Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars


Tucson Experience


Restaurants & Bars 1

Tucson Experience

freddie | Jun 1, 2004 01:57 PM

Hubby and I headed to Tucson this weekend from Phoenix. We decided to stop for lunch before checking in to the hotel and realized that neither of us had any money! Ooops. Found a branch of our bank in an upscale shopping center at Sunrise and Campbell. There were four restaurants, so we tried Firebirds, a Rocky Mountain Grill. Turns out it is a chain (opening on Arrowhead in Glendale and Chandler Fashion Square). Most everything on the menu had applewood smoked bacon on it. They had a variety of sandwiches, salads and dinners. ( I had a French dip and hubby had chipotle barbeque chicken with a loaded potato. The chicken had the bbq sauce, bacon, cheese, salsa, onions and he said it was awesome. The French dip was on a seeded roll, with lots of lean meat and a side of slaw with a very light dressing and green onions. Very good.

On to the hotel. After relaxing a bit, we headed downtown to El Charro. I must admit this place has lost its appeal for me. The chips were okay, the salsa nothing to speak of. We split the specialty, a chimichanga of carne seca. It was VERY large and came with beans and rice. I thought it was less than okay. I don’t think I will be going back. Next stop was Austen’s on Broadway for ice cream. Again, nothing special. Mary Coyle’s does a much better job.

We started the next day gong to Bobo’s, recommended by a Tucson resident. Bobo’s is on Grant and is a greasy spoon. Seats about 50, plus the counter. No décor to speak of. It was great! There were two waitress, both must have been there forever. They had one gal who did nothing but keep your drinks filled. Take a sip of coffee, and she was there to top it off. The pancakes (one for $2.95, two for $4.25) were huge! One is more than enough. They also had homemade biscuits and gravy, along with the normal breakfast eggs and meats. They said that usually the line is out the door on Sundays. Will definitely go back.

After spending a day a Kitt Peak, we were a little tired, so decided on a restaurant near the hotel on Kolb and Sunrise. Headed out to Piazza Gavi, suggested by a Tucson Chowhound. The menu was upscale and a little pricey, so we went across the street to Gavi. The menu had tons of pasta, chicken, veal and pork dishes. It started with warm rolls and an antipasto of peppers and bowtie pasta. Very yum. Next was salad (included with dinner) with the house dressing of an Italian vinaigrette and mustard. Very good. I had the fettuccine alfredo ($13) and hubby had the special of chicken topped with artichokes, shrimp, ricotta cheese and Swiss cheese ($23). It came with tube pasta and was topped with a rosy crème chipotle sauce. It was a little spicy and kicked up. Both dishes were very good. Everyone was leaving with doggie bags and they had a steady stream of folks coming in for take out. I would recommend this location.

The next morning we headed to Ghini, but it was closed for Memorial Day. We headed down Grant and stopped at the first place we found, the Apple Farm Café. This place was empty, never a good sign. The food was okay and that is being generous. I think I would have like Denny’s better. Not much more to say. It really is hard to mess up breakfast, but they did. And service was terrible. Never filled our drinks, never checked on us. Give it 4 thumbs down. After the other good meals, it was a disappointing end to our trip.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound