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Returning to Tucson for 4 days after 20 years

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My family is from Tuscon way back in the day. My mothers family moved there in the 50's, my dad in the 70's, and my brother and I were both born there. So we know Tucson. Now, however, we are going back to visit my grandmother and staying at the Omni National Resort, and its in a part of town that wasn't town when we lived there! Casa Adobes / Oro Valley / Marana area.

I need help! We are now a pretty urban crew, my parents live in Europe, I live in DC, and my brother, well he is in Phoenix but you can't win them all. We do love our crappy greasy Mexican food (Molinas is a family favorite and I see there is El Molinito near to the hotel), but I would also love to introduce them all to the newer, fresher, style of Mexican cuisine. We used to love going to Pinnacle Peak or El Corral for steak -- are there any old style steakhouses that way or are they all chain / upscale?

I also have a 4 month old daughter, so nothing too fancy, she will be coming with us everywhere.

We arrive Wednesday midday and leave Sunday midday. Looking for 2 nice dinners and some quick and easy lunch spots.

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  1. PP and El Corral are still the same (no more cowgirl steaks for $6.95 though) There are a bunch of new high end Mexican joints but I still stick with the Molinas, and the old places in South Tucson and Leruas on Bdwy near Campbell. Tucson has changed alot but it's still the same town in many ways. I left in '79 but still return for visits, I show up in The Old Pueblo about 3 times a year these days.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

      On the same general side of town, Theresa's Mosaic Cafe's menu reminds me the most of the old-style Sonoran Mexican restaurants where I developed a taste for Sonoran food as a kid.

      1. re: EWSflash

        I'll try it some day, but I read comments from customers that the servers were arrogant. I can't handle that. Did you experience that?

        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

          I've only been there twice, on very crowded Saturday nights, but don't recall anything even approaching arrogance from the staff.

          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

            We had a very opposite experience when we ate there 3 times last feb. servers were wonderful and by the third trip remembered our preferences.

      2. That area is pretty built up and urban. The economic slowdown has also taken it's toll on a lot of "family" restaurants. Only the chains seem to have the staying power to hang on in many places.

        BK's on South 6th is really nice and you have all the places around downtown Tucson. The thread below this one has some good recommendations in it too.