- 3143 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ, 85716
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 12 a.m.), Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m. (food until 10 p.m.)
- Official Web Site:
What was ordered: Cajun wings ($5.50), mushroom-Swiss burger ($6.50), Southwestern burger ($6.50), green onion and sour cream fries ($1.25) for a total of $19.75, just under our Cheap Eats goal of $20 for two.
Comments: It’s rumored that the infamous Bobcat Goldthwait, voice of the foulmouthed rabbit puppet Mr. Floppy from the ‘90s sitcom “Unhappily Ever After,” hung out at the Red Garter Bar and Grill when he came here to speak at the Loft Cinema in 2007. It's believable—because of its cheeky name and close vicinity to the art theater, The Red Garter seems a perfect fit for B-level celebrities and pulp stars.
The wood-paneled bar and pool room boast a large selection of draft beers as well as a cheap but creative bar menu. (You can sit on the large patio, too.) If you don’t feel like barbecue wings, choose the Cajun. If you want fries, there are four different types. The menu also includes a range of burgers, sandwiches, fried delicacies and miscellaneous bar snacks.
On a recent evening, we started off with a dozen Cajun wings for $5.50. The mix of drumsticks and wings was covered in black and red pepper flakes. They tasted spicy and delicious, but neither we nor the server could discern exactly what made them Cajun. She claimed they were covered in “Cajun” spices, but didn’t say what those were. To us, they tasted like peppery hot wings.
Most of the flavors on this menu turned out to be more subtle than originally expected, and thus a tad over-hyped. This was the case with the green onion and sour cream fries ($2.95, or $1.25 with a sandwich or burger). I could barely taste the creamy chive flavor, but the fries were well-done nonetheless. They were cut in long, thin strips and then seasoned and fried to perfect crispness.
The fries paired extremely well with our two burgers: the Southwestern covered with green chilies and Monterey jack cheese, and the mushroom-Swiss burger on a sesame seed bun.
The gigantic slabs of meat came with a load of onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a pickle, and were almost too big to put your mouth around. As far as burgers go, they were on the large side of pretty standard. The ingredients were good, but there was a little something missing from the overall product. While they had bent over backwards to spice their wings and fries in seemingly innovative ways, they hadn’t taken the trouble to spice their hamburger meat. The hunking burger, with loads of toppings and vegetables, was actually kind of bland. All those vegetarian pulp stars who blow through the place may relish in this news, but it kind of sucks for the rest of us. Oh well, beef is beef. I wonder what Bobcat might have thought…
Service: If you order food, you get friendly service at your table.
Bottom line: This is a cool place to drink, play pool, celebrity hunt and eat. The space, with wood-paneled walls and vintage beer mirrors, has that throwback, homey look. And, just like at home, you can watch the game on TV.