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Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse

1 rating: -5.0
1 review about Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse

Candy Does Tucson: Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse

  • Apr 20, 2004
  • by
Pros: Good sasparilla, inexpensive

Cons: nasty food, long wait, lousy service, they'll cut your tie off!

The Bottom Line: This is an awful place. AVOID IT!

While on vacation, I don't like to cook. Makes sense, doesn't it? So, when I decided to go to Tucson for vacation, I asked my stepfather if he could recommend any places to eat. After all, he has been to Tucson on many occasions with his Air National Guard Unit.

Instantly, my step-father recommended Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse. He said the atmosphere was terrific and the food was great. My travel buddy and I put it on the restaurant list to patronize when we got to Tucson.

The first restaurant we visited was an awesome restaurant called Michelangelo on the outskirts of Tucson, near Oro Valley. (I'm going to try to get that one listed on Epinions as well.) We also visited Olde Pueblo Grille, Mimi's Cafe and Pizzeria Uno's. After spending the day at Old Tucson Studios and Tombstone, Craig and I decided to go to Pinnacle Peak, as per the suggestion of my step-father.

Looking on the map, we thought that Pinnacle Peak was basically on the way back to our condo. Boy, were we wrong. It took forever for us to get there! Located at 6541 East Tanque Verde Road in Tucson, Pinnacle Peak is actually inside of an attraction called Trail Dust Town. This is a western-themed town with gunfights, costumed characters, and all sorts of western activities. Fortunately, there is a lot to do, as you will wait a long time for a table at Pinnacle Peak.

Pinnacle Peak is only one of the restaurants located in Trail Dust Town. It is, however, the only one that we patronized. You can find out more information about the other restaurants in Trail Dust Town by visiting www.TrailDustTown.com. From the road, you can't see Pinnacle Peak. What you do see is a sign for Trail Dust Town. Pull in there and park. You'll be able to find Pinnacle Peak once you enter Trail Dust Town.

We were stunned by the amount of people waiting to get a table at Pinnacle Peak. Craig and I were absolutely starving, and we were told that our wait would be 40 minutes. I suggested going to one of the other restaurants. My stubborn companion insisted that we eat at Pinnacle Peak since Jim (my stepdad) gave such a rave review about it.

In hindsight, we should have eaten at one of the other restaurants.

Rather than waiting in the large lounge area (couches, come western memoribilia, high ceilings, lots of people), Craig and I opted to walk around Trail Dust Town. There were a bunch of neat shops with fun souvenirs that we went into, and made our final stop at the arcade down one of the alleys. You would think that the arcade would be filled with kids, but he and I were the only patrons there. We played pinball, and then he tested his pistol skills in a shooting game. After half an hour, we moseyed back to Pinnacle Peak.

We had the option of watching a gunfight for a mere $4, but were worried that we would miss our reservation. Needless to say, we passed on that spectacle. From the sounds of it, however, it sounded really rowdy and like a lot of fun. Maybe we'll get to see it next time.

Of course, we could have watched it while we were waiting. Rather than being seated in 40 minutes, it took our hostess an hour and 10 minutes to seat us. At the hostess stand is a large sign that says:


My stepdad recommended that I get Craig to wear a tie to Pinnacle Peak. Fortunately, I didn't listen to him. Why? Well, ties aren't allowed at Pinnacle Peak. They will take a pair of scissors and cut it off of you. Seriously. Then, they take the part that they cut and pin it to the beams and rafters with your name and where you're from inside the restaurant. You don't see this until you are escorted to your table.

There are literally hundreds of ties. So, if you want to wear a tie to Pinnacle Peak make sure it's inexpensive and doesn't mean anything to you. We didn't witness anyone getting their tie cut off, but we did see what was left behind. Who knows? Maybe you think it would be fun to have part of your clothing hanging in a restaurant.

The fact that they cut ties off of the people that wear them should tell you what type of place this is. Is it classy? Um, no. The floor is wooden and needs to be cleaned desperately. The tables are covered with plastic, red and white checkered tablecloths. There are candles on the tables for more light, but we had to light ours from another table. The place is just dirty. I think it's actually supposed to be that way, for the "true western steakhouse" feel.

After being seated at a table in the corner and lighting our own oil lamp, our server approached us. He handed us two grimy menus without a word, then walked away. Craig and I stared at each other in disbelief. We looked at the menu, debating what we should order.

We were starving. We figured that we would order an appetizer to start. Guess what? No appetizers. Seriously. On the left side of the menu are the three special steaks offered my Pinnacle Peak. They are The Big Cowboy, The Cowboy and The Cowgirl. You can also find chicken, pork, burgers and other types of steak. THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO VEGETARIAN ENTREES!!! All entrees are served a la carte. You must pay extra for any sides.

I didn't know if I wanted to get The Cowgirl or ribs, so I asked our server his recommendation. He just grunted and offered absolutely no help whatsoever. I went out on a limb and decided on a half-rack of pork ribs, which ran $11.95. I had no idea that they were served a la carte, as it doesn't say so in the menu. Craig ordered a small filet mignon, which was $9.95. (The menu on the website must be outdated.) We both ordered a Souix City Sasparilla and requested that a basket of bread be brought to the table.

The beverages were brought to the table relatively quickly. Our server, who wore a name tag of "Butch Cassidy," set the bread basket on the table and left. This man barely spoke two words to us.

We were stunned at the bread. It was cold and served without butter. Furthermore, it was just store-bought white bread! It seemed as though someone opened a bag of Wonder, took a few slices out, stuck it in a basket and brought it to our table. That's when Craig and I started devising ways to pay Jim back for recommending this horrid, horrid place.

After about 20 minutes, our entrees were brought to the table. Craig's filet was served with some sort of grilled vegetables. My ribs, on the other hand, were served with nothing. That's right. I had a plate with ribs. I called it "slab-o-meat". Craig and I, who are used to nice restaurants, were horrified.

In all sincerity, my ribs were pretty good. They would have been better if they weren't so cold. The sauce was terrific. I would have loved some mashed potatoes or corn bread to go with them. Craig's filet terrible. A filet mignon is supposed to be tender and juicy. Not this filet: It was rubbery, flavorless and not cooked correctly.

Needless to say, Butch Cassidy never returned to the table to see how we were enjoying our food, if we needed anything, etc. He slapped the check on the table without offering us dessert. Craig and I just shook our heads in disbelief, paid the check and left.


Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse is loud. There are very high ceilings and most of the dining area is open, so conversations carry. This is definitely not a place for a romantic dinner. Personally, I think that this is a good place for guys to go for beer and steak-- if they don't care about the food and service. The prices, as you can see, are pretty low. I guess you get what you paid for.

There is a balloon man. For those of you that don't know me, I HATE BALLOONS! Really. I am afraid of them. Don't ask me to get into it; I just am. There is this Santa Claus-looking guy that walks around and makes balloon creatures and hats for the patrons. I don't mean just the kids, either! I watched with terror as he made some sort of heart crown for a woman my age, and stuck it on her head. I warned Craig that I would attack the man if he even looked at our table. Fortunately for him, he stayed away.

I don't know why my step-father recommended this restaurant to us. As you can well imagine, we are never going to take a recommendation from him again.

If you're going to visit Tucson, AZ, take my advice: DO NOT GO TO PINNACLE PEAK. While it is inexpensive, it is not worth the wait, lousy service, nasty food, or the horrifying balloon man. Find an Outback Steakhouse instead.


Kid Friendliness: Yes
Vegetarian Friendly: No
Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations Don't wear a tie.

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