DC Chowhounds here. We've been going to Scottsdale for the last few spring breaks. We're mixing it up a bit this year and giving Tucson a look.
Landing on a Saturday in March at 12 Noon. Need a great place for our first taste of mexican/tex-mex/sonoran on our way to the Marriott Starr Pass west of I-10. Must offer sit-down tables and beer. Any suggestions?
Also, would be very interested in a local farmers market that would still be active into the afternoon if there is such a thing.
I will need lunch everyday around this Marriott. Mexican/tex-mex/sonoran all welcomed (which of Mariscos, El Guero, BK Carne, Taqueria Pico de Gallo is nearby?). Great burgers, pizza, etc also welcome (is Zinburger far?).
For dinners, I've planned/reserved the following as what appearrs to be a good representation of Tucson. I also hope none is more than 20 - 25 minutes from Marriott. Let me know if I left out any must-eats. Sat = Cup Cafe, Sun = Feast, Mon = Maynard's Market, Tues = Silver Saddle (I wonder about this one), and Weds = Cafe Poca Cosa.
Be sure to check Yahoo maps to get more accurate details and locations: Zinburger is about 15 miles from the hotel, and can take 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic (tip: don't take Campbell there - take Stone or 1st Ave instead).They are my 4th favorite burger place; #1 is the burger at Monterey Court Cafe, #2 is the Big Boy at Pasco Kitchen, #3 is Maynard's burger.
Cup Cafe, Maynard's, Hub, El Guero, and a Mariscos are all within about 6 miles of the hotel. Daisy Mae's and Cafe a la Cart (at the Tucson Musem) are all close, too.
Check the older threads for the complete lowdown and controversy regarding Mexican/Sonoran in Tucson. I don't think there's any Tex-Mex here. Have fun!
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For dinners, I've planned/reserved the following as what appears to be a good representation of Tucson. I also hope none is more than 20 - 25 minutes from Marriott. Let me know if I left out any must-eats. Sat = Cup Cafe, Sun = Feast, Mon = Maynard's Market, Tues = Silver Saddle (I wonder about this one), and Weds = Cafe Poca Cosa.
The Cup Cafe is downtown and gets pretty high marks all around. I've never been there myself. The construction downtown should be done by the time you get there but, ~25 minutes is probably a bit optimistic.
I went to Feast once and was unimpressed and have never been back. Maynard's Market, I need to try this one sometime.
The Silver Saddle is really nice for a good steak at a moderate price (~$35 range plus drinks). The mesquite imparts a nice flavor to a great cut of meat. The sides are good but average.
Cafe Poca Cosa is well regarded but, I haven't been there in a long time.
The $5 lunch Torta special at BK's is really good.
For everyday lunch 'around this Mariott', you will need to drive at least 12-20 minutes to get to the places listed, Zinburger is more like 30. The Mariott is kind of in the middle of nowhere.
As Claudette said, we don't really do tex-mex here. We do Sonoran.
Your best best for your first lunch (within the parameters you set) is the Mariscos Chihuahua on Grande. Kind of on the way to your place, sit-down, serves beer. The camarones culichi and al mojo de ajo are both fantastic.
I would highly recommend making a lunch or snack stop at Aqui Con El Nene for one of their Sonoran hot dogs - it's a truck, no beer, but very, very good. Also about 11 miles/20+ minutes from the Mariott.
That said, I would not limit myself to only sit-down places that serve beer. Some of our best, hidden gems are tiny places or food trucks run by folks who barely speak English.
Had my anniversary dinner at Maynard's back in April - we liked it a lot. Upscale French bistro fare, a little expensive for Tucson, but tasty.
If you want a great place for breakfast that is a bit out of your driving range (13 miles, 30+ minutes), Poco and Mom's is delicious - New Mexican-style breakfasts, excellent green chile and sour cream green chile sauces. Some of the most flavorful machaca I've found in town.
The Sunny Daze Cafe on the south side (just under 9 miles, about 20 minutes from the Mariott) makes a great, inexpensive breakfast.
The Farmer's Market at St. Phillip's Plaza (River/Campbell, caddy-corner to Zinburger) is most active on Sundays.