By Jamie Killin

Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse has earned national recognition on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” for its full menu of American favorites such as fried mac and cheese balls, a bacon board and smoked barbecue meats.

The concept which opened five years ago and now boasts two Valley locations, one in downtown Scottsdale and another in Phoenix, has a comfortable atmosphere fit for a smokehouse with barn wood, steel and a bar at the focal point of both locations.

While Bootleggers has earned a great reputation for its full repertoire of comfort foods and smoked meats, it’s also well-known for its assortment of moonshine and moonshine cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else in the Valley. While you can’t go wrong with cocktails like the Hazzard County Peach Tea with smoky peach moonshine, tea and lemonade, Bootleggers really shines with its housemade options — the legendary apple pie and strawberry shine. Even moonshine novices can enjoy sipping on these sweet, flavorful drinks, no cocktail or mixer required. If moonshine isn’t your libation of choice, there are plenty of other cocktails to choose from too, like the Bee’s Knees with bourbon, honey syrup, orange juice and pale ale or the Bootstrap with gin, pomegranate grenadine, fresh orange, lemon juice, bitters and simple syrup.

When it comes to the meal, the starters are not to be overlooked. Some of the restaurant’s best loved items include the Nacho Flat featuring brisket hash, cheddar cheese, chipotle cheddar sauce, avocado relish, jalapeno and cilantro as well as the smoked chicken wings accompanied by any of their house made sauces.

As for the main course, there’s no shortage of options. Diners can choose from salads with protein options ranging from brisket to salmon or opt for one of their many sandwich or burger dishes. Taco combinations include everything from their beloved brisket hash with chipotle coleslaw to the green chile pork with cilantro and charred poblanos.

For the true barbecue lovers, it’s impossible to be disappointed by the St. Louis Ribs which are rubbed with Bootleggers’ house rub, smoked with oak and pecan wood and served with the restaurant’s signature Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce. For the full experience, meat lovers can enjoy the BBQ Sampler with brisket, pulled pork, hot link, turkey, ribs and barbecue wings.

Since no meal is complete without dessert, Bootleggers continues its western flair into its post-meal treats with items like the beloved Jack Daniels Brownie, which is served warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce as well as the fried ice cream in a cinnamon sugar coated tortilla bowl and the fresh fruit cobbler with Cinnamon Toast Crunch crumble topping and ice cream.

Bootleggers is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week, with hours until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

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