Tucson, AZ

Traveling and dining beyond Phoenix metro
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Lunchbox
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Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Tucson, AZ

Post by Lunchbox »

Thinking of taking the fam to Tucson for the weekend. We have our spots but does anyone have any recs?

Mrs. Lunchbox required that I make a reservation for Blues, Brews & BBQ Brunch Buffet at Loews Ventana Canyon but I'd like to explore a little more... Maybe put a Sonoran dog in my belly... I also have to bring Lunchbox Jr. to get a slice of pizza at Time Market at some point. There are also some specialty provisions that the Princess demands from the very same market so it's definitely going to be a stop... (OMG Dad, that pasta was the best, we have to go back and get some!)

Yes, we've created monster foodie children. :lol:
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Wilbur
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by Wilbur »

Our family favorite for Sonoran dogs in Tucson is the El Guero Canelo https://www.elguerocanelo.com/on Utah and 12th St. It might be the original shop, from which they have expanded to five or six other places, including up in Phoenix, now. The actual address is 5201 S 12th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85706, which is within striking distance of the airport, the Air & Space Museum, etc.

A place that is open 365 days a year is Kababeque https://www.kababequeindiangrilltucson.com/menu, and hence suitable for holiday visitors to Tucson who want to eat a traditional Thanksgiving vindaloo dish or Christmas chicken tikka masala, etc. It is at 845 E University Blvd #185, Tucson, AZ 85719, and if the weather is nice, you can carry it south across the street to the little park at Main Gate Square just to the west.

If you are hungry for Balkan food and have a strong appetite for lilac-colored interiors, Chef Alisah's will do you right. The Cevapi https://alisahrestaurant.com/menu.html, which is a sort of giant bread sandwich featuring a dozen or so protruding sausages, is fun for the whole family. The rest of the menu has many other fine and delicious things, but your kids will definitely remember the Cevapi, as will your gustatory organs and digestive system. Really good coffee, as well, at 5931 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85704.

Miss Saigon https://www.misssaigontucson.com/ just south of the Aloft Hotel on Speedway and Campbell features pretty fantastic chicken wings. Not Buffalo Wings, but sort of fried chicken wings with a crispy coating that isn't breaded? It is at 1072 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, and the traditional Vietnamese offerings are good too, but the wings are surprising. We discovered them a decade ago when one of the girls on my daughter's basketball team wasn't as excited about Vietnamese food as we were, so she ordered (and promptly Bogarted the entire dish of) 12 of them.

North on Campbell from the hotel are both a Prep & Pastry and a Blue Willow that I would recommend as well for consistent dishes of higher-than-average quality that are central.

And finally, no visit to Tucson is complete without giant pancakes et al at Bobo's - 2938 E Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ 85716.
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LaPan
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by LaPan »

I’ve only been twice but not disappointed either time: The Parish.

https://www.theparishtucson.com/

You might need a reservation though.
mdpmdp
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by mdpmdp »

Maybe a bit late now, but not far from the Loews hotel is Fiamme Pizza, we put it in our upper echelon of Neapolitan pizza.

https://fiammepizzatucson.com/
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Lunchbox
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by Lunchbox »

mdpmdp wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 12:40 pm Maybe a bit late now, but not far from the Loews hotel is Fiamme Pizza, we put it in our upper echelon of Neapolitan pizza.

https://fiammepizzatucson.com/
Next time for sure. We love that hotel so I'm sure we'll be back... Here's where we wound up...

We hit Rocco's Little Chicago on Friday night. We had a thin crust and a deep dish. It wasn't the best I've ever had, but if I lived in Tucson I'd be there once a week. It was good and it certainly scratched that Chicago itch.
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We had a light lunch at Blanco Tacos the next day. (J'adore Sam Fox and I don't care who knows it. :lol: ) Then we hit up the Ignite Sign art Museum which was super cool! Tons of old neon signs and glass-bending demos. The kids did a fun scavenger hunt.

