4 out of 5
Addictive, surprising, authentic, new yet familiar, and deliciously seedy like a New Orleans back street bar and restaurant should be. The chef blends flavors that playfully trick their way onto your palate. Is this Tucson/Southwest influenced by New Orleans or the other way around? Who cares when it’s this good! And The Parrish is that good.
After being in The Parish for about 20 minutes, my dining partner in crime and I looked at one another and sighed, “This just might be our place.” We’ve been looking for that special blend of bar/restaurant/hangout. Where neither bar nor restaurant takes a backseat to the other but both take precedent. And so we’ve found The Parish doing its own little New Orleans thing as they show the love for their patrons, and spring to the top of Tucson Eats Dinner’s list of places we want to share and recommend to you. I can also report that after about three hours of being on the receiving end of what I call “the love” — wine, drinks, incredible food, and a room full of patrons participating in said “love” — Tucson’s food lovers have another awesome place to add to our food Mecca.
The Chef, not just talented, perhaps bordering on genius, takes the roots of Southwestern cooking with ingredients like green chilies and salsa and features them along side favorites from the Gulf, like crawfish hushpuppies, and gumbo, and he is creating something new and exciting for diners. As the name implies, The Parrish, is clearly a nod to New Orleans. With the same playfual yet soulful combination of great food, cool bar, great wines and specialty cocktails, all snuggled together into a darkish dive bar ambiance, and occasional live music or surprisingly cool DJ backdrop. A dive bar, but not really. Homey food and anything but. Not upscale because upscale would be wrong. I hesitate to tell you about it because I want to be able to get a table.
We’ve given 47 Scott (new menu is awesome), Hub, Abby’s and the like all fairly high marks and inserted them into the list of restaurants that are contributing to an already quite impressive Tucson food scene. The Parrish meets if not raises the bar on what thoughtfully prepared from the the heart of a great kitchen food can and should be. Addictive, even though every plate is not my favorite. Is that a complement? Yes!
Food of The Parrish. We had three mind blowing appetizers. Authentic yet original hushpuppies made from scratch with crawfish and a tad of spice, chile rellenos w/ goat cheese dressed with a to-die-for salsa, and a classic New Orleans preparation of fried frog legs. Frog leg lickin’ good.
For dinner, I had the Po Boy Shrimp sandwich. It was good with incredible shrimp, but if I had one humble negative point to make about this sandwich, it is that the shrimp was slightly overpowered by the French bread it came on. I’d prefer a slightly softer and understated bread.
She who is the wife and makes a great gumbo herself thoroughly enjoyed the gumbo at The Parish. Simple, yet the end result was addictive, spicy, and layered with deep rich flavors with no bottom to the faint smokey flavors. It was probably the best dish served to our table. We crave it.
The pulled pork sandwich was also unlike any I’ve ever experienced. Chef combined a perfectly succulent pulled pork with other complex flavors which included a node of heat and a strong overtone which I think was from hot chili peppers and cloves. But I could be wrong.
We’ve been back a couple of times. We’ve taken friends and we’ve sat at the bar. It’s always great. We give them a strong 4 out of 5 stars.
Our server was not great. To her credit it was busy and the rest of the team made up for it by being very attentive and having someone, could have been an owner, roaming and picking up her pieces. She could be great. She needs some direction.
The food, drinks, and ambiance is just too cool! Come hang out with us, eat, drink, enjoy. We’ve been back a few times and can confirm this place is no fluke, it’s a gem in Tucson proverbial dining rough.
They get 4’s for the food.
3’s for service, but don’t let that stop you.
4+ for being a great bar.
And a big fat 5 for a ambiance. (many of you will disagree with the ambiance rating)
6453 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85704