G.O.A.T. Grill in Mesa aims to be ‘greatest of all time’ The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

G.O.A.T. Grill in Mesa aims to be ‘greatest of all time’

G.O.A.T. Grill in Mesa aims to be ‘greatest of all time’

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Tribune Staff Writer

Known for its Mexican cantinas, the Matta family is exploring American food this time with The G.O.A.T. Sports Grill at Power and McDowell roads in Northeast Mesa.

The airy space at the west end of Red Mountain Promenade is peppered with a scoreboard, sports memorabilia and more than 10 televisions to make watching sporting events easy – when they return.

Owners Peter Matta and Scott McKay bring dishes like New Orleans shrimp scampi ($14); shrimp cucumber bites ($12); poor man’s steak (topped with gravy, mushrooms and caramelized onions and served with mashed potatoes and vegetables, $14); and a variety of sliders (four for $12).

The G.O.A.T., which stands for the Greatest of All Time, thrives with its unique dishes like its spin on traditional French fries – nacho, carne asada, poutine, loaded, “loco moco,” cheese, barbecue, chili cheese and buffalo chicken – or its grilled cheese varieties (French onion, cheese n’ mac, portabella, cheese BLT, burger, hot dog).

“Peter, specifically, really likes grilled cheese,” said Dominic Matta, his son and general manager. “Growing up, he would always make fun grilled cheese. He would sauté ham or onions and make them with different ingredients and a variety of cheeses. It was just something he’s always done and always wanted to play with as far as a concept in a restaurant.”

Peter pays tribute to his family’s roots with the G.O.A.T. Cantina’s quesadilla, loaded nachos, tacos, skinny bean burrito, shrimp and green chile burrito, lobster tacos and fish tacos ($4 to $14).

“I can say with confidence that food is something we do really well,” said Dominic, a 2013 Red Mountain High School graduate. “We thought we might as well bring a little bit of a twist of something different, like with our specialty G.O.A.T. recipes.”

Dominic is quick to recommend his father’s meatball appetizer, served with a choice of marinara, moonshine barbecue or gravy ($8).

“Peter has always had a vision of presenting a family-friendly restaurant, with a sports restaurant bar feel,” Dominic said.

“He wanted to branch out of Mexican food. He and Scott had a really good idea and they brought it to life.”

Dominic is just as passionate as his family about the restaurant business, having worked with his father for more than 10 years.

“I just really enjoy what I do,” he said. “I grew up doing this. I started at Matta’s when I was 15 years old.”

He added it was important to open the restaurant in Northeast Mesa, which is near Matta’s at Higley and Brown roads. The G.O.A.T. made its debut in late June.

“I love all the businesses around here. Everyone’s so friendly,” Dominic added. “Like What’s Crackin’. I’ve been going there since they opened, and Peter still goes there regularly. Same with the cigar shop, Echo 5 and Dvine.”

When sports resume, The G.O.A.T. will adjust its hours to fit the events.

“It’s going to be very sports forward,” he said. “If there’s going to be a football game that starts at 8 a.m., we’re going to be open that early.

“When football comes on, we’re going to have specials on Sundays. Sports surrounds everything we do here.”

But food makes this restaurant the tops.

“Peter has cooked his entire life,” Dominic said. “He was just so excited to play with new recipes and something that was beyond the norm. You can taste the passion behind our food.” 

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