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“no surprises”

El Corral Restaurant
Ranked #130 of 2,003 Restaurants in Tucson
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: In 1915, the Tucson Citizen reported that local developer John Murphey had purchased several thousand acres of property in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains to the north of town. The editors of the newspaper projected the purchase as "folly”, an investment in worthless desert hillsides, never to be recovered. For John Murphey, it took just over a decade to prove his detractors wrong. By the end of the 1920s, homes were being built in the Catalina Foothills neighborhoods, and the distinctive Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival style buildings in the area began to take form. A short distance east of Campbell Avenue a building was built in 1926, possibly the first restaurant/cafe/tavern east of Oracle Road. The El Corral you dine in tonight is located in the same building (with some modifications of course). In 1939, the owner of El Corral Cafe, Leroy C. Perkins subdivided a quarter section of land into Los Ranches Perkins. The first dwellings built were used as guest cottages for a seasonal ranch. In 1946, the business name was changed to El Corral Night Club, owned first by E.H. Bruening. The "Nightclub" name continued through the 1950s. El Corral was purchased again in the 1970s by Agro Land and Cattle Company. The name was simplified to El Corral, but the restaurant has remained in the same building and location. Over the past 40 years, El Corral has continued to serve Tucsonans and their guests some of the best prime rib in Arizona. In 2014, El Corral celebrated its 75th year in existence. This is something we take great pride in. Thank you for joining us this evening, and we hope to serve the community for another 75 years!
Tucson, Arizona
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“no surprises”
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Fare priced average food and good service. A good idea to get there early for a table. Very busy place because the price is right.

Helpful?
Thank earnst81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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359 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    129
    107
    66
    37
    20
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tucson, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Third Try . . .El Corral is out!”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

This restaurant has been a place I've taken out-of-town guests since 1973. What happened to them? The historic restaurant is nostalgic of the old Tucson west and the smell of the wood burning grill is enticing as you enter - that's where it ends.

The service is only average. There was a young grill-master who is staged in the middle of the front part of the restaurant as a centerpiece so you can watch the large grill in action. Unfortunately, the young man spent the entire time either rolling his eyes, looking up at the ceiling or texting on his cell phone. The table-side salad was just okay and three of us who ordered the fillet's found them all to be chewy and tough. The baked potato was good and the Sangria was fizzy like a 7-UP punch or something?

It's the old saying, "You get what you pay for", the price was very reasonable -but I would have been happy to pay a little more and get a good meal in this gem of Tucson history! I've tried it now 3 times in the past 6 months with our visiting guests - no more. It's a shame, I really like the atmosphere.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
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Helpful?
Thank Toni M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Fun Western Experience”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We had a fun meal at El Corral on the Saturday evening before Easter. The restaurant is in a historic house on the North side of Tucson. We were fortunate to have a table by a window with a view of the Catalina Mountains. The meal started with ordering an Onion rings appetizer for the table. The onion rings may have been the highlight of the meal. The salad was prepared family style at the table which I thought was fun. The prime rib was very good and tender. Not the best ever, but a fun experience. The prices are fairly reasonable for a restaurant that is a Tucson tradition. I would suggest for both a vistor or resident of the Tucson area.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
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Helpful?
Thank ScottyFantastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forest Grove, Or
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Average Steaks at an average price”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Family type place, rather noisy, doing a good business for a thursday evening. Steas were so so, definitely not choice or prime quality. Wine pour was fair, sides were good. Nothing outstanding. Much like Longhorn, sub Saltgrass. Would return, but would not seak out.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ForestGrove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Indiana
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Disappointment”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We were sooooo disappointed with this place. Our friends recommended it. We all ordered prime ribe medium and it was so rare it was bloody. The salads were small but good. The bread was good. Might try again just but would try the steak.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tieann B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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