Showing posts with label Tucson AZ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tucson AZ. Show all posts


Cayton’s Burger Bistro – Tucson

Days: Daily (except Mondays when Cayton’s is closed this summer) 
Times: 3-6pm 
Food Deals: 2 Half-Price Appetizers 
Drink Deals: Half-Off Select Beers and Wines 
Parking: Free lot 


Drink Up! Cool desert resort bar, right off the golf course with good food and beverage! 

Spill the Wine: Happy Hour food and drink selections are somewhat limited (my guess is because most guests don’t visit this out of the way spot for Happy Hour!) 

Up on Dove Mountain...

Picking right back up where we started from (cue the Maxine Nightingale), JB last left off at the Lodge in Tucson, with its kick-ass comfortable Happy Hour. The next day, the crew and I headed to Cayton’s Burger Bistro at the Ritz Carlton’s Dove Mountain resort. With its wide open desert spaces, Tucson is ripe for these sorts of resorts – sprawling estates packed with several bars/restaurants, golf courses, and more! Some of the bars often feature Happy Hour (like Primo at the JW Marriott Starr Pass), but they’re not always easy to find on the expansive property. Be prepared to ask the dude at the resort check-in for explicit directions! 

Cayton's is basically a 19th Hole on the Golf Course. 
So it was in the spirit of Wild West Happy Hour adventures that we headed to Dove Mountain to see how the other half lives. Okay, the other 10%. Okay, the other 1% :). And Cayton’s is a great place to see it – they’re essentially a 19th hole on the golf course. You know – a place where you can pour yourself out of the golf cart and enjoy some cocktails with your golf-mates/drinking buddies. It’s recently changed from a steakhouse to a burger joint, which makes total sense. I’m not a golfer (or a meat-eater!), but using my imagination here – I can’t imagine it would be fun to eat a large steak after a day in the hot sun. Easy-breezy burger, drinks, fries – yes! An Old 96-er? (because I compare everything in life to THE GREAT OUTDOORS) – no! 

Panoramic Desert Views from inside Cayton's
Upon arrival, we grabbed a seat in the restaurant in the dining room with a great panoramic view of the desert golf course (Happy Hour is served everywhere). Other diners included rather intoxicated golfers with the most colorful stories… “I was in the south once. Some of those folks still call it the War of Northern Aggression.” 

The good news was that the golfers were having such a good time that we didn’t feel bad for bringing a baby in the bar, hehe! Also helping baby matters was the awesome Ladies Room – outfitted with a nice seating/nursing area and shower stalls (cos who wants to go to Happy Hour sweaty after playing 18 holes?! Not this non-golfer!). 

Inside the bar and restaurant

Given that the bar caters to such an “other half” clientele, we weren’t shocked when the restaurant didn’t quite have its Happy Hour altogether. The website lists 8 appetizers without prices as part of their Happy Hour menu, but when we arrived, we discovered that only 2 of the items were discounted during HH. We of course ordered those items: 

  The Sonoran Quesadilla ($5) 

and the Chili Lime Dusted Potato Chips ($5)

Those were fine, but we were still hungry so we made a dinner of the night with several non-HH menu items: – Loaded Tater Tots ($11), the Veggie “Greek Burger” ($11), the Crab Cake “Burger” ($14), and orders of Hand Cut Fries ($5) and Onion Rings ($5). For dessert (because yes, dessert is the 5th food group or at the top of the food pyramid, or whatever they’re teaching kids now) – we shared Cayton’s doughnuts – a tower of sourdough doughnuts served with fondue dipping sauces. 
Loaded Tater Tots ($11) 
 Veggie "Greek Burger" ($11) with Hand Cut Fries ($5) and Onion Rings ($5)

Cayton's Doughnuts ($7)

Luckily, select beers and wines are half-priced during Happy Hour; the beer list is a good one featuring plenty of local brews and the wine list is okay too. And also luckily, our server was pretty great. He treated me to a local Tucson beer flight for half-price (normally $10, half-price at $5) though it wasn’t on the HH menu, and automatically split our burgers into quarters so we could more easily enjoy them individually. Plus he was way cute. Bon appétit! 

Tucson Beer Flight (normally $10)!

Given the resort’s remote location, the bar’s Happy Hour Tour quotient is low, meaning that you visit Cayton’s and you will not be making any other Happy Hours for that night. But that’s okay because if you don’t mind paying for the “experience,” you can have a fab dinner with half-price beer and wine. And I’m always okay with that! 

