Dining options between PHX airport and Tucson
Charlestons is solid. Won't blow you away but wont be terrible either. I like Outback better and they are similarly priced, kind of what the other poster was saying - ZTejas has awesome drinks if the non-drivers are going to throw a few down
I think Roy's Hawaian Fusion is out that way, and would be a good call and would be my pick if you all like seafood - i have never had anything that wasnt great @ Roy's
Heading west off of Ray or Warner Road into Ahwatukee gets you away from the chains and into some wonderful neighborhood eateries. There is The Hillside Spot, which is Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco's new locavore eatery, modeled after another local market eatery, La Grande Orange. Website here: http://hillsidespot.com/menu.html
A new spot I have not yet tried, Secreto, serving New Mexican food. Helmed by the ex-wife of Richardson Browne, the unmitigated a-hole who used to run Richardson's before it burned. Recent review:
And one of my favorite local pizzerias -- Phoenix has a surplus of great pizza places -- just a neighborhood joint that has local brews on tap. Florencia Pizza Bistro.
Florencia Pizza Bistro
3646 E Ray Rd, Phoenix, AZ
Hillside Spot Café and Market
4740 East Warner Road, Phoenix, AZ 85044
Oops, just noted you were looking for dinner. Sorry...Cyclo and Latitude 8 would still be good bets if you're looking for Asian. Along with Z Tejas, Roys and Flemings might be good options in the area around I-10 and Ray Road. House of Tricks is a nice spot for dinner as well as lunch.
Cyclo Vietnamese Cuisine
1919 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85224
Latitude 8 Thai Grill
11 W Boston St, Chandler, AZ 85225
What kind of meal are you looking for clanger?
Along with Caffe Boa you might try House of Tricks in Tempe. Both of these are a bit more upscale if you're looking for a more formal business lunch.
In Chandler you could try either Cyclo or Latitude 8 for tasty asian lunch. Both are easily accessible to the 101 freeway from the airport adn then easily accessible to the 202 to get you back to the 10 to head towards Tucson.
I've never been to Charlestons. Right around that area, next to I-10 there are several chains to choose from. Z Tejas might be the best bet of those types for lunch.
At I-10 and Elliot you can try Los Taquitos for very good tacos in a very informal atmosphere.
House of Tricks
114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ 85281
398 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281
4747 E Elliot Rd Ste 17, Phoenix, AZ 85044
This is a chain restaurant (one of three in the valley), may be OK, may be just another chain ... it's actually off Ray Rd instead of Warner (a mile south) and there's an Outback beside it that's probably better (OK, another chain ...).
If you wish to break away from the chains then I'd suggest the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass resort, which is just a couple miles south of Ray on the Gila Indian Reservation, just off I-10. Their flagship restaurant is Kai, which is rated # 1 in Arizona by most diners and one of the 21 Mobil/Forbes 5 stars in the USA, so probably a bit more formal and expensive than you were looking for, but they also have a pretty good non-formal restaurant on site, Ko'sin, which is pretty good and reasonably priced.
http://www.wildhorsepassresort.com/dining-wild-horse-pass.html and click on the Ko'sin link to see a menu. We've dined there twice and while it's not Kai it's certainly better than Outback (which was fine).
They accept reservations on OpenTable, where you can read reviews from the past 90 days from people who dined there ... http://www.opentable.com/kosin-sherat...
After posting the above rec for Ko'sin I realized there are a couple of other dining options on the Rez just off the freeway that also may be of interest to you. Haven't dined at these but for the sake of completeness here they are ...
The Sheraton mentioned above is a nice resort with spa and golf course but there's also a separate casino/hotel about a mile away and that one has a Don Shula's Steakhouse that usually gets OK reviews (probably not from Chowhounds ... another chain! ... but from the general public). Anyway, if they want a steak this is probably a viable option.
Also, in a separate building roughly between the Kai/Ko'sin resort and the casino with Shula's there's a Rawhide, a western-themed casual spot that is popular with out-of-staters (again, not the place for foodies or refined Chowhounds, but it's there and it's popular).
I would personally go to Ko'sin because I like the more relaxed, refined atmosphere at the Sheraton (this is the resort the N.Y. Giants football team stayed at when they played at the Super Bowl) but just wanted to point out there are steak/gambling options and cowboy chow options available nearby in case you think the boss would like something different.
I've never been to Charleston's and I have no plans to go. I've never seen it recommended, here. I think their excessive advertising is a bad sign.
I would take a slight detour and go to Caffe Boa on Mill in Tempe. Excellent food at a decent value while having some less challenging options for co-workers who might lack a sense of adventure.
398 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281