Taste of New Tempe Restaurant

After finding success in Oregon, the team behind Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill opened its third (and only non-Oregon) location of the popular bar and grill at the ever-growing Tempe Marketplace. With 13 flat-screen TV’s gracing the pub and more than 50 beers on tap, Thirsty Lion in a sports fan’s dream. However, with a menu that includes oven-roasted lamb shank with white cheddar mashed potatoes, rosemary-mint chimichurri and lamb demi, the eatery has far more than the typical sports bar fare (though standbys like beer-battered onion rings and nachos are available, as well, for a true bar-going experience).

It’s an understatement to say that Thirsty Lion’s appetizer listing has something for everyone. Sushi lover? There are two different types of rolls. Looking for something a bit different? The Scotch eggs are begging to be tried. Want something on the more healthful side? Have your pick of edamame or seared ahi tuna. Seeking nothing but comfort (and calories)? Hello, two varieties of nachos and oven-baked soft pretzels with a fondue dipping sauce. With so many options, it would be easy to go for a usual suspect, like calamari or artichoke-spinach dip. However, you’d be missing out if you didn’t sink your teeth into the Scotch egg. The hard-boiled egg wrapped in pork sausage and a light breading is a traditional picnic food in the U.K. Along with a cold beer, it is also the ultimate comfort food.

For a starter that is a little less sinful, the seared, spice-rubbed ahi tuna makes for a more health-conscious appetizer. The tuna is topped with a ginger-soy glaze, sided with a zesty cilantro-lime slaw and marinated jicama and comes with two delectable sauces: sriracha and wasabi aioli. The bacon-wrapped prawns make for another tempting seafood-based starter. While the tuna has more of an Asian-meet-Latin feel, the prawns are smothered in barbecue sauce, making them more of a casual backyard cookout-inspired eat.

Diversity is also a feature of the entree listings as well. Burgers, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, from-the-grill meat and seafood plates and more are available. Because Thirsty Lion is such a prime destination for those wanting to watch the big game, the pub offers plenty of casual, shareable entrees that can easily be enjoyed while keep your eyes glued to the flat-screen. With delectable, slightly sweet crusts and plenty of toppings, it is easy to see—and taste—why the pizzas at Thirsty Lion are so popular. The roasted artichoke and spinach variety is considered a restaurant specialty and is generously capped with kalamata onions, red onions, pepperoncinis, sizable chunks of garlic, fontina, feta and provolone cheeses and, of course, plenty of artichoke and spinach.

The IPA beer-battered fish and chips is another customer favorite. The fish is lightly coated and crisped, letting the flaky white fish shine through and keeping indulgers from feeling too guilty. The fish is paired with a divine tarter sauce that is brightened up with lemon and capers. Though the hand-cut fries, which round out the fish-and-chips dish, offer good flavor, they could use some crisping.

With 52 varieties on tap, it is no surprise that beer makes it way onto the dessert menu in form of the Black Butte brownie. The decadent dish features a chocolate pecan brownie concocted of Black Butte Porter and then crowned with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. http://www.thirstylion.com.

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