VALLEY FAVORITES

BY DEAN BENSON

Here is where I post things I love about the Valley of the Sun. I live in the East Valley and most of what I post about will be here in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, and Apache Junction. Arizona, that is. (If I wander out of my area, I will write about that, too!) I write about what I know.l


First and foremost: I am not a critic or do I play one on T.V. I am just a guy, who has lived quite a while and knows what I like. I don't like things that are too "snooty" or pretentious, I like things "down-to-earth" and easy to accomplish. I write about everything.... restaurants, cars, services, you name it.If you would like your business to be featured, please let me know at: deanbensonrocks@gmail.com


First on the list are some of my own personal "stuff". www.deansfavorites.com, my site for my day job as a car salesman, www.deanbensonrocks.com, my blog, www.sky7music.com/onlyclassicrock, my online radio station, I am on the "air" middays (as- Dean Benson, "The Dean Of Rock & Roll).

I also write articles for Medium.com, a place for writers, there are thousands of us, and MILLIONS of great articles, please check out mine! https://medium.com/@deanbenson

www.roadmapmogul.com (a digital marketing course for everyone wanting to get started in selling on the web!) From beginner to seasoned pro, this has it all, and has master resale rights so you can sell it and make your money back, or make a bunch of money!

I also have a "Stan Store" see it at: https://stan.store/DeanBensonRocks, I have 7 eBooks that I have written for sale there, some informative, some humorous.

Now for some of the businesses I love here in the Valley Probably restaurants first.

1) Vito's Pizza: I have been eating and drinking here a long time. Since about 1992. The quality and service never changes. I know what to expect and how to expect it. Nothing quite like consistency! Located at Lindsay Rd. and McKellips Rd. in Mesa.

Website: www.vitospizza.com

2) Blue 32: A newer restaurant here in Mesa, although they have locations all over. Good solid American-style food, great bar, good service, and very convenient at Gilbert Rd. & McKellips Rd. in Mesa Website: https://www.blue32sportsgrill.com/

3) Pacino's Restaurant: Yes, I have a thing for Italian Restaurants. This is a good one, they have live music from time to time, very "neighborhood" feel. Everyone seems to know each other. Fettuccine Alfredo is a favorite of mine here. Located at: 2831 N Power Rd, Mesa

Website: https://www.pacinositalianrestaurant.com

4) Dirtwater Springs: I know it sounds weird, but it is so friendly, great food, American mainly, some Mexican and a great variety. Super bar, with all the works. Very cool patio in the rear. I knew the previous owner and he was a hoot. The new owner, whose name escapes me, is very good about keeping the "status quo" This is a place where you can get the infamous, "72oz. steak" if you can eat it and all the fixings you get the meal free. (yes they have given it away a few times!) 

Located at: 586 Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ. Website: https://www.dirtwatersprings.com

5) Downtown Mesa! This is starting to get very hip and cool again. Not with the big chain stores, or stuff like that, but it is VERY gentrified, many owner/operators, of small businesses that are very kitschy, and fun to visit. Even my kids love going to browse there, and eat and drink. Check the site! https://downtownmesa.com/

6) Obie's Trains. This is NOT a restaurant. It is a hobby shop specializing in model trains. Fred, the owner, has been in business forever doing what he loves: model trains. The place is packed floor to ceiling with every type and style of train, electronics for them, and landscape for your model trains. I am not a train enthusiast, but I am a Fred Obermeyer fan. Fred is a GREAT guy. I met him about 5 years ago and he is just a pal. Go see him at: 2114 W. Apache Trail #11, Apache Jct., AZ. (upstairs) Or use his website: https://obiestrains.com/

7) Here is one I really like: The Treasure Box Boutique: They have a TON of different artisans and craft people displaying different things daily. Go in often and be surprised at what you find each time. Kathy is the owner and a real "gem" of a person. I have known her for over 9 years, never a negative thing to say about her. The Treasure Box also hosts a "Food Truck Friday every week!

Located at: 300 W Apache Trail, #123 Apache Jct., Arizona (Apache Trail and State RT. 88). or see the website: https://thetreasureboxboutique.square.site

8) More food. Brown Bear BBQ. I really LOVE the owners, Phil & Dee. It is a food truck trailer with the absolute best Beef Brisket and Pulled Pork in the whole wide world. (an opinion, of course, but mine so it's right)They do their thing most Fridays at a Food Truck Friday event from about 4 till 8 pm in front of The Treasure Box Boutique from above. 300 W. Apache Trail Apache Jct. AZ. They also cater events.... amazing food. Check the website for pricing and menu. https://www.brownbearbbq.com/

9) Denny's at Recker and Loop 202 Hwy. I like this place even though it's a big chain. It is a newer store, so, it is very clean, and the staff is great. Courtney the server that my wife and I run into most is a real asset to them. Paige is also one of the greats there. The whole staff is excellent Rebecca is the manager we know and is very nice! Here is the website for Denny's: Denny's Longbow

10) I know this sounds trite, but, the Olive Garden in the former Fiesta Mall area is very good for a chain. I am not a big fan of chain stores, but this one delivers good solid "Olive Garden" food, dependable service, and a very good bar. Usually crowded, but they turn tables pretty quickly. Located at: 1261 W Southern Ave Mesa, AZ, Website is: https://www.olivegarden.com/home

11) Carrabba's Italian Grill. Yes, more Italian! It's Dynamite I have been going there for years, also. The first manager was amazing, Jay. He gave me an off the menu special order that I eat to this day. "Carrabba Luna", stuffed half-moon shells and the pasta Carrabba's sauce. AMAZING!

I go to the one across from Superstition Springs Mall. Located at: 1740 S Clearview Ave. Mesa, AZ.

Website is: https://locations.carrabbas.com/arizona/mesa/1740-s-clearview-ave

12) Need printing done? Try GBI Printing. I shamelessly promote Mike & Kathy Becker, the owners for stellar designs and work every time I order something! No hassle, no fuss. Easy and done! Their website is: http://www.gbiprinting.net/ I can't say enough good about Mike and Kathy!

Check back often as I add more "stuff" I love weekly!

Please mention that you saw the businesses here on "Valleyfavorites.com"

Dean Benson, "The Dean of Rock & Roll" www.sky7music.com