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Apr 23, 2008 08:00 AM

Tucson birthday dinner for 17 year old

We are visiting Tucson and it is our son's 17th birthday today. Where's a fun spot for a good dinner? We are staying at Westward Look. Are any of the "Cowboy" steak houses any good, such as Pinnacle Peak or El Corral, or just touristy? Good Mexican would also fit the bill. Would appreciate the local's advice. Thanks

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  1. Assuming you have a car, the best place to take your son is Cafe Poca Cosa which is downtown. You'll never experience Mexican food like this. It will be a bit of a drive, ~20 minutes but it will be well worth it. The chef/owner changes her menu everyday. I highly recommend the Plato Poca Cosa, which gives you a sampling of 3 items off the menu. If you go with a group and all get the plato, you will get a good sampling of all the menu items.

    If you are looking for something a little closer to where you are staying you have multiple options. For Italian I recommend Tavolino, great rustic Italian food. For American Bistro style you can go to Wildflower. There specials are usually really good, especially the fish special. You are also close to Terra Cotta, which specializes in southwest food, however since the fire they haven't been as good as they used to be.

    When it come right down to it though, I can't say enough about Poca Cosa. It is a Tucson institution, and has been written about numerous times on this site. Like I said you will never have Mexican food like this anywhere else.

    1. Respectfully, I think I disagree with bluedevil33. All of the referenced restaurants are very good--Poca Cosa is wonderful, Wildflower always good, Tavolino a find and Terra Cotta usually fine--and I don't know your son, but I'm not sure any of them will "wow" a 17 year old.

      If you want to go all out and your son is a steak eater, try Fleming's, about 10 minutes from your hotel. My 15 year old daughter still talks about the night we took her and a friend. It's very expensive ($240 for 4, with one martini and no wine), but the steaks are great, as are the sides, and it's certainly special.

      Pinnacle Peak/El Corral are really average. Other good steak places that are a bit fun are Hifalutin" (reasonable), on Oracle about 10 minutes from your hotel, or Little Abners (more expensive, but simple and not in Fleming's league), at 8701 N. Silverbell, about 20 minutes from your hotel. I haven't been to Little Abners in years, but it was always good, fun and more authentic than Pinnacle Peak of El Corral.

      Happy Birthday.

      1. Thanks all - we just had a great dinner at Poca Cosa. Great advice.