Ms. Karen here. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself on the Eastside of Tucson looking for a place to take Ms. Sue to enjoy lunch. There are very few places close by on far east River Road. The two closest places that met both our tastes were Renee's Organic Kitchen and Harvest Restaurant.
I had been to Harvest Oro Valley with Sue several years ago when Jim, my bionic man, was undergoing hip surgery. As I recall, the Oro Valley Harvest Restaurant was good enough, but a bit cramped, in a busy shopping center near a parking lot full of cars. I believe we set outside near them. Perhaps things have changed? I see from the website that the menu and decor is the same as the one on River, so I could be misremembering.
Mind you that I am as much about the ambiance as the food. It just makes the food taste better. Loud music does not give me a better appetite. But I do love the ambiance of a good lunch counter with a good Ruben as much as a quiet place with a view.
Ok, so, this time we chose Harvest at River and Craycroft. We arrived early as is our habit. Jim and I prefer an early lunch or dinner in order to be able to find parking, have our choice of tables, some quiet conversation, and a chance of better service. We generally find that our opinion of a restaurant goes down with how busy a restaurant is.
I drove around the back to the upper parking lot where Harvest is located on the second floor. You can park below but you will need strong legs to get up the steep, narrow steps... or take the elevator.
The door was wide open. Our hostess seated us right away and picked a spot by the window with a view of the Santa Ritas. Not an Anthony's view, oops, Vivace, but pleasant nonetheless. The parking lot was below us. One other couple was currently there who had taken the twin table on the other side of the double doors that lead out to the patio. Although it was warm, patio seating was available, with misters for relief.
Scott, our server brought out the lunch menu. Yes there is a lunch menu, which is different from the dinner menu. I don't remember any specials offered for lunch but I do remember the $5 glass of Haymaker Sauvignon Blanc. For 5 bucks, I thought it must be New Zealand wine, but it was actually from Washington state. One of my biggest beefs about restaurants is that restaurants generally charge for a glass, 4-6 times the cost of a bottle. $8-11 is now typical for a glass of house wine. A 5 buck glass of decent wine? Oh Heaven.
Ok, on to lunch.
Sue and I love a great salad and generally is our lunchtime choice. Sue loves Caprese and orders it every time it is on the menu. Guess what. They make a nice Caprese. Was it better than the one she had at the Wild Garlic? It looked like a tossup.
I had the Gorgonzola Salad. Tasty. Perhaps the lettuce was not quite crisp as I would like.
The more important point here is while we were eating our rabbit food, the couple at the table across the french doors was delivered the best looking hamburgers I had ever seen, accompanied by humungous steak fries.
Ok.. we were definitely going to have to come back. More on that next week.
Harvest on River
5605 E River Rd #201
Tucson, AZ 85750