Then we stumbled in to Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse which was the same as we remember. You don't go for the food necessarily. You go to watch them cut off people's ties and staple them to the ceiling, aka the show and spectacle of it all. Kid's both thought it was cool and the girl got to eat a filet so she was happy.

Then on Sunday, we ate ourselves silly at the buffet. I ate my weight in Bacon and Parmesan cheese. I don't know how they don't lose money on all the cheese we ate. We also got hammered on the bottomless mimosas and beers. This buffet is seriously my favorite. Then we stumbled up to our room and slept the afternoon away and woke up and watched football. We ordered room service for the kids that night, we weren't hungry. But we were hung over.
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On our way out of town we stumbled on Uptown Burger and we're glad we did. We went in blind and left full and happy.
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Mrs. Lunchbox had a French Dip burger that was pretty dreamy...
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I'd recommend it to anyone who is up on the north side of Tucson. I wouldn't go out of my way per se, but if I lived in the hood it'd be in the rotation for sure.
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JimBoyle
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by JimBoyle »

mdpmdp wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 12:40 pm Maybe a bit late now, but not far from the Loews hotel is Fiamme Pizza, we put it in our upper echelon of Neapolitan pizza.

https://fiammepizzatucson.com/
Fiamme is very good, right up there with the best Phoenix Neapolitan pizzas. The room is a bit odd though, and my feeling is that it was primarily a take-out place. Took our pizzas back to the Loews and ate them poolside. Would absolutely go back.
Bax
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by Bax »

Any recommendations for within walking distance of Club/Hotel Congress? We haven't been in ages but are going down for a show in a couple of weeks, and I don't know what's around or what's good these days. Thanks in advance!
Brownie Queen
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by Brownie Queen »

Bax, I like HUB restaurant and Ice Creamery. Haven't been in awhile, but a friend who does many more concerts than i do says it's still good. Have heard good things about Maynards, but it's too seafood focussed for me. (I'm allergic). I also like Reilly Craft pizza a lot.
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BillBuitenhuys
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by BillBuitenhuys »

Bax wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2024 7:43 pm Any recommendations for within walking distance of Club/Hotel Congress? We haven't been in ages but are going down for a show in a couple of weeks, and I don't know what's around or what's good these days. Thanks in advance!
We went for a one-nighter a couple of weeks ago. Had dinner at Charro Steak (just behind the AC Marriott) and it was surprisingly good. Also had numerous beverages at Juniper (gin focused bar) on Congress. :D
In the past we've enjoyed Reilly Pizza (and Tough Luck Club downstairs), Penca, Batch (for a whisky pour and a doughnut).
Bax
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Re: Tucson, AZ

Post by Bax »

Thanks, Bill & "Brownie," for the recommendations. Alas, we did not take any of them -- we ended up at Obon Sushi across the street. 1. It was convenient. 2. We weren't staying the night so I wanted somewhere that I (a light eater) wouldn't have leftovers, but where my hungry husband would get enough to eat. 3. Didn't want anything too heavy, because it was an outdoor show on a warm night. 4. Wanted something relatively quick/easy to eat.

It fit the bill. Nothing exciting to report, but a serviceable meal that fulfilled the above criteria. Surprisingly, our cocktails were probably what we enjoyed most. Looking at the menu it sounded like everything was going to skew super sweet. But I settled on the "Big Apple" which I think they described as a take on a Manhattan with a spiced apple element. My husband got the "Pandam-monium" which had tequila and pandan and tropical flavors but was pretty well-balanced. I'd read some reviews about bad service there, but we were well taken care of. No complaints in that department.

Researching for this trip, I was surprised and pleased at the amount of options these days (Tucson has a gin bar AND a whiskey bar within blocks?). The majority of my time spent in Tucson was in the 90's and I feel like the food options in that part of town were a diner and a Mexican place and not much else. Maybe one of these days we'll be down there on a more leisurely visit and get to try more. I'm intrigued by Coronet/Nightjar, amongst others.
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