What The Hell Are You Eating?

1702 April 30, 2008

Filed under: Pizza — whatthehellareyoueating @ 3:22 pm
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1702 is a newish pizza joint on Speedway next to the Asian Sandwich Deli that I keep forgetting to go to.  Cal and I had been thwarted from dining at 1702 previously due to it being closed on a Tuesday afternoon at 5:30.  We both vowed never to eat there again which is why it took us a month to give it another shot.  This time we showed up around 6:30 in the hopes that we could catch part of the Suns vs. Spurs.

The place was crowded with a mixed bag of patrons.  They were mostly college students, including one idiot with three juggling clubs sticking out of his oversize military surplus bag.  The decor was simple yet comfortable.  There are two huge chalkboards in the corner displaying their vast beer selection.  They’ve got to have one of the best, if not the bes, selection in town.  I’d scarcely heard of most of their options which isn’t a surprise since my favorite beer is still Rolling Rock.  We took the table located directly underneath the chalkboards which proved to be a mistake as near sighted customers were constantly approaching our table and squinting up at the boards.

We started with a few beers.  Cal ordered an Arrogant Bastard, Eric had a Tetley’s Smooth Flow(which delivered just what its name suggested), and I had a curious tasting Agave.  We followed those up with a couple of pitchers of Purple Haze.  The Purple Haze had a slightly mellow, fruity taste which was a great compliment to the heavy, enormous slices we ordered.

Seriously the size of these slices outdoes Brooklyn and possibly Arizona Pizza Company, they approached the size of catcher’s mit used for knuckleballers.  Eric ordered his barometer slice, pepperoni.  He is a long time ranker and tabulator of pizza qualities and in order to maintain a fair and balanced approach he orders the same slice or pie everywhere, straight pepperoni.  He was happy with his slice, which reminded him of our belvoed Papa Keno’s back home in Lawrence, KS.  He wanted me to be sure to mention the individual pizza cutters available on every table.  It was a nice touch, the slices were definitely too big to pick up and eat and using the pizza cutters to slice them into manageable sections was necessary.  I ordered the Italia, which was topped with feta, tomatoes, spinach, garlic and basil.  I can’t say enough about how fresh the toppings were, especially the tomatoes.  Cal went a different route with his standby sausage and garlic.  He ordered a whole pie as an “investment.”

Cal and Eric also ordered wings.  They were baked and therefore terrible.  I’ve yet to eat a baked wing that could even approach a fried wing.  They should really just take these off he menu and add a bread stick or something that they could put through the oven.  Another downside was the service.  It was ridiculously busy and there were only two people serving.  One was a waitress and the other was presumably the owner.  Both of them were friendly but frazzled.  We suspected that they were either short staffed or caught by surprise by a rush.We waited nearly an hour for our food which all came out at the same time.  At one point I saw one of the cooks serving food in his dirty ass apron.  A fellow diner was so hungry she offered Cal five dollars for a slice of his “investment.”  Cal obliged, mostly because I think he was still pissed over how bad the wings were and wanted compensation.  I’m willing to give 1702 the benefit of the doubt in the service area because the waitress and owner were pleasant and working as hard as I’ve ever seen wait staff work.

Over our heads on the immense chalkboard Eric noted a slice and pint lunch special for seven fifty which means he’ll definitely be back for one of his patented “early starts.”  I give 1702 seven and a half slices of pizza bigger than your freaking face.  I’d bump it up to an eight if their wings didn’t taste like poop.

What goes better with pizza, beer or freckles?

Here’s what the retards on the internet think:

“The atmosphere needs some work but the beer makes it worth it.” – Surranna V.

“there’s apparently been some issues with the regularity of hours, but this has apparently been corrected.” – Michael C.

“Ted, being the enthusiastic carnivore that he is, ordered the “Meata” slice” – Tucson Weelky

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Blanco April 22, 2008

Filed under: tacos — whatthehellareyoueating @ 8:42 pm
Tags: , ,

I typically like my tacos, and all Mexican food for that matter, low class.  The best Mexican food is street food, tacos and tortas.  Anything you can eat standing up.  I was a little skeptical of Blanco, not just because it is in La Encantada but because it is a Fox restaurant.  Like North, Sauce, or Montana Avenue Blanco exudes a lot of faux class.  It purports to be upscale but the only thing upscale about this particular joint were its prices and its view.

A margarita sets you back around ten bucks and they are stingy with the tequila.  Still the blood orange margarita I had was tasty.  Abby had a peach and hibiscus margarita and it was a slightly better mix.  The bite of tequila was curiously missing from both however.  A black and blue mojito that everyone seemed to enjoy was passed around the table as well.  Aside from Frank it was the gayest thing at the table. 

The early highlight of the meal were the chips and salsa.  The chips were fresh and hot and the salsa was tasty but lacking heat.  I have to say, however, if the complimentary chips and salsa are high points, something might be wrong with your menu.  I also ordered a guacamole.  It tasted as though the avocados weren’t quite ripe.  Cal ordered a queso crisp that came covered with braised pork and avocado.  If you go there with your twelve year old nephew, this is what he would order.

