A heavy monsoon rain didn’t stop the fun at Cayton’s Burger Bistro, the host of this month’s Sippin’ Social.

Located at the Ritz-Carlton in Dove Mountain, Cayton’s offers an upscale but affordable happy hour experience with arguably the best views the city has to offer. 

Oversized bay windows look out to the natural desert mountainside, city lights, and pristine Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, which for the past few years has been the host of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Everything about Cayton’s reflects the dining experience one would expect at a Ritz-Carlton location.

The staff is prompt, friendly, and well versed on the menu. Numerous employees, from management down, checked on us throughout the afternoon without being intrusive. 

The restaurant itself, which offers a spacious dining area inside and out, is immaculate. 

Even the restrooms, fancily designed, fresh smelling, and spotlessly clean, are reason for pause. 

Cayton’s happy hour runs from 3-6 p.m. daily and features half-off drafts and discounts on select appetizers. 

After being seated and greeted by staff, I began the happy hour with a Tucson Blonde ($3.50), a beer brewed locally out of the Barrio Brewing Company.

The beer was exactly what it claims to be – a refreshing, crisp, clean and flawless blonde with a mild combination of barley and citrus hops.  

My coworker Randy Metcalf started things off with a Saison Blue, a seasonal local brew mixed with blue corn and blue agave nectar, offering a dry but complexly flavored beverage.

Though the beers could have easily stood on their own, they paired well with our first appetizer, the Chile Lime Salted Potato Chips ($5), which were quite enjoyable and made for an addictive, light snack before ordering the more-filling chicken quesadilla ($10). The chips came with two sides of dipping sauce, which were a poblano ranch and French onion. I can’t say I was a fan of the dip, but then again, the chips tasted just fine on their own. 

When it came to the quesadilla – forget the traditional Mexican restaurant. This was arguably the best one I’ve ever had – and it came at a restaurant more well-known for its burgers and ribs. The chicken was fresh, the tortilla was crispy but not flaky, and the cheese was stringy and perfectly melted to seal it all together.

We finished up the happy hour by washing things down with another beer each. I ordered the Nut Brown Ale ($3.50), a Nimbus Brewery beer, while Randy chose the Dragoon Brewery IPA ($3.50).

The Nut Brown Ale was a sweet, heavier beer with medium carbonation and a chocolate malt and hop aroma. Though usually not a dark beer drinker, this one was enjoyable.

Randy’s IPA, at 7.3 percent alcohol by volume, had a bit of a kick to it but not to the point it overpowered the signature tart flavor or bitterness that comes with IPAs. 

The overall experience was excellent at Cayton’s Burger Bistro, and it’s a must-try for locals or visitors – monsoon weather or not. 

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