Many people who live and work in Chandler can indulge their red-meat cravings at an elegant Ocotillo restaurant patrons say lacks the pretension found in other fine-dining establishments.
CHoP Steak Seafood & Burger Bar has become a popular haunt for people who live and work in Chandler and the East Valley since it opened about five and a half years ago on West Queen Creek Road, just east of Price Road.
Humble Family Restaurants, the same group that owns Humble Pie pizzeria, The Living Room Wine Café & Lounge and Rock Lobster eateries, brought CHoP to Ocotillo so the area would have an upscale dining experience.
“It’s like you’re coming home,” Tom Kaufman, operating partner for CHoP and partner with Humble Family Restaurants, said. “We feel we’re the community, the neighborhood hangout.”
The former breakfast restaurant’s 4,000 square feet of space lent itself more to a posh-looking eatery, Kaufman said. It is now full of silver and gold accents, textured red and gold wallpaper, leather-like booths and ornate chandeliers.
CHoP focuses heavily on steaks, burgers and seafood, offering substantial dinners and flavorful, ample sides.
The mesquite grill-cooked entrees include a popular double-cut, house-cured pork chop paired with apple chutney for $27.99, a baseball-cut top sirloin for $26.99, a boneless Maui rib-eye with a pineapple-soy marinade for $34.99 and grilled salmon for $25.99.
Every day a fresh grilled fish is featured, including swordfish, halibut, black cod and grouper. The Bang Bang Shrimp is a crispy, golden well-liked starter with sweet, spicy aioli.
Diners craving meat can also select one of the many signature burgers at CHoP including a classic cheeseburger, patty melt, green chili and barbecue burgers, for $14.99 each.
While the sirloin, center-cut filet and roasted prime rib get a lot of sizzle, the vegetables at the luxuriously appointed restaurant also shine.
Heather Sanders of Ahwatukee designed the walls and furniture, and Arizona painter Ed Mell’s landscapes hang on the walls.
The superfood salad is a colorful creation piled high with kale, cranberries, radish, avocado, almonds and goat cheese and it is many customers’ favorite salad, said Tony Eden, partner with Humble Family Restaurants and CHoP.
Guests also rave about the roasted spaghetti squash made on the mesquite grill with a refreshing, light-tasting mix of arugula, Parmesan and capers. Unusual Brussels sprouts offer a beefy, flavorful taste with gremolata, bacon, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Eden said a chef arrives at CHoP at 8 a.m. every day to break down and hand-cut the steaks, which come from Gold Canyon, Colorado.
The double-cut pork chop is also prepared with care. “We brine it for a couple days so it stays nice and juicy,” Eden said.
The baseball-cut sirloin is cut to look like a baseball and comes from “the best part of a top sirloin,” Kaufman said.
“It’s a very accessible steak if you don’t want to spend a lot of money,” Eden said.
Ron Riecks and his wife, Lynda, who is owner of Carstar Autopro Collision Chandler, live a few blocks away from CHoP and love to eat there.
“My favorite is the Double-Cut Pork Chop,” Riecks said. “I am a big pork chop fan and too few restaurants do pork chops. At CHoP, they celebrate pork chops. Not only is it delicious, but it is big. Almost 2 meals in one.
“I take the leftovers home and warm them up the next day and eat what is left off the bone. My wife goes for the filet. We also think of it as upscale with a relaxed atmosphere. Service is always excellent.”
Jessica A. Aldulaimi and her husband, Hani, along with two friends, recently had dinner at CHoP.
A business development manager at KW Commercial, Jessica said the ambiance was “quiet and just right for us to talk and enjoy our evening.”
“We started with Malbec and then the Caesar salad and added the anchovies,” Jessica said. “Since not all restaurants offer anchovies, it feels like such a treat! We all ordered the Boneless Rib-Eye, it was perfectly marbled and cooked.
“We all agreed it was the best we’ve had. We ended our meal with the Toffee Bread Pudding, which was great for sharing. We had such a lovely evening and our waiter took great care of us.”
Larry P. Williams, sales and marketing director of Right Away Disposal, lives in the Ocotillo area and raved about CHoP.
“Chop delivers nothing short of amazing every time, all the time, and has been my go-to steakhouse in Chandler,” Williams said.
“It starts with staff, from the moment you walk in until you leave, they’re inviting, friendly and courteous. The ambiance is warm and elegant, it truly embodies a fine dining steakhouse. As a regular (twice a month), the reason I love this place is the passion from the kitchen, it’s done extremely well and continuously.”
Jen Hewitt, executive director of the Chandler Education Foundation, also loves the menu at CHoP. She lives in Chandler.
“My personal preferences are the Bang Bang Shrimp, Spaghetti Squash, Cauliflower Gratin and the of course the filet,” Hewitt said. “Everything is cooked to perfection. I would recommend this place to anyone. The service is exceptional also.”
Felicia Vandermolen, CEO and founder
of The Nitro Live Icecreamery, said she and her husband, Rich, consider the atmosphere “incredibly warm and inviting.”
“The food is always great and it is a perfect place for birthdays, anniversaries and event board meetings,” Felicia said.
Those craving a bite and beer, a cocktail or one of the many wines at CHoP can grab deals during happy hour, every day from 4 to 6 p.m.
Customers can order Awesome Fries, which are tossed with gremolata, as well as fried pickles and fried zucchini, for $5.75 each during happy hour.
The popular meatball appetizer is $8 and hickory-smoked salmon are $7.75 when ordered from 4 to 6 p.m. Draft beers cost $3 or $4 during happy hour and specialty cocktails are $8.
A favorite cocktail is the James Brown, which has Elijah Craig Bourbon, Amaro and brown sugar syrup, for $8 during happy hour.
For those with a sweet tooth, CHoP offers several desserts, including the toffee bread budding with white chocolate frangelico sauce, a pecan torte and an Oreo ice cream sandwich.
CHoP is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Sundays. It is at 2625 W. Queen Creek Road. Information: chopchandler.com.