I had the red chile chicken enchiladas, which while tasty, were nothing special.  The chicken was barely detectable through the thick sauce and totally lacked any kick whatsoever.  The beans and rice proved better than most, especially the rice which was mixed with cilantro, corn and mexican crema.  Josh’s cheese enchiladas appeared to be the way to go.  After realizing he’d forgotten one of them on the table he almost walked all the way back up the stairs and into the restaurant before the desire to just leave overpowered him. 

Abby and Cal both had the fish tacos.  Abby declared them “meh.”  Cal said they were great but I’m starting to realize Cal likes everything he eats.  From the other end of the table I heard some complaints of low sizzle out of the people who ordered the fajitas.  Isn’t that the whole point with fajitas, that you get that stupid cast iron plate so you can hear them still sizzling?  Bill also detected the obvious inclusion of A-1 sauce on his steak fajitas.  C’mon Blanco, you can do better than that.  It was also reported that Matt got extremely sick the next morning.

Everyone had a good time, though and we saw a brilliant sunset.  The worst part of the meal was when the check came and we realized that all ten of us had ran up a bill of 400 dollars.  Boo.

I give Blanco six and a half bland tacos.  Blanco is Spanish for white, so expect to be underwhelmed.

 

Here’s what the A-holes on the internet say:

“And the service? ” – J. Louise R.

LOS BETOS.” – Pablo M.

“If you’re not a little paranoid while walking to your car, the meal probably wasn’t that good.” – Aztex 9

 

Bisonwitches April 14, 2008

Filed under: Sandwiches — whatthehellareyoueating @ 2:57 pm
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I have to admit to not being all that impressed with Bisonwitches.  I knew all about it before I moved here because they have a sister restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas named Quinton’s which was established before the poorly named Bisonwitches.  I don’t care how much Bisonwitches sounds like Buy Sandwiches.  It’s stupid.  I don’t even feel like delivering a bunch of specifics about the place.  Here’s all you need to know:  Get the soup.

I give Bisonwitches four overstuffed crappy sandwiches.

If you weren’t already dissuaded from going there I found this on their website.  It’s CJ, Bisonwitches “Babe of the Month” though it looks as though this “service” may be discontinued since she’s October ’06.

Here’s what the idiots on the internet are saying:

“The crowd usually gets way to fratty though after 10pm though” – Michael S.

“Bread is iffy – thick slices with not-so-great tasting crust.” – JC

“I love their jello shots, bread soup bowls” – Drea K.

“The annoying sorority girl waitresses also suck.” – Danny M.

 

Barrio Brewing Co. April 8, 2008

Filed under: Brewery,Burgers — whatthehellareyoueating @ 10:19 pm
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If you\'re not drinking Microbrew, you\'re nothing.

Are you this cool?

 

Barrio Brewing is located at 16th and Toole just a block North of the 17th Street Market.  A long narrow patio extends the front of the converted warehouse displaying a nice view of some of the best industrial Tucson has to offer.  Inside, Barrio is clean and hospitable with all the amenities one might look for in a bar to get a drink or watch a game.  Upon my first visit I was skeptical about their beer.  I haven’t been into microbrews since my favorite band was the Archers of Loaf.

On my first visit, I ordered the fish tacos, Cal got the tequila lime wings, and Valarie had a hamburger.  My fish tacos came with flavorless beans and a lame salad garnish.  The fish was fried which usually overpowers the other ingredients.  Case in point with Barrio’s fish tacos, I might as well have ordered fish sticks and brought them home to share with my nephew.  V’s hamburger was acceptable but with a side order of rather floppy fries the dish also missed.  The only winner was Cal’s wings which featured only hints of both tequila and cilantro.  They bordered on sublime.  The real star of the night though was the beer, I got stuck on the Tucson Blonde which, after three or four, rendered me useless at shuffleboard.

On my second visit, my brother Eric and I sampled all of their beers.  It cost 8.50 for a two once glass of everything they had on tap.  It was worth it seeing how we downed them as fast as we could causing an odd buzz after such a small amount of beer.  The beers ranged from amazing (Tucson Blonde, Copperhead Pale Ale, Nut Brown) to what the fuck is that (Stoops Oatmeal Stout, Nolan Porter).  There is also Taylor Jayne’s Raspberry Ale which had an unmistakable of Smurfberries.  My brother is somehow too young to remember Smurfberries and he thought the aftertate was Cap’n Crunch Oops All Berries.  A tasty but inferior product.

I ordered the said raspberry ale making sure to pronounce the word “rasp” berrry just in case our weird looking waitress found it amusing. (she didn’t) and Eric had a Tucson Blonde.  I went with the Althea, a turkey sandwich with guacamole and red pepper cream cheese on wheat.  Eric ordered the Southwestern burger with pepper jack and green chile.  We also ordered the Wicked Hot Habanero Buffalo Wings.

