Where to eat in Phoenix Airport
With the exception of a few places that are more bar than restaurant, most everything behind security is fast food. Most options for a full service meal would require you to leave the secure area and then come back through TSA screening before your connecting flight.
My favorite fast food within the secure area is El Bravo, a scaled-down version of a popular full service Mexican restaurant in the Phoenix neighborhood of Sunnyslope. Look for El Bravo on the D Concourse (Southwest flights).
Outside security, there are a few full service restaurants, but I think the best options are still of the order-at-the-counter variety. There's Oaxaca, another airport outpost of a local Mexican restaurant, and Flo's, an airport version of a group of Chinese / Pan-Asian restaurants in Scottsdale.
By the way, all concourses at Terminal 4 connect to one another behind security, so don't worry if your arriving or departing flight is at the A, B, C, or D gates. If you find that you must leave the secure area, come back through screening wherever the line is shortest.
Map of Terminal 4: http://phoenix.gov/skyharborairport/f...
One comment re: go through the shortest security line. They no longer allow this. If you're on a Southwest flight, you can only go through the gate C or D security. This has been a huge source of frustration for me as I fly every week. There are 200 people in line for the C gates and 2 people in line for the B gates. But, even though they connect up after security, you can't go through the B line because "they're different airlines."
As for food, I've enjoyed both Oaxaca and Paradise Bakery, which are both kind of fast food, but fresh. Your only sit down options are Chili's or Flo's (which I will try next time I get to enjoy a 3 hour delay).
One more FYI, there is free WiFi available.
Hmm. In the past, I've gotten through at A or B no matter which airline I'm flying, but it sounds like they've tightened things up recently. Thanks for the warning. In any case, that affects the OP only if going to Oaxaca, Paradise Bakery, or Flo's, all of which are outside of security.
If the OP goes to El Bravo or any place behind security, it's still possible to move among the various concourses, whether they belong to US Airways or Southwest, without passing through security.