Mr. G’s Roast Beef Heaven at Omar's Hi-Way Chef Restaurant (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)
Next time you find yourself cruising around town near Interstate 10 looking for an impeccable breakfast joint without a wait, treat yourself to a meal at one of Tucson’s only Pulp Fiction-worthy diners, Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant.
Omar’s is easy to find. Just look for the Triple T Truck Stop sign towering over a turquoise canopy by the Craycroft exit. Or just go to 5451 E. Benson Hwy. (But really, click here to open 5451 E Benson Hwy in Google Maps.)
Red swivel chairs line the bar while aging turquoise and yellow tiles decorate the kitchen walls for an eccentric southwest feel. Large windows let in abundant sunlight and provide a view of the cars whizzing past.
Omar’s menu is vast, offering breakfast all day (sadly, no longer 24 hours) and diner classics such as burgers and sandwiches. The dinner menu includes some Italian pasta dishes and Mexican combination plates, as well.
Omar’s staff is as kind and friendly as you’d expect from grandma, emphasizing hospitality by ensuring that no coffee cup is left empty and that all customers leave full and happy.
For some meaty stick-to-your-ribs goodness, order the TTT Burrito ($8.99). It consists of a soft flour tortilla stuffed full of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and cheddar cheese. The hash browns are slightly crispy and the melted gooey cheddar awesomeness holds everything together. A smoky chipotle salsa is served on the side and adds a subtle kick.
Breakfast lovers should consider the buttermilk pancakes. Available in stacks of two ($5.59) or three ($6.09), these flapjacks are everything that you want in a pancake — fluffy and moist in the middle with slightly crispy edges, served alongside maple syrup that is just-the-right amount of sweet. Simple and filling, they trigger a bit of childhood nostalgia.
TTT Apple Pie at Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)
Mr. G’s Roast Beef Heaven ($9.99) is a southwest take on the classic roast beef sandwich featuring lightly toasted sourdough bread, a hearty serving of fresh roast beef, melted Monterey Jack cheese, and roasted green chiles. The beef is thinly sliced and expertly seasoned, providing a platform for the slight spiciness of the chiles and the rich Monterey Jack cheese. Dip it in the side of jus for a softer, more savory experience.
The most famous menu item by far is Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant’s Deep Dish Hot Apple Pie ($6.99). It arrives like a rock star in a coffee shop, drawing eyes and looks of envy from neighboring tables. