TROPHY’S AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME



Trophy's steakhouse owner Kevin Dettler is an elite big-game hunter - one of fewer than 120 people in the world who’ve bagged the Safari Club International’s “North American 29,” all the big-game species found on the continent.

And all 29 of the part-time Gilbert resident’s trophies - from bison to polar bear to musk ox - are on display at Trophy’s. Everywhere you look in the elegant restaurant are horns, claws and teeth. In the center of the 3,000-square-foot dining room, fi ve huge bears stalk diners. Behind the polished granite bar, four majestic sheep keep watch on a rocky outcropping.

Wild game is showcased not just on the walls but also on the menu, although about three-fourths of the offerings are traditional steakhouse fare, such as steaks, chicken and seafood.

Given the opulent surroundings, Trophy’s prices are surprisingly affordable. You won’t find any $175 steaks here. With the exception of a special 24-ounce bone-in ribeye ($37), all of the 6- to 12-ounce premium steaks are less than $25. And that includes baked potato and vegetable.

“We weren’t sure what we wanted to do with the wild game,” says Dettler’s son Kiel, who runs Trophy’s with his brother, Brett. “It can get rather expensive doing wild game. When you get into kangaroo and llama, you’re definitely looking at more money per ounce.”

So the wild game is limited to a few regular menu items - such as buffalo and elk meatloaf ($13) and antelope sausage ($13) - and ever-changing weekend specials created by chef Rob Bowser. Last weekend’s special was red deer. This weekend, it’s rabbit.

The brothers are toying with future menu ideas ranging from bear to rattlesnake. One thing is certain. East Valley residents are always up for a taste of adventure. The fi let and ribeye are Trophy’s two top sellers, but the buffalo and elk meatloaf is the third-most-popular item on the menu. Now if the Dettlers could just get curious diners to follow the “No Touching” signs and stop trying to pet the grizzly bear or gray wolf. “The kids are actually pretty good about it,” Kiel Dettler laughs. “The adults are the ones you have to watch.”

Trophy’s Steakhouse 7215 S. Power Road, Queen Creek (northeast corner of Power and Rittenhouse roads)

3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday. Appetizers $7-$9, salads $7-$8, burgers $8-$10, entrees $13-$24, desserts $4-$6

(480) 840-3981 or trophyssteakhouse.com

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