Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back Home...To Bumsted's!

For all of my not-so-avid readers that do not know, I am a Tucson native. Born-and-raised in the Arizona sun, this Prickly Pear Blossom is sweet and spiky for a good bit of local food(I'm not counting the four years I lived in Lake Arrowhead, CA when I was like two). Like my parents, I'm a big supporter of the Green Movement(would it be Beige Movement in Tucson?), so I'm all about shopping locally. I like supporting local businesses and Tucson Originals, otherwise known as independently owned and operated by Tucson locals - and you can check out their website here.

So I only had five days in Tucson, and what time wasn't spent with my family and boyfriend running around like crazy chickens with our heads cut off. We did everything from shopping at Silver Sea Jewelry on 4th Ave(which is a really neat shop to check out on Facebook) to the Sonoran Desert Museum way the heck out there on the east side. But this is a blog about Bumstead's, which is not a Tucson Original, but is tasty nonetheless.



My loving boyfriend A. and I met my old high school chum Jessica at Bison Witches, which is another neat place to eat at on 4th Ave, but was unfortunately packed to the brims because it was a Saturday. Fortunately, Bumsted's was right down the street, and I'd never eaten there before - so off we went.

Bumsted's on UrbanspoonThe first thing I was semi-surprised about was how spacious it was. I mean, seriously, it went really far back. It had a combination feel of an old diner with a dive bar, only huge. It was rather dark on the inside, or maybe it seemed that way since I was being blinded by the bright sun, but there were some very comfy seats by the windows off to the right. In the middle is a rather large fish tank with a "Nemo" fish and a "Dory" fish, as Jessica described it. There were other fish in the tank as well as some coral, and it looked a bit murky to be honest, but it was still very neat to look at.

There wasn't any uniform that our server was wearing, who was a big, thick red-head with a beard, but he was very friendly and informative. My only real complaint about him is that his visits with us were few and far between, but that's the kind of vibe that 4th Ave sometimes gives. Maybe it's just me trying to defend a Tucson local legend, but I understand the service industry and I know that when it's a slow day, you sometimes can relax and chat with other customers, chat with the line cooks, etc. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt, and when someone's friendly, they get a good tip. Also, he recommended some really good ideas for the orders we placed, and was very accommodating.

The menu was rather large(almost too large, to be honest), and had a very creative amount of names to their food. The hot subs section was dubbed "A Hot Affair" and all of the meatloaf dishes were named after - ha ha - Meatloaf songs. All of the burgers were named after mullets(wtf?), and the sense of humor continued throughout the menu. I think there was even a sandwich in there called M.I.L.F, which was some kind of turkey sandwich with avocado on it...or maybe not.

Anyway, the menu was big and random, but was funny enough to make me laugh. Jessica, instead of ordering one big entree, opted to just order a couple of small appetizers to nibble on - the mac n' cheese and chicken fingers - and I had the Michael Bolton Bleu Burger, which was a burger with bacon, blue cheese, grilled onions and had a marinated portobello mushroom cap as the protein - but the waiter was nice enough to have them replace it with an Angus beef patty instead.

The food took forever to make(like, over 25 minutes), but was uber tasty. And the portion sizes were huge. I was nowhere near hungry enough to eat the amount of food I was given, but as far as bang for your buck goes, it's a Winner. I mean, $10 for a huge burger that had to be eaten with a knife and fork and a huger than huge amount of fries? (Safe to say I took half of it home, but that's another story.)

The mac n' cheese got cut out of the shot :(
The Mac n' Cheese was unimpressive, but portioned well. The pasta was cooked fine and was basically just shredded cheese tossed in butter and hot pasta. It was baked in a little ramekin and nicely presented on a lettuce leaf on a larger plate. It was really kind of a slap-together thing, but passable. The chicken was nicely cooked and tender, and had this really great seasoning on it that I can't quite describe. The presentation was very nice too.

And the burger? Insanely good. Blue cheese melted nicely(which is kind hard to do right sometimes), bacon was cooked very well, and the burger was juicy and tender. Nice big toasty warm bun. The waiter was great enough to bring me a steak knife to cut into that bad boy.

So all in all, Bumsted's is a great place. If you're starved and want a big f#cking sandwich or a place to hang out with your friends, go there. They play a lot of great music(especially if you're into Lady Gaga!), and have a pretty chill atmosphere. So definitely go. And tell me how the other 98% of the menu is.