Pasco Kitchen and Lounge
4 out of 5
Located in the heart of campus near “the Frog” and other college bar hangouts in the Geronimo Plaza, Pasco sits like a beacon of light in Tucson for those of us that love elevated food. And if you can serve me elevated food, provide some great service, and also keep the Jaegar cold (should I need it for purely medicinal purposes) all the better. And then include a great wine list, good house wines and send out wait staff that know the menu and can recommend the best food and wine combo because they’ve got talent too, and as they say, you can count me in twice.
Our good friend Lisa Mae (locally famous actress and do gooder) put a call out on facebook for “some ideas” for a place to eat. Among many suggestions, our other friend answered the call with suggesting Pasco. As she’s a sommalier, which by the way is French for loves and understands wine and can explain it to the rest of us, I’m probably going to go anyplace she recommends from here on out. And so we did. Have. Twice.
With inside and outside seating and full bar, one of their features is a bookended happy hour where, early in the evening and then again at the end, they feature happy hour drink and appetizer specials. As they are serving elevated food, they match that with a elevated savory drink menu. We tried the “The Corpse Reviver #2″, a “Patio Herb Collins”, and took a final hit for the team with the “Roasted Ricky”. I have to tell you that I’ve tried some savory drinks in Tucson and across the country and frankly, for the most part, they often come up short. The nature of a savory drink is such that just like a good recipe for food, a slight over pour or missing element and the next thing you know, its taste is off. I want to be clear that Pasco has thus far exceeded all expectations with some pretty awesome drinks and so here’s an inspirational link if ever we’ve posted one. The Pasco Drink Menu http://pascokitchen.com/drink/
Now the food. They are proving that fresh, natural, thoughtfully prepared food can be hearty and exciting at the same time. In keeping with my passion for well prepared soups, on our first visit we ordered apps, salads, and soups. And they were among the best I’ve ever had. I’m saying this is like a “destination soup” because if you could plan your day around ending it with this soup, it would be the best day ever.
Albondigas Soup with Roasted Chili and Ajo with Mexican meatballs of grass-fed beef with fresh herbs and stuffed with rice, stewed tomato, avocado, crispy corn tortillas y mucho amore . We segued into their outstanding rendition of a Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Pomodoro Bruschetta featuring Small Planet Bakery bruschetta toast, house-made mozzarella, garlic pomodoro, pesto and sea salt. And then ended it with a to die for Goat Cheese with Herbed Panko & Roasted Beets consisting
of organic Spring Mix, Chive Vinaigrette, Red Pepper Coulis, and topped with a crusted poached Farm Fresh Egg, that broke beautifully over the salad to add to our enjoyment.
On our second visit we were greeted by the same knowledgeable and friendly style wait staff and we went with house reds and some items off the main menu and special board. My Asian inspired salad was so fresh and perfect I uttered a rare and appreciative ummmm on my first bite of a salad. I’ll call it balance in motion. I followed that with the sloppy Joe Sliders/ Pabst Blue Ribbon Onions and Fries and my wife went for a special trio of street style tacos.
I have to say that the Sliders were not my favorite. The buns were just a little burned from the grill and the sloppy joe mix is so delicate that it actually brought forward the burned bread flavor. However, if anything could save the meal it would be an order of french fries which were “the best fries” I’ve been served to date. Incredible.
My wife’s duo of taco’s were as we’ve come to expect- sublime.
And because I am under the delusion that my opinions actually get read by those that own the restaurants, I have two pet peeve issues I’d like to offer. When sitting outside I don’t mind if the music is booming a bit. I do mind when the speakers are blown and the slightly too loud music sounds like a nineteen eighties boom box from a pawn shop. Like your food, attention to detail matters. Second, the only thing more annoying than a glass of red wine sloshing around on a wobbly table on a patio is…..well there is nothing more annoying. Every meal, every time, the patio tables are wobbling all over the place. It takes away from the dining experience. Please arm you wait staff with wedges or wads of napkins. Whatever it takes!
And so it is my honor and pleasure to tell our readers that Pasco Kitchen and Lounge is a must try dining and bar experience. It’s a hang out. It’s upscale and college chic at the same time. Incredible fresh urban inspired farm fresh menu with a great wait staff, awesome food, and cool atmosphere. What more could you want?
Everything else you need to know is here. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
4 out of 5. We highly recommend.