M and I have been trying to get into the Pink Pony Steak House for three years and this year we were finally successful! Oh, with a little more patience we could have been in a year or two ago but the place is amazingly popular and always packed with a waiting list one to two hours long. It sits smack dab in the middle of Old Town Scottsdale right on Scottsdale Avenue, in all it’s pink glory. It has actually been designated a Historical Landmark.
The place has been around since the 40s, I believe, and even before we knew how popular it was it was on our list as M had read an article that said a lot of the baseball players hung out there during spring training. We wanted to get close to our heroes! Then we saw the crowds, and the lines and moved on down the road. That is until this year.
This was actually an odd year for spring training. We’re not sure why – maybe the conflict with the World Baseball Classic? We don’t know but the result was a very quiet spring training – nice in some ways since we didn’t have to wait in line anywhere; disconcerting in other ways as the only energy in the town was provided by the few remaining snowbirds - although many are very active it’s in a different way that your normal 20 or 30 something baseball fan.
On Thursday night after I’d picked M up from the airport and we finally found our way back to Scottsdale (there was a little freeway confusion and we ended up on a bit of a sightseeing tour…) we made our way into Old Town. At one point we were met by yellow "DO NOT CROSS" police tape surrounding Banderas where, apparently, there had a little kitchen fire. We made our way to the Pink Pony, only to be told the wait was about 90 minutes since they had just absorbed all the Banderas patrons. While M and I were discussing our options, the hostess (I’m sure the very original hostess from the day the place opened…) said, "Unless you don’t mind sitting in the bar". Have we ever minded sitting in the bar?!?!? And she didn’t even mean at the bar just in the bar at a nice little booth!
We settled in and dropped back into the past. While surveying the menu I ordered a Vodka Martini with a twist. It was good! Cold and cheap – just like I like them! :-)
When I say we settled into the past, I mean the past where steak houses served steak and prime rib and another cut of steak and maybe chicken. Okay, there was really more than that on the menu but there was a big focus on beef – they even had calf’s liver with bacon and onions! I almost ordered it but the fillet sounded so good. And it came with everything – a salad, your choice of potato, some vegetables (okay they were onion rings…) and biscuits with honey, just as a matter of course. Like in the old days. I loved it!
The entire time we were eating we were serenaded by sort of the original form of karaoke – a gent with electronic keyboard that he didn’t actually play – just used the midi functionality as the accompaniment to his extensive repertoire of tunes.
The place was packed the whole time we were there. Groups of fans; family units; couples on dates – all seemed equally at home and well taken care of. I’m not sure you would put this on your list of gourmet dining spots but it’s definitely on the place of good, solid meals at reasonable prices. And between the paid performer and the parade of characters coming in and out you certainly get a lot of entertainment to boot!
Pink Pony Steak House
3831 North Scottsdale Road
(480) 945-6697 phone