On a Friday in mid-November 2022, Neighbor Roy and I dined at Barnfire Mesquite Grill in Marana at Cortaro Farms Road and Thornydale. Yes, that is right, “BARNfire”. I found this place by accident, but a look at its online menu convinced me that we should give it a try.
We parked in the handicap space in front of the restaurant and entered in the side door which led directly to the bar area. The bar was almost crowded. There were big screen TV’s along all the walls, and high tables and seating throughout. That didn’t look particularly appealing, besides it was noisy. So Roy checked out the next room, a large space with no one in it except a waitress, who sat us in a comfortable booth.
She immediately presented us with very extensive menus, so extensive that one only sees that many offerings in a Chinese restaurant. Boy, did everything look good. Such selection. They offered steaks of every kind, including filets, prime rib, and ribeye. And an extensive selection of side orders, including cowboy beans, baked potato, and corn.
Usually, when I look over a menu, I can make my choice quickly and easily. Not this time. When our waitress came by to take our order, I initially asked for a little more time. When she returned, I ordered their chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and Texas fries ($19.99).
Roy ordered two large grilled chicken breasts dipped in a tequila sauce with cole slaw and French fries ($18.99). I also ordered an iced tea with lemon and Roy ordered his usual hot tea.
It didn’t take long for our lunches to arrive. And they looked really good. Large portions. I knew immediately Roy would be taking a portion of his meal home in a take-out box. I also knew I would be finishing my lunch right there.
I’ll let Roy tell you about his experience.
“Today we dined at a Texas barbeque located on the Northwest side of Tucson (technically Marana), located in a strip mall at Thornydale and Cortaro Farms Road. The parking lot was full, but we lucked out to find a parking spot right in front. A short walk brought us to the bar side. The bar was crowded, fairly noisy, and the high seating arrangement is not comfortable for older folks. So we went to the restaurant side which was empty. We chose a booth with high sides to ensure privacy and quiet to enjoy one’s choices. Our young waitress presented the menus which tended to be expansive, She took our drink order and gave us time to review the menu. I chose a double chicken breast done with tequila and chose fries and cole slaw. My tea arrived promptly, which on a cold day is a treat.
As I looked around the restaurant side I noticed a steer head over the kitchen, a saddle over the stone wall, and numerous southwestern items to reinforce the Texas barbeque theme. The result is one of comfort, setting one up to enjoy their meal, which arrived promptly. My order was rather large, consisting of chicken breasts (2) barbequed in a cilantro tequila sauce. There was a mountain of fries and cole slaw for my included choices. It proved to be wise choices, the slaw was plentiful as were the fries and the chicken breasts proved to be done just right, but too much for one setting–I took 1/2 the order home for lunch tomorrow. Given the excellent barbeque efforts, the ample side dishes, the excellent service, and the authentic Texas atmosphere–I give it 4 saguaros. It was the best Texas barbeque restaurant so far. Bring a good appetite, expect a great meal, and relax in a great environment.”
My Chicken Fried Steak was excellent, as were the Texas fries and mashed potatoes. Country music played in the background, but softly, so noise was not an issue. We could easily carry on our conversation over it. Like Roy, I rate Barnfire Mesquite Grill with four saguaros. Very good indeed, including the service. And given the inflationary world we now live in, the price was right, $47.72 total.
PS. Ms. Karen here. This is the first Texas Barbeque I have found with green things (salads). So I am not sure it can be called Texas Barbeque, although they do claim a lot of it to be. Enjoy.
Barnfire Mesquite Grill
8310 N Thornydale Rd, Tucson, AZ 85741
Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM.