For this week’s “Tyler’s Taste Talks,” I wanted to let you all know about a hidden gem here in the Valley. If you haven’t tried Starlite BBQ and Whiskey Bar in Scottsdale, it is about time you do!
From the same hospitality group that owns Chantico and Ocotillo, Starlite enhances this already well-established restaurant portfolio.
Located in the same parking lot as Fry’s off of Indian School Road and Miller sits the small but AMAZING Starlite BBQ. This casual neighborhood restaurant with a full-service bar offers specialty cocktails, craft beers, wine, and one of the largest whiskey selections I have ever seen.
I’m not the most extensive whiskey lover, but Brad and the team at Starlite BBQ not only educate individuals on whiskey options. But provide some of the friendliest services in town.
Now let’s talk about the food. For starters, the wings (available in buffalo, Nashville hot, BBQ, or dry), fried green tomatoes appetizer, slow-roasted cauliflower, Starlite porky fries, or the roasted sweet potatoes are excellent!
If you are looking for some of the best baby back and/or beef ribs in town, then you have to try theirs! Both the beef and baby back ribs are accompanied with their housemade BBQ sauce or the “espresso molé bbq sauce,” which is a bit tangier. Plus, they cook all their ribs over mesquite wood, which gives it that delicious smoky flavor profile.
But, if ribs are not your thing, then don’t worry because there is something for everyone on this menu.
The 12-hour smoked brisket finished on the grill, or pulled pork (both available as sandwiches) are Starlite staples. I always love to mix their Starlite sauce (housemade honey mustard) with the spicy BBQ sauce with the pulled pork and brisket. It gives the dishes a little bit of tang and spice.
For individuals looking for something new, Starlite also offers some of the best catfish. I have had family in the South and would visit every Christmas. I know catfish may sound “crazy” or “gross,” but it is a delicious and tender fish. Toss it some Nashville hot sauce, and you are good to go.
BUT, one of my personal favorites is the fried chicken sandwich topped with pickles and coleslaw. I love to add some spice and get it tossed in Nashville hot sauce. Then add that Starlite and spicy BBQ mixture I talked about before on the chicken. For all my spicy fans, it is seriously the perfect combination.
Each entree comes with one side (besides the salmon with two sides) to accompany the meal. The mac n’ cheese skillet, jalapeno cheese grits, roasted heirloom carrots, and/or mashed potatoes with housemade gravy are superb.
To finish off the meal, if you still have room, try the “campfire s’mores brownie.” It is a perfect WOW finisher for any special occasion or sweet craving. The brownie is topped with graham crackers, marshmallows, and flaming whiskey.
Yes, you read that correctly, FLAMING whiskey. The servers pour a shot on top of the skillet and set it on fire in front of you. You can surprise any of your friends or family with this dessert.
Cocktails and Whiskey
Now time for some cocktails. Like I said before, Starlite BBQ is, first and foremost, a whiskey bar. With several dozen whiskeys from all over the globe to choose from, you won’t be disappointed. They also offer flights if you want to try a few or more!
Whether you like your whiskey neat, with a single cube, or in an old fashioned, Starlite’s selection is by far the most vast I’ve seen here in Arizona.
A fun cocktail to try is the “Ribs and Rye,” which contains rye whiskey, house bbq sauce, demerara simple, bauchant orange liqueur, molé bitters, plus one rib to nibble on. Yup, they literally place a rib on the side to enjoy with your cocktail!
Other cocktails like the “c’est la vie, strawberry fields, lima con coco, or unicorn tears” are great options for non-whiskey fans. The bartenders at Starlite are super kind and love to find something for everyone.
Did I mention Happy Hour is every day from 4 -6 p.m.? Yup, they even have Happy Hour on the weekends that contain food and drink specials.
Starlite also has a daily food special that runs all day. Like on Sundays, they offer wings at .63 cents a piece, and you can choose however many you want. Or on Wednesday’s it is a half rack of baby back ribs and a side for only $15? Every day there is a special that allows you to try various menu items without breaking the bank.
To summarize it up, Starlite BBQ and Whiskey Bar is one of those little Valley treasures. Brad and his team provide exceptional service and genuinely love to educate guests about the world of whiskey.
They also, I might add, have one of the fastest kitchens in the West. If you are in a rush but still want a gourmet meal, I received all my menu items in less than 10 minutes of ordering them.
With daily Happy Hour and “All Day Specials,” there is no reason not to check out Starlite. I guarantee you will not regret making the trip.
For more information on Starlite BBQ + Whiskey Bar, visit https://www.starlitebbq.com/.