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You can work up a powerful hunger making your way to the Rincon Mountain Grill.

Located at the Forty Niner Country Club on East Tanque Verde Road, the restaurant — which has undergone a massive renovation over the last two years — is on the far, far east side of town.

You won’t need a change of clothes or an overnight kit to get there, but you’ll probably be halfway through your favorite Katy Perry CD before hitting the grill parking lot.

For us midtowners, the eating establishment was out-of-sight, out-of-mind until several east-side acquaintances began recommending the place.

They raved about its Pasta Night Wednesday and Burger Bar Night Thursday. Rincon has specific themes and deals every night of the week, which have proven to be popular, according to food and beverage general manager Alan DeLelles.

Perhaps its greatest strength, as we witnessed over the course of two meals, was that the grill was just as much of a community hub as it was a place to indulge in tasty cuisine.

During our dinners there, we saw guests from different tables greeting each other like old friends.

Kids would come in from swimming in the neighboring pool — the grill is part of the clubhouse complex — to see what their parents were ordering.

Bar patrons on the east end of the restaurant split their time between chatting, drinking and watching football on flat-screen televisions mounted around the main dining room.

On one visit, our super-friendly waitress told us that the social aspect ramps up, as does business, when the winter visitors file back into town.

The restaurant is planning to accommodate the extra rush of customers this year with a brand new additional dining room on the north end of the clubhouse — formerly the fitness room — that will provide “fantastic views” of the Santa Catalina Mountains, according to DeLelles.

The whole “Cheers” type atmosphere, where everybody knows your name, made each visit comfortable and appealing.

We also happened to go home with full stomachs and smiles on our faces, which speaks highly of what was served.

Our favorite dish by far was the Chicken Oscar ($19), a meal mash-up consisting of a chicken breast with a light panko breading and a scoop of lump crab meat on top, covered in a béarnaise sauce. The dish comes with several asparagus spears on the side.

The chicken was tender. We were big fans of the panko which gave it a little bit of a crunch. The béarnaise, which primarily covered the crab, was creamy, but did not overpower the dish or take away from its competing flavors.

Another winner was the Wall Street Burger ($13), which sat large and stacked high on the bun, with a ground Angus chuck patty, chargrilled and covered in crispy prosciutto slices that were glued to the burger by a layer of melted bleu cheese. Oh, and let’s not forget the onion rings that served as a buffer between the meat and the top half of the bun.

4pers, Golf, Rincon Mountain Grill
Rincon Mountain Grill

The Wall St. Burger comes topped with crispy prosciutto, roasted bleu cheese, fried onions and a gourmet mustard along with a side of sweet potato fries in the Rincon Mountain Grill at the Forty-Niner Country Club, 12000 E Tanque Verde Road, in Tucson, AZ. Photo taken Thursday, September 11, 2014. Photo by Ron Medvescek / Arizona Daily Star.

The burger, which came with a pile of crisscut sweet potato fries, was impressive and a little too big to shove into my mouth without dropping half of it on the floor. I used my knife and fork to eat my dinner, sliding tines full of medium-rare meat dominated by the tang of bleu cheese past my lips until my plate was clean.

The ribeye ($24) was a chargrilled slab of steak that would make Fred Flinstone’s mouth water. It was served as a thick cut with minimal fat and tender when ordered medium-rare. My wife swooned over the garlic mashed potatoes that accompanied the meal, a pile of fluffy, flavorful mashed goodness that complemented the heft of the steak.

The chicken salad croissant sandwich ($10) was a lighter choice but just as filling. The chicken chunks were cut larger than we’ve seen in other chicken salads. It came with a thick slice of tomato, a thin strip of lettuce, and fries on the side.

Our biggest, and really only complaint, was with the appetizers.

Easily persuaded, we were lured into trying their “Famous Wings” ($13) based on the name alone. We went with the lemon pepper and garlic wings which were plentiful (probably a good thing at $13 a plate). Each wing had extra meat on the bone.

Unfortunately, the lemon pepper was a bit too much. We were left with our lips puckering and almost couldn’t finish the plate. We’ll probably go with one of their other flavors, their buffalo style or house-smoked mesquite, in the future.

We did enjoy our mesquite-smoked chicken quesadilla. Again, the chunks of chicken were quite large and nestled snugly inside of the folded-over slices of tortilla, with gobs of melted Cheddar-Jack cheese oozing from its sides. Our main gripe was that we were paying $11 for four slices, providing us with a healthy helping of sticker shock.

Rincon Mountain Grill might be a little far flung for the downtown and university crowds, especially with so many fantastic restaurant options in those parts of town. But it fills a void and provides a community hot spot for those living on the northeast side of Tucson.

We were happy to experience it and look forward to coming back.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at or 807-8430.