and we love the energy of Central Phoenix. We called it Armadillo Grill because I wanted to be as close to the front of the phone book as possible,” laughs Lambrecht. Six years after opening Armadillo Grill it expanded and introduced off-track betting in connection with Turf Paradise.
“The off-track betting is owned and operated by Turf Paradise,” states Lambrecht. “They have a certain number of TVs that they’ve put it. They man it and you can bet on certain simulcast races all across North America.” Betting is done via convenient kiosks as well as a live operator located inside Armadillo Grill. “We just feed and entertain the people,” adds Lambrecht. “Off-track betting is just like our pool tables and the dart board-it’s just an added entertainment element.”
The eclectic neighborhood American bar and grill features a very generous menu that boasts something for every palate. “Our food is all made-to-order, prepared in-house and is made from our own recipes,” Lambrecht states. “When you order an onion ring, it’s still an onion sitting in our kitchen. Then we cut it, hand-batter it and fry it.” Best of all, Armadillo Grill Is offering $5 off of a bill of $25 or more for www.LunchClub.com members and as always, membership to the LunchClub is free.
“We’re known for our fried pickles,” Lambrecht says and the Armadillo Grill has been featured in “Phoenix Magazine” and on Channel 3 several times. The delicious dill speared pickles are panko breaded, fried and served with ranch and are just one of the appetizers that get diners started on Armadillo Grill’s menu. “Our wings are also phenomenal. We have our own Armadillo gold sauce as well as a buffalo sauce, BBQ and honey hot sauce. The Louisiana shrimp appetizer is a generous serving of sautéed shrimp in a spicy tomato cream Louisanna style sauce and served with toasts for dipping,” Lambrecht adds. Remarkably, executive chef Azael Becerra has been with Armadillo Grill almost since the beginning and he continually keeps guests engaged with an eclectic and innovative menu.
Standout salads include the bespoke 7-banded Armadillo salad (a tasty chopped salad) and a seared ahi tuna salad boasting a sesame seared ahi tuna on a bed of soba noodles and greens with cucumbers and tomatoes tossed in soy balsamic vinaigrette and drizzled with sweet soy sauce.
“If you Google ‘buffalo chicken sandwiches in Phoenix,’ we come up number one,” Lambrecht explains. “Again, breaded to order and made with our own buffalo sauce-it’s phenomenal.” Other unique sandwiches include the chicken and brie sandwich with grilled pears on focaccia bread, the stout pulled pork sandwich and a mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of soup— and don’t miss the rustic tomato soup!
Entrees are just as diverse as the rest of the Armadillo Grill menu. “Our buffalo chicken eclectic mac and cheese is one of those things you eat and you will crave,” gushes Lambrecht. Other pastas include hearty beef stroganoff, chicken parmesan and pasta primavera. Del Mar tacos, white chicken enchiladas, Dillo’s meatloaf and the black and tan steak are just a few of the delicious entrees to be discovered at Armadillo Grill.
New weekly specials are introduced each Thursday. “We always have a featured soup, every Friday we do our clam chowder and then we have our signature soup-our rustic tomato soup,” says Lambrecht. “We also always have a half sandwich with a choice of soup or salad and we switch that up ever week. Our salmon in parchment is also really popular.” The 5 oz. salmon filet is neatly tucked into parchment paper with a featured weekly sauce, infusing flavor all throughout the filet.
Think dining in central Phoenix is expensive? Think again. At Armadillo Grill menu items are entirely affordable in an inviting setting that boasts excellent customer care and a covered patio to enjoy the outdoors. “We try to keep it in a neighborhood bar and grill price,” states Lambrecht.
Happy Hour is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily and a reverse happy hour from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and all-day happy hour on Sundays and Mondays. Happy hour includes $4 Jaeger and Fireballs, a half-priced munchies menu and $1 off all beers, well drinks and house wines. Don’t forget to sign up at www.LunchClub.com to get $5 off of an order of $25 or more at Armadillo Grill.
Armadillo Gill is located at 1904 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix. Visit www.myarmadillogrill.com for additional information or call (602) 287-0700.