The Tucson Happy Hour Tour Crew!

Cayton’s Burger Bistro 
Neighborhood: Marana 

Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain 
15000 North Secret Springs Drive 
Marana, Arizona 85658 
(520) 572-3000


The Lodge – Tucson

Days: Daily
Times: 4-7pm
Food Deals: ½ Price Appetizers
Drink Deals: $3 Beer, Wine, and Sangria


Drink Up! - Terrifically priced Happy Hour food and drink at “Great Outdoors” style-sportsbar.

Spill the Wine – The Sasquatch statues might be scary? LOL!


On the road again! My travels continued down in Tucson, AZ, where some of my best friends on the planet hosted me! This visit truly made me appreciate baby-friendly bars – I guess that starts to happen when your friends have kids because yes, we totally re-enacted the SWEET HOME ALABAMA scene, “you have a baby… in a bar?!”

For our first Tucson stop, our party of 1 dad, 2 moms, 1 might-as-well-be-aunt, and 2 babies visited The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen in the north part of town. The Lodge is a locally owned great-outdoors-themed sports bar and we were immediately struck by the accommodating staff – seating us on their large sofa that made it easy and comfortable to hold the babies. The staff also changed the channels to a different game (without any guff!), and cleaned up the floor when a glass was inadvertently broken (not my fault, I promise ;).

Da Bar!

Happy Hour is served in the bar area from 4-7 daily and features $3 drinks, half-price appetizers, or combos - $6 Burger + a Beer or $6 Pound and a Pint, as well as daily deals like:
  • Monday Madness - $2 domestic bottles and $3 shots;
  • 2-Dollar Tuesdays - $2 draft beers
  • Whiskey Wednesdays - $3 Jack Daniels and Fireballs or a $6 Stimulus Package (PBR, Whiskey shot, and Cigarette)
  • 2-for-1 Thursday - all drinks are 2 for 1; and
  • Sunday Funday -- $3 Dos Equis (or $14 buckets), and $6 Deer and Beer (Casadores Tequila + a beer)
(clockwise from top left):
White Sangria ($3); Lodge Brew ($3); and Backwoods Mule ($6)

We happened by on a Saturday, so stuck with the exceptional Happy Hour Menu. We tried the $3 White Sangria, the $3 Lodge Brew, and a $6 (non-HH) Backwoods Mule – served in the obligatory copper mug! All the drinks were a-ok! For food, the half-price menu features over 10 appetizers, making for an inexpensive and vegetarian-friendly dinner! We sampled:

The Veggie Platter ($3.50) - served with "Bigfoot" Dip

White Cheddar Cheese Curds ($3.75)

Papa Perk also ordered the $6 Pound and a pint – a phenomenal deal with a pound of chicken wings and a pint of Lodge Brew!

The bar also features lots of games (pool, arcade games, corn hole, etc) and Minnesota Vikings insignia. Our helpful waiter let us know that Viking Jared Allen (um, I don't follow football much (I presume this may change in Packer nation though), BUT I love that Senor Allen is a badass on these accounts - 1) he sometimes appears to have a mullet; 2) he was kicked out of his HS for stealing yearbooks - tell me once again who's bad!!) is a part owner of the restaurant, hence the paraphernalia and Midwest themed bites like the cheese curds and non-HH entrees like JA’s Famous Fish Fry ($15.99) and the Juicy Lucy Burger, an angus patty stuffed with Merkt’s cheddar cheese ($8.99).

After our good eats and drinks, we headed home to rest up before Papa Perk and I headed back out to a late Happy Hour at the Armitage, where he could hear one of his favorite Tucson college bands, Sunday Afternoon, and I could drink Sauvignon Blanc to my Happy Hour heart’s content. Another great Happy Hour, but you’ve just got to love the prices at the Lodge.

Happy Hour + The Lodge = Happy Campers!

-- JB
JB and her scary Sasquatch Friend!


The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen
Neighborhood: Casa Adobes

7265 N La Cholla Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85741
(520) 219-8528



JW Marriott Starr Pass Tucson Resort & Spa
3800 W Starr Pass Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85745

(520) 792-6071

$10 Valet at the Hotel or Self-Guest Parking (follow Servance Entrance road)



Drink Deals: $5 Specialty Cocktails and Well Drinks; $4 Draft Beers
Food Deals: $5 Select Bar Food Items

Nestled into the mountains on the West side of Tucson sits the fancy Starr Pass Marriott resort, built to house wedding parties, conventions, and students’ and snow-birds’ visiting families. Come Memorial Day weekend when those with the means to get out of hot Tucson are gone, the remaining locals will find excellent deals at local hotels like this.

