Sunday, September 7, 2008

AZ Food Round-Up: The Chuckbox

As the month started, I made it a point to hit up a number of eateries while I was in Arizona. You may not believe this, but the state is surprisingly packed with unique places to eat in addition to being the single greatest place for toy runs, ever. Near ASU in Tempe, AZ is a place called The Chuckbox.

Inside, the garbage cans look like recycled barrels, you sit on a crate, and there are a couple of cocktail cabinet arcade games in varying stages of decay. Also, two flat-screen TVs. Outside, it looks a little run down. Inside, it also looks a little run down, but they've since repaired some cracked glass while maintaining its rustic appearance. The look is meant to evoke an old west feel, which is something you see less and less of in Arizona as it ups its California-wannabe-ness.

The cuisine varies from meat on a bun to a bun with some meat on it. Also, there's a variety of fried sides, like fries, onion rings, and zucchini. Booze and soda are also served, plus there's a big salad bar-esque array of toppings for your food.

And it's good. Did I mention that? Well, it is. The burgers are about $4-$6, with your choice of white or wheat buns-- unless they run out of wheat, which they frequently do. Sides sold separately. I've tried a few dishes, and would suggest trying the BBQ Chicken Sandwich or, if you're particularly hungry, a Great Big One. The burger is indeed great and big, and since you have to dump your own stuff on it you're probably going to like it better than if you couldn't.

After you order, there's a big sign saying "wait here for food." Due to lines, a lot of people may be waiting there as they grill your food right in front of you and manage to fully cook it in just a few minutes.

As burger joints go, this is one of your best options if you're in the area. The food is fresh, the service is quick, the pricing is decent, and most important of all, you'll probably be ruined for fast food hamburgers once you try it. Mostly I just wanted to show you the sign in the photo, but I'd suggest making it appointment eating if you're in Arizona.

LOCATION: 202 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
POINTS OF INTEREST NEARBY: Arizona State University, Eastside Records, Ash Avenue Comics & Books. Eastside Records is another place you should stop if you're interested in artists not carried by the majority of music stores and new or old vinyl.
NOTES: There used to be a second location in Scottsdale, but it closed a few years ago and is now an upscale pizza place.

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