It was with regret that we heard the news that Monti’s is closing after more than 60-years. Monti’s restaurant is a landmark in Tempe, housed in an adobe hacienda that is reported to be haunted, it is renowned for the steaks.
After our hike in the morning, Liz, Mike and I had decided to reward ourselves with one last visit to Monti’s. So how did we end up at a chain restaurant instead?
We decided to outsmart the traffic and drove University in, rather than fighting traffic on the 60. We thought we were being smart! In Mesa we were thwarted by road construction, which detoured us right into Veteran’s Day activities where a six block stretch of road was off-limits to traffic.
We then hit an intersection were we got to wait for a funeral procession that arrived a few seconds before we did. After clearing those hurdles which delayed our much-awaited meal by a good twenty minutes, we approached Temp only to see a sea of yellow and burgundy, with a splash of green intermingled here and there.
If any of us had paid attention to the local news, we would have been aware of the huge college game between 9th seed ASU Sun Devils ans 10th seed Notre Dame. Every road was clogged with traffic, and as we crawled down Mill Street – 10 block in thirty minutes – we saw that every bar was packed to overflow capacity. Not a good omen. We only hoped that Monti’s would not draw a large crowd as the only TV set is in the patio.
We finally needled our way into the parking lot, only to be informed that the only parking was blocks away in a parking garage. We were willing to wait at the bar for a free table, but certainly not willing to fight the crowds on the street only to have to wait on the sidewalk for admittance. Time for Plan B.
Plan B consisted of getting the hell out of Dodge as quickly and painlessly as possible. Mike used to live in Tempe, so the task of finding a place for a cold brew and lunch fell on him. The Tilted Kilt was far enough off of the beaten track that we were sure that we could get seats. And the scenery wasn’t that bad.
I had the fish and chips, and while the chips were American style french fries, not the thick chips that you get in an authentic Irish pub, they had malt vinegar, and the fare was not bad at all. It wasn’t Monti’s, but it was a nice afternoon lunch with great service and excellent draught beers.