Eric’s Southwestern burger came out looking more like a Diane (mushrooms, swiss) which he confirmed by stick his finger into the burger and digging around for a mushroom. (our aplogies to whomever ordered that Diane)  It was soon replaced with the correct burger, hopefully someone’s finger hadn’t been jammed in that one.  It didn’t make much difference as the burger was a turd from start to finish.  The bun failed to live up to a bun’s responsibilities somehow mananging to soak up the worst of the burger and still be too doughy.  It pretty much fell apart by the time he was done.  My turkey sandwich was uninspired at best.  The guacamole was absent and the red pepper cream cheese didn’t have any pop.  The turkey breast was shaved deli meat.  The worst was the bread.  It was billed as wheat but had all the look and taste of white.  That really wasn’t the problem however as with each bite I took more of the bread disintigrated.  I had to order an extra beer just to choke it down. (that’s where they get you)  The wings however, were a revelation.  They were, in fact, wicked hot.  Both of us had tears in our eyes as we finished off the order with a pair of wings that had been soaking in the potent sauce.  Then, per usual (allergies), I rubbed my eye and had to go to the bath room to flush it out.  I have to say, these wings may be the best in town.

If you just want some wings and beer, it may be hard to beat Barrio.  But if you want something to eat go somewhere else and hit up Barrio later for a cold brew . 

I give Barrio six and a half little cups of ranch to go with their killer wings.

 

Here’s what the internet says:

“The crowd on the Sunday afternoon when we visited was a mixed bag” – Rita Connelly, Tucson Weekly

“It was sort of like those disaster movies where the sick passenger is whisked off the plane and driven at high speed right to the emergency room” – Vin F.

“God bless this place. ” – Adam S.

“Super! Now we have another place to drink Gentle Ben’s nasty microbrew beer.” – Justin C.

 

Bob Dobbs April 4, 2008

Filed under: Burgers — whatthehellareyoueating @ 4:35 am
Tags: , , ,

If you ask a lot of people in this town where to get a good burger they will tell you Fuddruckers.  These people are idiots.  I’m not yet willing to designate any burger Tucson’s best but I can tell you it sure as shit isn’t Fuddruckers.  Any burger that makes my stomach feel like a mother badger defending her nest from the terrible food I’ve just eaten so consistently has no business being in the talks for best burger in town.

 

A burger that does desrve consideration is served at Bob Dobbs at 6th and Tucson next to Rincon Market.  Bob Dobbs serves only two different burgers, the double Bob and the Connie, with cheese.  It was refreshing to see they didn’t offer a “Southwestern” (pepper jack cheese maybe a green chili) a “Western” (barbecue sauce and bacon) or a “California” (avocado).  A good burger should be able to stand alone with no condiments.  Only a inferior burger needs to be bolstered by condiments beyond catsup or mustard.  I had a Connie while Cal opted for the Bob.  Both were delicious.  The burgers were prepared to our specifications, medium for me and medium rare for Cal.  Most places in town can’t even prepare a steak to your specifications let alone a burger so Bob Dobbs scores huge points there.  The buns to were a plus, spongy enough to withstand the liberal amount of mustard I applied to the burger (and, as I later realized, my pants).  We also ordered cheese sticks and wings which came out first with our beer.  They had a decent selection on tap, not great but acceptable.  The wings were average, only finished because we were hungry, the cheese sticks were a big dissapointment, they weren’t hot.  I suspect they were finished first and sat while our wings were finished.  Nothing’s worse than a lukewarm cheese stick.

Bob Dobbs is a good neighborhood bar, with two comfortable patios on either side of the entrance.  Cal and I sat inside so we could watch the new Diamond Backs starter, Dan Haren, throw a few good innings.  The interior of Bob Dobbs is littered with graffitit on the tables and walls sporting some of the best (worst) lines bored Tusconans have to offer.  It was easy to spot the many regulars from their rapport with the staff.

The highlight of the meal was not the burgers.  It was another diner whom I dubbed Coked Up Frasier.  He was holding court at the bar, loudly in his shabby business suit and bad tie.  His balding pate was beaded with sweat and, at one point, seized the opportunity to crank the sound systems speakers as Dancing Queen from Abba spewed forth.  Later just after finishing our first beers we heard him yell, to the entire bar, “I BET SHE SUCKS DICK LIKE A VACCUUM CLEANER!!!”  No laughter, no applause, just awkward look aways from his companions and sideways glances from the rest of us.

 

I give Bob Dobbs eight drunk business men.  With their burgers alone, they could have challanged for a ten but the cold cheese sticks and merely average wings hold it back.  I tried to find some pictures of drunk businessmen but all I got were Japanese guys and one picture of Jeremy Piven.  Who knew Google was so racist?  All queries for Bob Dobbs images turned up photos of Lou Dobbs like this casual shot:

 

bob-dobbs.jpg

 

Anyway, here’s what they’re saying on the internet:

 

“Mind you I’m practically a vegetarian.  It’s just the kind of place where you feel compelled to have a burger and a beer.” – Sarah K.

 

“The beer selection is pretty average and the bartenders never seem to know how to make a ladies drink.” – Eric D.

 

“It is also a bar.” – Cindy J.