Throughout its robust renaissance, Phoenixville has retained an independent spirit—particularly when it comes to its vibrant restaurant scene, which has fostered a bevy of standout distillers, brewers and eateries. Sedona Taphouse is no exception—albeit in a different way. David Hollander, Dave Trout and Pete Shivery want their nationally franchised slice of earth-toned Arizona to feel like a welcoming spot with a local feel—and as un-chainy as possible. Their collective sense of community, combined with a dedication to regional sourcing, has made this comfortable spot into a welcome addition to Phoenix Village Apartments’ ground floor.
There’s a touch of desert heat to executive chef Jesus Tula’s work in the kitchen—and it’s especially pronounced in the starters. Four bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuffed jalapeño peppers rest on a cooling bed of jicama slaw, and the Southwest roasted wings benefit from a whiff of woody smoke. Another highlight is the juicy half-pound Waygu beef burger, which rests between an airy brioche bun. Corn tacos come heaped with seasoned steak, pulled pork, broiled mahi mahi, or shrimp spiked with serrano chili.
Any of the menu’s handhelds pair perfectly with something from Sedona’s vast beer list, which includes 50 drafts and 230 bottles and cans. You’ll also find a selection of meads, hard ciders and sour ales. With that sort of suds lineup— along with cleverly crafted cocktails and a concise wine list—you’d think the eating part would be secondary. But the excellent entrées prove otherwise, ranging from a sustainable Norwegian salmon to a succulent hand-cut 7-ounce filet mignon to a sweet, cheesy, shareable barbecue chicken flatbread.
The desserts are few but decadent. A no-brainer is the Amaretto liqueur cake sautéed in butter and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. The cake comes by way of Full Spirited Flavours, an exceptional bakery just down the street.
Sedona Taproom makes the most of its sprawling 7,000-square-foot space with stacked stone columns and a striking blue-accented ceiling. The service is super-friendly, whether you’re inside or out on the massive patio. Keep in mind that Sedona doesn’t accept reservations Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 9 p.m., when a steady flow of walk-ins is a given.
While the kitchen output is strong, the Sedona Taphouse menu could use more Southwestern charm to truly set it apart. The truffle fries, spicy Thai shrimp, chicken marsala and bourbon pork chop are all well-executed, if a bit too safe. Bolstering the Tex-Mex and mestizo options would provide a more authentic experience, nudging the needle from very good to excellent.