- 6464 E. Tanque Verde, Tucson, AZ, 85715
- Overall User Rating:
- (3 ratings)
- Mon.-Wed. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thu. 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Official Web Site:
What we ordered: one plate of fish and chips ($9.95) and one Nimbus burger with cheese ($9) for a total of $18.95 before tax and tip.
Comments: Nimbus has always been much more than just a bar, but it wasn’t until recently that it became a block party.
The new Nimbus American Bistro and Brewery, which was co-operated by Bob McMahon of Metro Restaurants until March, is an East Side behemoth. It’s neither dank nor bar-like as the original South Side location was when it first opened. It’s family friendly, eclectic, upbeat and—I hate to say it—corporate.
On a recent Friday night, the space was packed with older men, families, yuppies and East Siders, all eating bar foods and jamming out to an insanely loud classic rock band. It probably didn’t matter that we were seated near the stage—I can’t imagine a quiet corner in the house.
Having been to the building’s predecessor, Italia, the space itself is vastly improved. (It might be because there were people in it this time, though.) The former bar area is less sectioned off than it was, and the old main dining room space is peppered with amusing and genuinely high-brow paintings of anthropomorphic monkeys. (Daniel Martin Diaz, a local painter of religious mysticism, did the wall art.)
Food: In addition to the regular American bar foods, the menu’s got Sonoran hot dogs, fish tacos, English pub foods and an intriguing fried Bologna sandwich, “seldom found west of the Mississippi.”
I wanted to order something that was cooked in their famous beer, though, so I tried the pale ale-battered fish and chips. The cod, which had been cut into three small, ball-like pieces and fried to perfection, was paired with crinkle-cut fries and an adequately saucy coleslaw. If anything, I would have preferred more fish and less fries, but the plate itself was pretty big.
I appreciate the attempt at an international menu, but it sucked that it had to come at the expense of their burger selection. As of now, they only have one cheeseburger and no specialty burgers. The burger itself was extremely good, though: The juicy meat was cooked to a delicate medium-rare, then plopped inside a tasty whole-wheat bun. Just as good were the tumbleweed onions, a heap of onions fried so thin that you could only taste the onion’s essence. The texture was dominated by crisp, stringy threads of batter.
Service: Our server was actually very good, despite the fact that he had to scream everything over the music.
Bar: They have a full bar, with 28 beers on tap, 130 bottled beers and approximately 80 wines. They usually have seven or eight of their own beers (either $3.50 or $4.50) on tap.
Bottom line: It’s great to have a decent family restaurant that satisfies both daddy and baby’s cravings at the same time. But for twenty-somethings, the “family” vibe might be a little off-putting. In order to make it work, you might need to consume at least a couple drinks, either on or off the premises. Just remember to bring a designated driver!