We needed to get out of the sun for a while, so we ventured into here. We all got Ices and ice cream. I think after spending the whole day out in the sun, we deserved a treat. The cafe has a wonderful variety of selection of food to purchase. A little pricey. Yet, it was comfortable and clean.
Nimbus was one of the great surprises on the brewpub search of a six-month trip around the United States. It wasn't in a super convenient location. Even if you were staying in Tuscon proper, it was on the outskirts and in an industrial area at that. We were camping in the Western region of Saguaro National Park, some twenty miles and forty minutes away so had to kind of hit it en route to the park. We couldn't stop our first time passing as we were trying to get to the visitor center in time to sort out the camping situation. It would have been easy to give it a pass but as chance would have it, we were passing it yet again the very next day when we had had to backtrack to Chiricahua National Monument to retrieve my keys I'd absentmindedly left behind. It was a good thing too as Nimbus was a very cool place indeed and served good cheap food in addition to some of the Southwest's best beer. One good thing about being in an industrial park is the place was big with high ceilings with exposed ducts like a huge loft. There were surprisingly good views of the surrounding mountains. The trendy setting spilled over to the staff who were decidedly alternative, yet very helpful and knowledgeable about their beers.
There happened to be live music that night and evidently it was a fairly major band in Tuscon. It was also some kind of fire oriented circus type show and something like $20 to get in. I figured since we had gotten in early, were eating, and drinking a lot, we could just hang out but that was not the case. We either had to pay up by a certain time or vacate. This seemed unfair, considering we'd spent $60 in beer and food. I wasn't super happy about that but it was so good I vowed to and did come back despite the long drive, though it was a couple days later.
Favorite Dish: This place has nine beers on tap and a fairly inexpensive if sandwich oriented food menu. With that many beers, you wouldn't last long without some food. We started off with the Brown Ale which was ruddy brown with ruby highlights and a thin tan head. It had a roasted malt nose and palate and a clean dry finish. This was one easy drinking beer. The Scottish Ale was a seasonal and a nice if somewhat sweet amber brew. When we saw Smoked Porter on the beer chalk board, we smiled as it is one of our favorite styles and Nimbus' was not disappointing. It poured black with a creamy tan head and similar roasty palate as the Brown but with a subtle but definite smoky flavor. It was dangerously drinkable at 5.5%. The Oatmeal Stout was another great black beer with tan head and a roast bitter palate and some hops in the bittersweet finish. The Unfiltered Pale Ale was a keg only special that was straw colored with a crisp floral hop aroma. Citrusy palate but softened by some yeasty overtones. The filtered version of the Pale Ale was a bit hoppier and not as fruity or soft but still quite a nice beer. The Nitro Stout was served via nitrogen and hence a dense creamy beer. Black with creamy tan head and coffee palate, finishing quite dry. Delicious. We had a bratwurst and roast beef dip sandwich the first time in and burgers the second time. All were served with home made potato chips. Sandwiches ran about $8.Pints of their regular beers were a very reasonable $3.50 and their specialty brews were $4.50. Six packs to go are $9 and $10 respectively and feature the very cool Nimbus Chimp mascot and artwork.
While visiting Arizona, we figured we could get some good Mexican food (as Mexico is not all that far away!) I had read some fantastic reviews of this resturant, one even touting it as "The best Mexican in Tuscon"....er, I wasn't that good. It wasn't terrible mind you, just a tad bland for my taste.
We visted just after our trip around Saguaro National Park, we made it (after a small detour or 2) on the way back to our Hotel in Mesa.
The ambiance inside was nice enough. i liked the big stone and copper fireplace. The tables and chairs were nothing to write home about though.
All in all it was a place with potential that was just not realized.
As there are no restaurants there, what about opening matcrazy1 Cactus Restaurant there?
My pre-business plan :-):
IMAGINE: walls and roof made of cacti, tables in palo verde trees shadow, tequila drinks (hmm... tequila is not made of cactus) served in drilled cacti pots instead of normal glasses. Mountain Lion (cougar, puma) kiddies playing in the backyard :-), free internet for VT members (up to 1 hour), food (cactus) store.
FOOD: most of the cactus family members are used as food mainly by their fruits.
For example the fruits of the prickly pear cactus (opuntia) are eaten up at the moment in the mediterranean region, where the peculiar climatic characteristics have supposed a perfect adaptation of the plant , being of particular interest in the island of Sicily, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey and Israel. I liked them a lot there!!!
In central America some species of Opuntias are used instead of the tomatoes or are eaten up fried, instead of chips. Apart form the fruits the seeds are also consumed roasted or crushed to prepare cakes.
9am - last consumer :-).
Sorry, closed June - September (heat!)
Favorite Dish: Chief (= matcrazy1) speciality:
- cacti salad served with fried cacti and crushed cacti seeds cakes - $20, including tax and a free gift from matcrazy1 - tequila drink or cactus juice of your choice. Maybe?
Warning: the dish is enough for 2 or even 3 persons (if not very hungry).
All prices 50% off for Virtual Tourist members! To get the discount you can become a VT member at once!
On rainy/snowy days - everything FREE!*
What do you think? Any more ideas?
*-depends on availability.
There are no restaurants inside Saguaro National Parks, although there are picnic grounds in both section. So, one way to deal with the food needs is to pack a lunch to take to the park with you. If visiting Saguaro East, there is a nearby restaurant outside the park, called Saguaro Corners. Although the food is of average quality, it is the best choice in the area. The dining area has large glass windows that look out onto the desert. The owners of the restaurant have a feeding program for wildlife, and we enjoyed watching many birds including cardinals, gambles quail, and humming birds. We also saw a coyote and some rock squirrels as we ate our lunch.
There are NO restaurants in Saguaro Nationa Park. But there are a few picnic areas in both parts of the park - click here.
Favorite Dish: Sandwiches made by Ursula :-).