- 2513 E. 6th St., Tucson, AZ, 85719
- Overall User Rating:
- (1 rating)
- Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
- Official Web Site:
What we ordered: one sesame Ahi meal ($8.99) and one Kobe beef cheeseburger with fries ($8.99) for a total of $17.98, well short of our Cheap Eats goal of $20 for two people.
Comments: Some of Tucson’s best lunches can be found inside the grocery store. Not in the frozen food aisle, the produce section or the bakery, but somewhere so obvious it’s almost obscure. The delis and salad bars in places like Whole Foods, Sunflower and even Safeway are top notch, offering simple and sometimes gourmet take-away food at discount prices.
But Rincon Market takes the idea of ready-made grocery food a step further. Not only do they have a salad bar and a full-fledged café inside their supermarket, but they have a dozen fishes on request every day, waiting to be cooked up and served for $7.99.
Food: Rincon’s menu is relatively diverse, with fried appetizers à la next-door neighbor Bob Dobb’s on one end, and swordfish on the other. In between, they serve Rueben sandwiches, Kobe beef hamburgers, fish 'n’ chips and more.
Seeing the list of fresh fishes, I was intrigued by the sesame Ahi tuna meal, which can be ordered fully cooked or just seared on the edges and raw inside. I’ve never had lightly seared tuna as the centerpiece of any meal (usually it’s in a salad or sushi, etc.), so I decided to go for it. The meal came with brown rice and a side of garden vegetables, which didn’t exactly fit.
The tuna was distinctly Asian, having been covered (all too liberally) with sesame seeds and marinated in a ginger-wasabi sauce. But the vegetables were seasoned with nothing but butter, and the rice was just a little too heavy for the light flavors of the tuna. Everything on the plate was decent by itself: The broccoli, carrots, squash and cauliflower were well cooked, and the tuna succulent, aside from the fact that the temperature was uneven due to the searing. But all together, they tasted like an upscale buffet dish. (The tray they came on didn’t help.) But even though the meal wasn’t perfect, it was very good for the price I paid. Normally I would expect at least twice as much for seared Ahi tuna.
My lunch partner ordered a Kobe beef cheeseburger, which was flame-broiled like a Whopper, but infinitely classier. It didn’t really have much on it besides lettuce and cheese (he likes his burgers plain), but the beef itself was extremely soft and juicy. The seasoned fries, however, were lukewarm and tasted like they had been sitting out for a long time.
Service: You order and pick up your food at the counter.
Bar: no (they sell wine and beer, but you’re not allowed to drink it on the premises)
Bottom line: I love the idea of Rincon Market’s café, with seating indoors and out, but I haven’t figured out the best thing to order yet. For sandwiches, PJ Subs across the street is most likely preferable, and for bar food, Bob Dobb’s Bar and Grill is next door. But the atmosphere was relaxed and open, and the prices were lean. Next time, I’ll go for the salad bar…