One of the things I enjoy doing is eating. You may also share this passion. From what I’ve picked up on the news and during casual conversation, it appears to be a popular pastime.
Although I do like to cook, I do so enjoy eating someone else’s cuisine, especially if served to me in an interesting, pleasant environment with low lightening and engaging ambiance. I prefer places serving food with a novel twist, fresh ingredients, and pizazz…something you might not have the time or inclination to make at home. I like to dress up on a Saturday night, but this isn’t a requirement. I can be happy in a casual place, if the food is great.
Let me introduce you to some of my current favorite Tucson restaurants. In no particular order, I’ll start with El Brio, probably one of the newest. It is located outside of the Tucson mall, near REI outfitters on Wetmore and Oracle Roads. Any of their steak dishes is to die for. I understand their seafood and salmon dishes are wonderful too. I’m just not a fish eater. Their pastas, chicken dishes and pretty much everything else including appetizers and desserts are above par. The service is excellent, the booths are cozy and the lighting is to my liking.
Café Poca Cosa is downtown on Pennington and continues to be the best place for fresh, eclectic New Mexico style food. You can’t go wrong here. The setting is modern and urbane with a twist, definitely original. The menu is brought out on a chalkboard and changes daily. Try the Café Poca Cosa Plate, the chef’s pic of three of their dishes; you will be happy.
Harvest is in Oro Valley, further North and worth the trip. Their food is comfort food with a modern accent and plain good. I’ve never had a bad meal there and the soups are wonderful. Acacia is on Sunrise Drive and boasts a beautiful view of the city and an outstanding menu. Nearby in La Encantada center is Firebird’s Rocky Mountain Grill and plenty to be happy about. A stone’s throw away is North, with its twist on basic Italian dishes. Jax’s Kitchen is worth a try and you have to brunch at the Tea Room at Tohono Chul and definitely sit out on the patio and enjoy the gardens.
Wildflower Grill is on Oracle just south of Ina Road in the Casa Adobes Shopping Center and everything there is delicious, and believe me I think I’ve had everything on the menu. It’s also comfortable and beautifully decorated. PF Chang’s is on River Road, near Stone and Campbell, and has excellent Chinese food in a wonderful setting and nearby is Sullivan’s, definitely a place for special occasions and lasting memories.
Nearby and less fancy is Grumpy’s on Ina, near Shannon Road. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in a comfortable and casual atmosphere, with good food at reasonable prices served by friendly, efficient staff. A new place, open for lunch and dinner, is Custer’s, on Thornydale Road, south of Ina. The burgers and pot roast sandwiches are unbelievable - try it out.
If you love Indian food, you’ll definitely enjoy Saffron’s. It’s on Oracle road, north of Ina, on the west side. They also have a lunch buffet. The restaurant is beautiful and comfortable. Like Thai food? My favorite is Bangkok Café on Speedway Boulevard, east of Campbell. The food is unbelievable and again, a very attractive environment.
I could probably go on; I love food and eating out is a favored "hobby". I’ll keep you posted on new places in Tucson. Happy dining.