As a native of Arizona, I grew up driving past Bobby McGees just off of I-17 and Dunlap in Phoenix. I remember the restaurant turned into a nightclub that my older brother’s frequented. Eleven years ago, owner Bob Sikora, changed the Bobby McGees concept entirely, fulfilling his dreams of opening a BBQ joint, and Bobby Q’s was born. Serving up legendary, award-winning BBQ, the smokehouse has since become a Valley mainstay and just a few days ago they opened up a second location in Mesa, on Stapley and US-60.
I was recently invited to preview the new east valley Bobby Q’s location before it opened to the public and you better believe my RSVP was a big ol’ YUP!! I LOVE BBQ! I ate light all day in anticipation of the gut-busting meal I knew I would enjoy and I most definitely was not disappointed. Everything exceeded my expectations, from the rugged yet chic interiors and the tasty, clever cocktails to the delicious and generously portioned grub.
The hubs and I started off with a couple cocktails; for me, the Coconut Lime Mojito, a tropical take on the Cuban classic. This drink was smooth and sweet, but not cloying and heavy. The coconut was pronounced and the lime lightened it up. This is a drink you have to be careful with, it goes down dangerously easy. My husband opted for the Q-lada, a blended pina colada drink finished with fresh strawberry puree and rimmed with toasted coconut flakes. He liked his drink so much he was on to the second before our appetizer arrived.
As an appetizer we selected the Spinach Artichoke Queso Dip. The dip was served with both toasted garlic bread and tortilla chips for dipping. This pleased us both immensely as I prefer bread dippers and the hubs, chips; although before the dip was gone he switched to my buttery, garlicky bread slices. The addition of pepper jack cheese gave the spinach artichoke dip a little extra kick and every last bit was devoured.
For our entrees, I chose the three meat combo, selecting brisket, hot links and pulled pork with a loaded baked potato and beans for my sides. Oh, man, do I love a good baked potato and Bobby Q-s spud was perfect – lightly salted on the outside, hot and fluffy on the inside, they were generous with the butter and sour cream. The beans were smokey and full of pork flavor, a rich and zesty sauce made them delectable. But the show stoppers on my plate were the meats. The brisket was melt-in-your mouth tender, the pork was shredded and delectable and the hot links were satisfying, all were smoked to perfection and seasoned and juicy enough as to not need the accompanying BBQ sauces, but the sauces were so tempting I slathered my meats with them anyway!
My husband went for a more refined option, the filet mignon with mac and cheese and fries for his sides. His filet, oh, his filet, so tender it needed only a little prodding with a fork, cooked to medium rare perfection, it was juicy and beautiful with a blackened char exterior adding a nice smokey taste. I begged for a few bites even though my plate was already overloaded with meat. The mac and cheese was a marvel, so creamy, sinful, rich and sooooo cheesey, I had a few bites of that too. No shame in me when it comes to good ‘que and all the comforting fixin’s.
Once we were delightfully stuffed, and our attentive server had our leftovers packed up to take home, we headed to the bar for more drinks. Bobby Q has an impressive lounge and bar headed up by Chris Ortega, a friendly face full of cocktail and spirit knowledge and a knack for creating tasty libations. It’s always a pleasure to see staff take pride in their jobs and Ortega really shines in this department, his enthusiasm is contagious and his warmth welcoming. We entrusted him to select our after-dinner drinks and by just looking at us he knew just what to make. For my husband, he shook up an Old Fashioned, made with Redemption Rye Whiskey, barrel smoked maple syrup and Peychaud’s bitters. My husband proclaimed it “the best Old Fashioned he’s ever had” and I would have to agree. The whiskey classic is usually way too strong for me but this one had a nice sweetness from the maple syrup that made it smooth and took the edge off.
Ortega pegged me for a fruity drink girl and insisted I try the Pineapple Passion, he was right! Served in a frozen, hollowed out pineapple and made with Plantation Pineapple Rum, Clement Mahina Coco, coconut syrup and fresh pineapple lime juice, this drink was right up my alley – sweet, fruity, tropical and fun!
Bobby Q also boasts a nice lounge area, fittingly called “the living room.” The details in the “living room” are impressive and unique, beautiful tables inlaid with sparkling gems, minerals, precious metals and LED lights and oversized armchairs and couches make it the perfect place to relax and savor a cocktail after your meal. On designated nights a DJ comes in to provide music and ambiance for a wonderful, one-stop evening out on the town!
You may have noticed there were no desserts mentioned in this write-up. That’s not because Bobby Q lacks in that department, they have several sweet options I am dying to return for; we were just too full to even consider another bite. But Bobby Q’s knows a sweet ending is a MUST for any good meal so they send every customer home with a brown paper bag of complimentary, freshly made, cinnamon-sugar mini donuts. No joke. How cool is that?! Free donuts to take home with you!! You can even watch the donuts being made up front by the hostess stand. I was floored and thrilled by this! And let me tell you, you will go back just for these pillowy gems of fried-dough delight!
If you like great barbecue and awesome steaks than Bobby Q is for you, the longevity of the original location speaks volumes. Known for amazing food and awesome service the deliciousness and hospitality has carried over to the Mesa digs. Try it out for yourself. I can pretty much guarantee you will love it as much as my husband and I did.
Bobby Q in Mesa is located at 1610 S Stapley Dr., Mesa, AZ 85204