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Where to Eat around Peoria Sports Complex

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The Padres and Mariners call it spring training. We call it Arrowhead. You'll call it "FRIGGEN SWEET".

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Peoria Sports Complex is one of the more upscale spring training facilities around the Phoenix Metro area.  It's only about 17 miles North West of downtown Phoenix, but the area is very metropolitan.  It also sits just a few miles north of Westgate and the University Of Phoenix Stadium where the Cardinals play.

The area is known as "Arrowhead Towne Center".  I don't know why they put an "E" at the end, but that certainly helps underscore the velour they're going for.  Arrowhead has a very nice mall with lots and lots of good shopping. Though not quite as upscale as Scottsdale Fashion Mall, it's leaps and bounds above the Metro Center shopping area.  You will find everything from a Toys-R-Us to a Dicks Sporting Goods, to the Apple Store, and an AMC or Harkins Theater.  So while you're watching the game, if the wife and kids aren't as into baseball as you are, they'll have plenty of things to do.  I'll leave that up to you whether or not that's a good thing.

If you like to suck down the suds before or after the game, there is no shortage of options.  No less than 20 bars and restaurants dot the landscape with plenty of variety to suit anyone's preference.  Two of my personal favorites are Abuelos and Buca Di Beppo.

Abuelos is a Mexican Restaurant with a palatial feel inside and the look of a government building on the outside.  In fact the restaurant has a subtitle of "Mexican Food Embassy".  The inside is very spacious, you will find it a very pleasant and airy place to eat.  It isn't too noisy or quiet.  The food is EXCELLENT, with a great choice of traditional and non-traditional Mexican dishes.

But if you're looking for that place to bring the family and have a memorable experience going out, Buca Di Beppo is a fantastic choice.  It's some of the best Italian food you can get but it is a bit on the more expensive side.  The interior is almost over the top Italian.  If it's available, try to get the "Pope" table, you'll thank me later.

Some other good choices are Famous Dave's Bar-B-QueCheesecake Factory, and Texas Roadhouse.  If you're single and interested in the "scenery" that the area has to offer, check out the Tilted Kilt.  It's known for it's.. uh.. well... er.. I think you know.  It's a PG-13 sorta joint with better food and scenery than Hooters. [There's one of those there too of course if you just want the familiar.]

If you want a quick bite cause you're running late, there's more fast food joints than you can shake a sick at.  I like to head over to the Chick-Fil-AIn-N-Out BurgerChipotle's or the Red Robin.

As I mentioned, Westgate is just a few miles south (about 8 miles on the freeway).  There are TONS of other shopping, restaurants, and events going on there if you just can't seem to find what you're looking for at Arrowhead.

The Peoria Sports Complex is very easy and relatively fast to get to, but if you're going, make sure your hotel is somewhere on the West Side of town.  If you're looking to stay somewhere really close there are a few good choices to pick from within walking distance of the park.  There's a Hampton InnResidence Inn, a Comfort Inn, or a La Quinta.  All of them are right in the heart of the area making a rental car quite unnecessary.

The complex itself is about 30 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.  It's a very nice, well maintained sporting venue with plenty of seating for about 12,000 fans.  They have full concessions, though I've never bought anything there so I couldn't tell you the value.

If you would like to visit their website it's http://peoriasportscomplex.com/.

If you go, tell them Xipooo sent you.  They'll have no idea who you're talking about, and you'll have a hard time trying to pronounce it. But I'm sure it will be funny to watch the expressions on their faces when you do...