Wally's American Gastropub - Common Ground Culinary

Reviewed By: Leslie
Sometimes I crave cheese.  It's not just a little "hmmm, something cheesy sounds good." It's a straight up jonesing for cheese. Do you love cheese?  I mean really love cheese.  Would you sacrifice your pant size (and possibly your spouse) for some good fondue?  Me, too!  Wally's is great for cheese. I think they have other food, too.  I'll try to talk about that, but really it's the S'mac and the Asiago Fondue that hooked me.

Ambience:  Located on Double Tree Ranch Rd in Gainey Ranch, Wally's is an easy bike ride or longer walk for us.  The interior has a "Cheers" feel to it, with a beautiful solid wood bar, pub decor, and friendly greeters.  There is plenty of light and the restaurant is always clean.  The patio is nicely shaded and usually busy.

Quality:  Wally's has a varied menu, offering salads, sandwiches, soups, and plenty of comfort food entrees.  The pasta is housemade every day.  The salads are large, but not overwhelming.  I love the Crispy Chicken sandwich, Andy loves the meatloaf, and we both like the French Dip and Short Ribs.  But, sadly for our waistlines, our self control is overtaken by a desperate need to eat the cheese.  All the cheese.  And let me tell you, the Asiago Pretzel Fondue is a true work of art.  Melty cheese with a nice spicy sauce dotted on top, served with so soft and salty little pretzel bites... it's just dreamy.  And next thing you know, it's gone.  So you must dry the single tear that rolls down your cheek, get back in the saddle, and if you're really reckless order the S'mac.  (We like our heart attacks to come on fast and furious.) The S'mac is housemade pasta with a cheese sauce similar to the Asiago Fondue, they will add other toppings, but our go-to is the Short Ribs.  The meat is tender, as if it has been cooking all day, and mixed in with the housemade mac 'n cheese, it is slap-yo-mamma good. (I do not recommend slapping yo mamma.  Be nice to her.  She brought you into this world, she can take you out.)

Service:  The service is always friendly and happy to bring you a drink refill and they don't laugh at you openly when you follow up your cheese appetizer with a cheese and meat entree then finish it off with more cheese.  They might even offer wheel barrow rides to get you out of the restaurant and to your car (or bike).  We haven't asked, but they are just nice enough to do it.

Value: Wally's is a great value.  Although, I'm usually borderline comatose when the check comes, but I haven't felt like the dinner was too expensive.  You get solid serving sizes for your money.  There's nothing wrong with taking part of your sandwich or pasta home.  We also like to share entrees, so we can easily share a plate and fill up.  

It's a nice casual dinner and a lovely summer afternoon.  We don't visit as often as we want to, but that's no fault of the restaurant.  We just can't control ourselves when there's S'mac in the room.  We have to ride our bikes around the town several times to burn off the calories.  But that is a sacrifice I make happily when I know there's a fondue prize waiting for me along the way. As a side note, Wally's is part of the Common Ground Culinary restaurant group which we have found have an excellent reputation among long-term resident Scottsdaliens (Scott-didlies? Scottsians? Dalesmen?)