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Lil Abners Tucson

mjtx Nov 12, 2007 10:32 AM

Our daughter and her family live in Tucson and when we were talking to a business acquaintance he was amazed that we had never heard of nor eated at Lil Abners. We will be going out to Tucson soon and would like some information about Lil Abners. I tried to find a website for it but couldn't find one. Being from Texas we are always on the lookout for good barbecue when we travel.

  1. j
    Jase Nov 13, 2007 03:49 PM

    Lil Abner's is a fun experience. It's definitely more of a steak place and not bbq. Mind you, my opinion is tinged by nostalgia. I've been going there once a year for 20 years as part of my annual visit to a close friend. The steak dinner there was a visit ritual. It's very down home and casual. They used to not have menus and would verbally ask if you wanted the 1lb, 2lb steak, chicken or rib. Sitting outside under the stars while listening to the great band on weekends was an experience. And I'm not even a big country music fan.

    But I'd have to concur with werewolf about the change in surroundings. Although still fun, you no longer feel like you're out in the middle of nowhere. Looking up past the stage, you see the cookie cutter houses instead of dark dessert.

    My friend moved away this year and as of last year the steaks were still decent. I never thought they were the greatest and it could be inconsistent with some pieces having gristle. I returned one, once or twice. But they were always nice about it.

    I'd still rank the steak above chain places like outback but it's certainly no morton's or ruth's chris. It was always cooked well over the open pit to the right doneness. Combined with the atmoshpere, well worth it to me. Even when we first started going ther back in college and it was $25 for a steak, a huge expense for all us starving students, we all gladly paid it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jase
      mjtx Nov 14, 2007 04:52 AM

      Is it appropriate for our grandchildren (14,10, & 5 ) or is it more of an adult restaurant? How does it compare to El Corral?

      1. re: mjtx
        Jase Nov 14, 2007 04:38 PM

        I've never been to El Corral. But Lil Abner's is fine for your grandkids. It's a very casual place and I see families with kids there all the time. You're eating on picnic tables underneath the stars, very relaxed. Make reservations though, they get busy.

        1. re: Jase
          werewolf Nov 15, 2007 07:47 AM

          I've never been to El Corral either. It's said to be very good. The kids will probably like L'il Abner's better than you will - the giant fire, the rustic furnishings...

          1. re: werewolf
            mjtx Nov 15, 2007 12:38 PM

            El Corral isn't gourmet, but they serve a nice meal at reasonable prices and it's family friendly. Our grandchildren like Prime Rib so we can take the whole family and not break the bank. Also, they offer child portions of Prime Rib and ribs so children have a choice other than chicken fingers or hamburgers (those are choices, too, if they prefer chicken fingers or hamburgers!)

    2. ajs228 Nov 12, 2007 10:39 AM

      I used to drive by Lil' Abners all the time when I lived in Tucson, but never ate there. I did stop once, though, to take a look around. From what I remember, there was a large outdoor fire pit/grill behind the restaurant with picnic tables spread around it. Inside, the place had a very rustic feel to it. I think the menu was mostly steaks, BBQ, chicken...things like that. This was all about 5-6 years ago. Hope it helps.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ajs228
        lawyerbriefs Nov 12, 2007 12:37 PM

        I haven't been in years, and am happy to be corrected. That disclaimer offered, it's really a steak and chicken place. I think there are three or four steaks, a half chicken and beef ribs. Everything comes with a salad and beans, and you can order a baked potato. (This just in: details confirmed by my secretary!) It's a fun place, and not fancy.

        1. re: lawyerbriefs
          werewolf Nov 12, 2007 08:03 PM

          Li'l Abner's used to be fantastic, and it used to be out there on a dirt road all alone in the desert. Now suburbia has grown all around it, and it isn't great anymore either. Wuz last there about three months ago. The steak was mediocre.

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