We had the same idea as quite a few other folks – hauling our bums to spend an afternoon in the cool pools and Lazy Rivers (a slight misnomer due to the high winds you had to contend with to make it around said Lazy River) of the Starr Pass Marriott. Of course, being on a Happy Hour Tour, you are always on the lookout for a good Happy Hour time, which we happily found at Starr Pass’ Primo restaurant.

Sufficiently sun-burned, our happy gang of AP and her husband, MP, her bro, Nate-Dogg, and our friend, MF-er (close to her real name :) headed down to Primo to meet up with our high school valedictorian friend and his fiancée over a fun Happy Hour meal.

The Happy Hour at Primo is short – only 5:30-6:30pm, but it offers tasty $5 cocktails and well drinks that normally go for $10 – so we made sure to be there early. Drink early and often. The food deals aren’t as great – Primo offers a couple different $5 options from their light bites menu; the rest of those options still cost anywhere from $7-20.
Still – those prices seem a little better for a big group since you get to sample more options!

Copperhead Pale Ale & Piatti Margarita; Blood Orange Martini & Berry Lemonade

For drinks, we tried the:
• Blood Orange Martini – Vodka Shaken w/ Blood Orange Puree, Triple Sec, and Cranberry Juice
• Piatti Margarita – Tequila & Triple Sec w/ fresh-made Sweet & Sour

• Gin-Thyme – Gin w/ Thyme & Citrus, mixed with Club Soda, and a splash of Celery Bitters (my favorite – a strange, but nice blend of savory and refreshing)

• Berry Lemonade – Citrus Vodka & Strawberry Puree with fresh-squeezed Lemonade
• Full Sail Amber Draft - $4
• Barrio Coppherhead Pale Ale Draft - $4

And for food, we had the:

Fried Olives – Lightly Breaded and stuffed with their own house Italian Sausage - $5 ($9 normally)

Grape Leaves – Stuffed with Black Mesa Ranch goat cheese and herbs - $14

Carciofi Alla Giudea – Fried Artichokes, Lemon, Parmesan, and Garlic & Aioli - $11

Fritto Misto – Mixed Fry of Calamari, Shrimp, & Vegetables - $5 Special ($14 normally)

Summer Squash Pizza w/ Ricotta - $15

Gnocco Fritto (Fried Gnocci) – Tossed in Garlic w/ Parmesan and garlic, served with Pomodoro Sauce) - $7

All the food was excellent and I really loved having the variety of items to choose from. One of my favorite bites was the Fried Artichokes, but they didn’t seem too popular with the rest of the group. More for me (though really, you can only eat so many Fried Artichokes!). I also loved the pizza and its creamy Ricotta cheese!

The general vibe of Primo is upscale hotel dining, but it was still cozy enough to have a variety of seating options, including our high-top table that accommodated our party of 7 and the mounds of food & beverage we consumed! Like most Hotel bars/restaurants, it seems like deals may change often – so head on over soon!


Rating: 3 Martinis (4 Martinis if you’re an actual guest and have easy access to the restaurant!)

Primo on Urbanspoon


Armitage Wine Lounge & Café

La Encantada
2905 E Skyline Dr #168

Tucson, AZ 85718

(520) 682-9740

Parking: Free Lot

Times: 4-7pm and 10pm-Close; Sunday - 4pm-Close
Drink Deals:
20+ Happy Hour-priced Wines ($5-13), a selection of $6 and $8 Martinis

Food Deals: $4-7 Bites

After we hit Blanco and were beginning to feel pretty good about it (if you catch my drift), we made our way downstairs to our next Happy Hour stop, Armitage, a nice wine-bar kinda place with a wide selection of Happy Hour drinks and eats.

The scene was kinda like your typical wine-bar – dark woods, pleasant yellow-orange walls, various seating arrangements (bar, high tables, low tables, sofas, patio seating, etc). Like Blanco, the scene was moderately happening at Armitage; it was nice to see people taking full advantage of Happy Hour since us Angeleno’s seem to prefer paying full price during late nights to the swell amenities of Happy Hours!

