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Dec 27, 2007 04:29 AM

Tucson Mexican food

Although I grew up in Tucson, I have not been there for many years. Would like to go for a uniquely "Tucson" Mexican lunch. Any location is fine, including South Tucson. Thanks for your help, and can't wait to return even if only for a few days. While I'm asking, how about great steak? We used to love Pinnacle Peak!

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  1. Well, you can obviously go to El Charro (especially the downtown location) for some carne seca. I also enjoy Casuelita's in south Tucson where they make the guacamole fresh at your table.

    1. Poca Cosa. It's moved down the street to a great new spot.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Claudette

        For lunch, we often prefer Little Poca Cosa to its big sister. Especially for the barbacoa. They also have moved, near the federal building downtown.

        1. re: Claudette

          so much construction we couldn't find the restaurant and they didn't answer the phone. With all the out of business storefronts we just assumed they were out of business too. I guess we gave up too fast. make sure you call and get the right address before you go. Meanwhile, we hiked all around and through the construction zone to the Hotel Congress restauramt on Congress Street. It's not Mexican/ Southwestern; it's more modern eclectic food in a historic building. DEfinitely worth a visit. Save room for their great chocolatety baked goods too.

          1. re: headmouth

            They don't have a phone installed at Little Poca Cosa. Just head south on stone into downtown (it's a one way street going south) and it's on the right hand side.

        2. my favorite place always has and always will be Pico de Gallo. It's on south 6th ave @ 35th or 36th st. They have amazing carne asada and the best beans ever. Plus if you're lucky they'll have their green corn tamales that are the best I've ever had!

          1. Pinnacle Peak is still there, and they still pretty much serve the same steak, and cut off the same ties. Their price has gone up a bit in the last few years, but it's still inexpensive. Tucson has evolved an up-scale set of steak houses as well, my favorite of which is McMahons. OK Corral and El Corral are still around, as well, as are most of the other classic Tucson steak joints.

            1. Mi Nidito, in South Tucson, has (imo) the best Mexican food in Tucson, and among the best in the state (or world ;-) The birria plate is a revelation, but really, you can't go far wrong here. Try to go at off hours, or be ready for a wait. Not to be missed.

              Happy eating,
              Pete Tillman, ex-Tucson resident

              10 Replies
              1. re: Tillman


                Do you remember if they served Carne Seca?

                1. re: Seth Chadwick

                  Yes, they do have carne seca there.

                  Bill Clinton had much better taste (and a much bigger appetite) than Bush did as far as Mexican restaurants in Arizona. Bush had enchiladas with rice and beans at Tee Pee here in Phoenix; Clinton ate about half the menu at Mi Nidito, getting a bean tostada, birria taco, chile relleno, chicken enchilada, and a beef tamale. So now, both places offer their respective VIPs' dinners as a Presidential Special. I've had Mi Nidito's presidential platter and was very, very pleased with it. Definitely split a mango chimichanga with someone for dessert should you go. I almost got one for myself, but when they brought it out I was glad I decided to share it.

                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                    Thanks, JK. Dave and Neil want to go to Tucson to see San Xavier del Bac so I am trying to plan a place for lunch and that seems to fit the bill.

                    1. re: Seth Chadwick

                      Ya know, I lived down there for five years and never made it out to San Xavier Del Bac. You'll love Mi Nidito, I know you will. I'd be tempted to do the Little Poca Cosa for lunch, then Mi Nidito for dinner, though. Poca Cosa... the pollo en mole, oh dear god, the pollo en mole... Poca Cosa completely spoiled me on mole, I have yet to find one that comes even CLOSE to the one there.

                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                        I'm going to miss my bi-monthly trip to Little Poca Cosa... *sigh* -- working down near Rita Ranch is going to suck, culinarily speaking. :/

                      2. re: Seth Chadwick

                        Seth, you should have a green-chile fry-bread taco at San Xavier-- there's almost always someone cooking, at the stands on the east side of the parking lot. Always good -- sometimes superb. BYOB (or whatever you like to drink -- they do sell sodas. Not to be missed. trust me.

                        Happy eating--
                        Pete Tillman

                        1. re: Tillman

                          Thanks, Pete. I will remember that! I remember those stands there, but never stopped to get something. Now I will remember to try.

                      3. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                        WTF was up with Tee Pee, unless those were the only republican Mexican restaurant owners in town...I went once with coworkers and was entirely unimpressed.

                        1. re: ibsulon

                          People who grew up with it swear by it, newcomers find it dull. It's highly likely that someone close to Bush who lives in town has been going there since they were in diapers.

                          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                            It's been over ten years since I went to the Tee Pee. I remember thinking, at the time, that one of the advantages of being male, is that you could possibly use a bathroom without actually stepping inside of it.