Ask five random Tucsonans where Charlie’s Tavern is located, and many would give you a puzzled look in response. This was the same reaction I had a few weeks ago when a friend mentioned we should meet there for lunch. Little did I know, my lack of knowledge of this charming restaurant was something I was gravely missing out on.
Charlie’s Tavern is located at 3412 North Dodge Boulevard, nestled between the chaotic construction of River Road and Fort Lowell. With separate areas for both the tavern side, as well as a smoke-free restaurant, it is tucked in off the road and very inconspicuous from the outside, despite good signage. Inside, cherry wood tables meet charming western décor in surprising elegance, and floor to ceiling glass separating the two sections well. The bar side even boasts eight big screen and flat screen televisions, perfect for catching a beer and the game with buddies.
And the food is excellent, as well. With Americana fare meeting Southwestern flare, the folks at Charlie’s sure know how to cook. From steaks and burgers (the Charlie Burger has to be one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, $5.75) to salads and seafood, their menu encompasses a wide variety of options. But the true gem of Charlie’s Tavern is their famous pizzas. I’ll even admit to sending the boyfriend out for one on his way home. They’re that good. (Try the Belle Starr: chicken, bacon, jalapenos, tomato, and cheddar, $13.95 for a small.) Pricing is very reasonable as well, about what you would find at a chain restaurant with far better quality and amazing service from the staff.
Some excellent examples from their menu include:
– The Lola Montez Pizza: Pesto, sun dried tomato, artichoke hearts, and red onion pizza.
– The Mustang Stuffed Steak: 10 oz top sirloin baseball cut Flat Iron steak stuffed with whole green chili with roasted garlic, chorizo, and feta.
– The Singing Cowboy Salad: Turkey breast, apple, walnuts, cheddar cheese, shredded carrots, and shredded red cabbage, served on a bed of greens with tomato, cucumbers, and red onion.
– The Barn Raiser Pizza: BBQ sauce topped with mesquite grilled chicken, sliced fried potato skins, thin tender strips of tri-tip, onion, mushrooms, and cheddar on a pizza crust.
Per Charlie’s take-out menu, they also have specials on Tuesday and Friday nights. A daily lunch special is also available.
Located at: 3412 North Dodge Boulevard, Tucson, AZ. Take-out also available. 5201-795-TOGO or visit them online at www.charliestavernandgrill.com