A little Frenzy ($5) and White Sangria ($5)

Having already downed a margarita and beer and over-stimulated by the awesome Armitage Happy Hour drink menu (over 20 Happy-Hour priced wines and six $6 Martinis & five $8 Martinis), I made the logical next order – a glass of Frenzy, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, priced at $5, while AP went with the $5 White Sangria.

Bruschetta Plate ($6)

Armitage Fries ($4)

And even though we’d already had our fill of chips & salsa at Blanco, we were still excited to try a couple food items at Armitage. We ordered the four-bruschetta plate for $6, getting two of the Chopped Tomatoes & Roasted Garlic and one each of the Mushroom & Gorgonzola and Green Apple with Brie. The tomato was my favorite, though the other ones were swell too (AP found the gorgonzola a bit sharp, but I don’t mind sharper cheeses). We also ordered the Armitage Fries, Krinkle-cut French Fries served with 2 dipping sauces – one was very vinegar-y and the other a less identifiable dip – maybe onion? Chipotle? The dips were fine, but I think a good ketchup and aioli (like LA’s BoHo!) would have been even better.

I had wanted to try the $5 Baked Cookie for dessert, but alas, after these 2 delish Happy Hours, we were stuffed beyond recognition – or at least until our stomachs settled enough for the fantastic Frost gelato a bit later!

I dig it!

Besides Armitage’s often & a lot Happy Hour deals, I was also impressed with their weekly specials – including “Half Price Mondays” with ½ off your entire bill with any food purchase; ½ Price Bottles of Wine All Wednesday; ½ price Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s during Weekend Brunch (10am-2pm); and All Night Happy Hour on Sunday (beginning at 4pm!); and more! Basically, anytime you hit Armitage, you’re going to be getting a pretty good deal! Sweet!


Rating: 4.5 Martinis

Armitage Wine Lounge and Cafe on Urbanspoon



La Encantada
2905 E Skyline Drive #246
Tucson AZ 85718
(520) 232-1007

Parking: Big Ole Free Lot!

Days: Daily
Times: 4-6pm
Drink Deals: ½ off Margaritas & Mexican Beers
Food Deals: ½ off Starters & Ceviche

Over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, I ventured to Tucson for a little Happy Hour Tour with my favorite out-of-town Happy Hour Tourist, AP of Lake Tahoe Happy Hour Tour fame)! During my short stay, we visited 3 distinct Happy Hours and quite a few other local bars. This is my story.

I landed on Friday afternoon and AP already had four Happy Hours picked out – all at La Encantada, an upscale shopping mall near the suburbs. Feeling in the mood for a Friday afternoon margarita, our first stop was Blanco, with their excellent Happy Hour selections of ½ off Margaritas, Mexican Beers, Appetizers, and Ceviche.

I immediately liked the atmosphere – the restaurant used its natural light well with its white and light wood walls and dark wood wood tables. We chose a cozy seat at the bar and the things got even cozier as the Happy Hour crowd rolled in – there wasn’t a free seat to be found by 5:45pm! Worth noting – Blanco is part of the Fox Restaurant Concepts, a neat boutique restaurant group with 13 “progressive, on-trend restaurant concepts” in AZ, CA, CO, TX, and KS. AP’s taken me to some of their other restaurants and I have to say, I’ve liked all them all and that Blanco’s vibe definitely fits into the company’s repertoire.

Round 1: Blood Orange & White Peach & Hibiscus Margaritas ($4.50 each)

Round 2: Dos Equis ($2.50) & Vanilla Margarita ($4.50)

For our first round of drinks, we ordered the Blood Orange Margarita and the White Peach & Hibiscus Margarita – both $4.50 and tasty as can be! We also snacked on the complimentary chips and ordered their house-made Guacamole and Shrimp & Crab Ceviche (both $4.50) as dippers for the chips. Again, delicious. And delicious enough to keep us around for our next round of drinks, a Vanilla Margarita ($4.50) for AP and a Dos Equis ($2.50!) for me. The Vanilla Margarita was terrific and unlike anything I’d had before, though the idea of it reminded me of my favorite Amaretto Margarita at Maggiano’s.

Shrimp & Crab Ceviche ($5)

Complimentary Chips & Salsa & Guacamole ($4.50)

Being an Angeleno Happy Hour Tourist, I’m always happy when a Happy Hour dinner runs $20/person – so I was way excited when the bill came and it was only $28 pre-tip!! Like Herman’s Hermits once sang, “Something tells me I’m into something good!”


Rating: 4.5 Martinis

Blanco Tacos + Tequila on Urbanspoon


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