Neighbor Roy and I went to lunch in early July 2023 to try out a new Tucson restaurant called Doughbird on Campbell. We arrived right at noon, but the parking lot was overflowing with cars, so we went down the street and around the corner on Grant to Culinary Dropout. We had been there during the Pandemic and gave it a favorable review. The last time we reviewed this place we rated it Five-Saguaros, best of the best. So what could go wrong this time?
We parked in the handicapped space right in front of the entrance door and were immediately greeted and seated. Methinks we were at the same table we had before. Except this time, the service was not at all excellent. Not for our waitress trying, but she had too many tables to service. Thus service to our table was lacking on this return visit.
When she did come to our table, I ordered our favorite appetizer: perogies. “Sorry, but we don’t serve perogies,” she told me. “What? How can that be true,” I asked indignantly. We had them the last time we were here and they were delicious.”
“Sorry,” she said again. “But we switch out our menus seasonally, and this time the management deleted perogies”
“Well, tell your management I said ‘Bummer’. She indicated that she would relay my message. We’ll see if they have perogies if and when we ever return.
As a substitute, I ordered “Crusty Bread with Olive Oil” for our appetizer. After all, it was only $5.00. I also ordered a margarita ($14.50). When these came eventually, we ordered our main dishes. Roy ordered what I had last time we were here, fish and chips ($19.50). I ordered what Roy had last time, meatloaf with mashed potatoes and beans ($19.50). I don’t recall exactly what the prices were last time, but I believe they have been raised since then.
I’ll let Roy tell you about his experience this time around.
“This week we dined at the Culinary Dropout on Grant Road. It was the location of Grant Road Lumber to those of us who lived in Tucson for more than a few years. It has apparently undergone a management change since our last visit.
We were able to park directly outside the entrance. Once inside we were greeted and seated promptly. Menus were presented, and our waitress was serving another table, which gave us some time to review the available items. Both Jim and I remember the appetizers–our favorite was perogies a Slavic dish but they no longer served them. The waitress suggested a bread with some sort of topping and Jim ordered a serving. While ordering I became aware of the louder music. I say loud to indicate problems talking at a table. One of the joys remaining to we elderly is dining with dear friends and sharing our activities of the past week with them, but no such possibility here.
Another deficit is the short staffing, resulting in longer waits. Finally, my tea was brought, or CUP of water, no tea bag. Our waitress was serving both tables on either side of us and while competent, it was too much for her. She finally did bring several tea bags to the table, I chose a vanilla brand, by now my cup of tea was cold. I did not wish to make a scene, but recognized that this restaurant needs help before I could recommend it to our readers. My main course arrived, fish and chips. It was plentifully composed of 4 slices of white fish, with fries and a cup of dried-up slivered coleslaw. I never even ate that
In summary, the place needs some work, lowering the noise level, getting more help and reviewing the menu. Smearing something on a few slices of bread, does not justify the cost. I can not give this restaurant more than 3 saguaros. Shame, I used to enjoy this restaurant, but no more.”
While our food was good, the loud music and unfiltered sound of patrons chattering made dining here less than enjoyable. They need to somehow dampen the sound levels. I agree with Roy’s assessment. Three Saguaros for Culinary Dropout this time. Sad! Adding insult to injury, the price for our lunch was almost $70.00.
Ms. Karen here: It’s ONLY LUNCH folks. Seventy dollars for 2 at LUNCH! Oh, good grief. However, $15 for a margarita may also be pushing it. Higher than the last time I had one in an airport. I am not entirely sure how people are packing restaurants for nothing special lunches since the pandemic but perhaps they did not need that bailout. Sorry. Fox Concepts Restaurants are very popular, but in my view, they have outpriced themselves and no longer offer the same service as before the pandemic. This would include my previous favorite Blanco. I read about another Fox Concept restaurant, Flower Child, but I am not afraid to try it. Zinburger and Wildflower continue to be a fine experience.
2543 East Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85716
Mon – Thu: 11am – 10pm
Fri: 11am – 12am
Sat: 10am – 12am
Sun:10am – 9pm