Editor's Note: 05/31/2017 - We have recently learned that Delectables will soon go out of business. The owner is retiring.
Spring 2013. It’s been a while since I ventured down to 4th Avenue. Because of the (eventual) arrival of our Modern Streetcar, the place has been a construction nightmare. Nevertheless, I was anxious to see the progress.
On this early May day I was scheduled to meet my friend Jeffrey for lunch. My criteria for the choice of restaurant were fourfold. (1) It had to be near downtown where Jeff works. (2) It had to be one I had not yet reviewed. (3) It had to have received generally positive reviews over a long period of time because I hate writing negative reviews. (When I go into a restaurant to do a review, I expect a good dining experience because I’ve done my homework.) And (4) it had to be open for lunch. Delectables seemed to meet my demanding criteria.
I had never been to Delectables and was most pleased to see such a large patio for outdoor dining. A sign indicated that on Friday & Saturday nights they have live entertainment. Once inside, I was equally delighted. The place is much larger than it appears from the street and exhibits a warm, inviting interior space. The large windows in front along the sidewalk seem ideal for people watching, which I understand is the sport-of-choice along 4th Avenue.
I was seated by “MOM”. She took my drink order and said she’d be right back. I mean, I assumed “MOM” is her name because the word was tattooed large and in living color on her partially exposed chest.
Soon, Jeff joined me at my window table. It turns out that he knew the man and woman seated at the table nearest ours. This is not unusual. Jeff knows just about everyone who is anyone in Tucson. We all had a pleasant semi-business conversation for several minutes before returning to the business at hand: lunch.
“MOM” returned to take our order. Jeff ordered “Tucson’s Best Chef” salad ($10). I ordered the “Corned Beef Reuben on Rye” with a side of potato salad ($9).
Jeff & I have enjoyed lunch together every month or two for many years and always have a lot of catching up to do. We continued chatting amicably through lunch, talking mostly about work and family. Eventually I remembered that I was here to do a dining review and asked Jeff his opinion of his meal. “Excellent! Best chef salad in Tucson.” High praise indeed.
My Reuben was also excellent, as was the potato salad. To the extent I have a quibble, the scoop of potato salad was a bit miserly. If there had been two scoops I would have devoured both.
Delectables has an extensive menu, including vegan & gluten-free, and a full bar. In a refrigerated windowed display case they also exhibit a variety of desserts. Jeff & I decided to split a berry & pear tart, but could have had anything from a chocolate éclair to a crème brulee to a slice of cheesecake. The tart was very good. Perhaps next time I’ll try the cheesecake. Or maybe ….
Delectables has been here since 1973. I can’t believe Jeff has been coming here for years and never told me.
“MOM” turned out to be Gabrielle and a cheerful, efficient waitress. Good meals. Fine desserts. Excellent service. Pleasant atmosphere. And weird people to watch. What’s not to like about Delectables?
As we were leaving, Gabrielle handed us each a coupon for 15% off our next entree. My mother-in-law is visiting. Perhaps Ms. Karen and I will show her the real Tucson and stop in at Delectables for another fine meal.
Delectables belongs on our SouthernArizonaGuide.com 2013 List of The Best Restaurants in Tucson & Southern Arizona. Highly recommended.
I should mention that the Modern Streetcar construction on 4th Avenue has been completed and street parking was a breeze. Also, Delectables has a parking lot in back of the restaurant. You can access it via 6th Street.
Update: the following week 4 of us went to Delectables and enjoyed another fine lunch, this time utilizing the 15% discount card we received on my first visit. There was no reason to change my original rating. Very good, indeed!
533 N 4th Ave, Tucson
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