The best outdoor restaurant patio and bloody Mary in Phoenix

My best friend knows food and I just know how to eat food. We kicked off Fourth of July with hangover food in Tempe, dressed in our Americana #OOTD, before starting the patriotic festivities of the day! Cheers! This Phoenix blogger found the best bloody Mary in Phoenix! There were "yard games", too, but we didn't get to that because a pool party was waiting for us. Here is my first, official Phoenix food blogger post. Like I said, I just know how to eat and drink. I also like a good outdoor patio and a place to eat that is outdoors so let me introduce you to my favorite patio spot in Arizona!

Hello, it’s me Bad to the Blonde. I am a Phoenix blogger who loves restaurants with outdoor patios and good bloody Mary’s like places back home – the Midwest does it best.  However,  Phoenix is home now and I have planted my cactus roots like all the other Minnesotan “transplants”!

Getting down with the sickness

We all get homesick. Sometimes more than others. And sometimes things just trigger the homesickness. I got down with the sickness. I really did this past holiday weekend – like I do every holiday weekend away from family and friends. Sometimes, Minnesota seems so far away, but yet so close.

Ok, it’s really far. But this blog post is all about it being “oh, so close”. Insert Minnesota accent. Insert a Minnesotan’s desert dream as a Phoenix blogger involving a pit with food and backyard games. Yes, there are places to eat outdoors int the great Phoenix area! There is so much good food in Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale, and the spot I am about to tell you about is, I really think, secret gem and a hidden spot. People can keep flocking to other parts of the country though, that’s fine. I don’t like to wait when I am hungover. I mean, hungry.

Buddy up

Best friend, Scottsdale restaurant manager, and food professional, to the rescue. Amanda knew just where to bring me. Maybe she just wanted to cure my hangover so I would stop complaining. (A bloody mary is usually the first step in this process.) Whatever her reason – it worked, and she picked the perfect spot. Like usual. Before we get to me eating my emotions,  hopefully you can see the hangover in how clammy I look. I couldn’t even filter the pale out! You’ll see me come to life, though. Keep scrolling.


I would have never found this little, big place alone. It is a total hidden gem in the valley! If you come to visit Phoenix from the Midwest – make this your first stop for fuel. It’s really close the airport so make a quick pit stop. Trust me. Thank me later. I am after all I am a Phoenix blogger so trust me when I tell you to go there. Food or drinks. Or just drinks. Bloody Mary…cough.

Wipes smile from face.

Farmer Arts District

Insert Farmer Arts District, Tempe, Arizona, which includes Culinary Dropout, the Yard…I think there were a few other parts included in the actual Farmer Arts District but for now I will consider it this one, big pole barn. I literally walked in and said, can I get married here someday and rent this whole bitch out?! I wasn’t joking. The decor is country and cool! (Ok, I first said I need to yoga at the yoga studio connected to it – hence my well-being upon arrival.)

Like I said, I think there are some other things included in this Farmer Arts District area but I was in no shape to take notes in my reporters notebook. I was “off”. No questions were being asked. No cameras were filming.

I felt at home. I was in this pole barn. With yard games. Yep, I really was as close to home as I was going to get! Chips and dip.

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Per the website, the Culinary Dropout is described as this:

Cool, British-style gastropub chain with quirky decor, serving inventive cocktails & comfort food.

Per me, describing the Culinary Dropout/Coop/The Yard:

Backyard BBQ. Games. Pole barn type environment. Outdoor patio. A place to actually eat outdoors in Phoenix. Food. Beer. Bloody mary. Bring friends and family.

Maybe that description (British-style gastropub) was about the bar part. I went straight to the outdoor patio to check out the yard games. Like I said, there were quite a few parts to this pole barn and I had asked Amanda several times to explain it to me. I clearly, still, don’t get it. I think it was like three restaurants in one space? We had too much wine the night before to be thinking correctly. Two bottles to be exact. Hence our search for food in Phoenix and the Tempe area. I don’t do math.

Our Mom’s were way too far away to provide comfort food and home cooking to cure us.

I was happy sitting outside (even with it being hot as hell) in the closest “backyard BBQ” I was going to get – restaurant style. These types of restaurants tend to be my favorite places to eat. And finding this as a Phoenix blogger just about cured my wine hangover. You can see why, right?!

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Okay, for real. I loved how everything was so clean and country. It was a wide open space. (Yep, now you’re singing Dixie Chicks! I knew it!) I literally felt like I was at home, and Amanda and I discussed how we could bring this 2,000 miles north. We needed a few more drinks because we didn’t get very far.

Food for thought

The food was great even though we didn’t order much! We split the chips and dip, and the kale asian salad. She had been before. So as usual, I tell her to order for us. That’s what best friends are for! They should be dependable and trusting. She didn’t let me down. I inhaled both our servings and from what I remember, it was all great! The bloody mary hit the spot and put me “right back in the bag”. Though I am not a fan of bacon-infused vodka (I want the real thing if we are going to consume meat) and that was how it was on the menu, so like usual, I asked for something different and they made it happen. I like my fixin’s. Shoutout to staff for making me the happiest Minnesotan in the desert that day. A+ customer service bringing me a a strip to make me happy and not charging me extra for it. I feel bad for the people who have to serve me.

I don’t find it that difficult to make me happy.

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If this place doesn’t top the list of best outdoor patio restaurants in Phoenix, or the greater Phoenix area, I need to be the content creator and writer, and editor in chief.  The Culinary Dropout at the Yard is actually more than one restaurant. The outdoor patio and dining area has ping-pong to bag toss, shuffle board and high top tables to sit and socialize.

So there you have it. I’m not from the farm, my Mom is, but I’m from the country like my Dad is, and home is where the heart is. Country rappin’, bloody Mary dancin’.

Sometimes I really love it here and sometimes some places make it hard to leave but as a Phoenix blogger I want to plant my roots (cactus…does a cactus have roots and if so what are they called? )here. So if you come to visit, you know where we should meet? Culinary Dropout in Tempe.


Be classy, sassy and a bit bloody Mary bad assy.


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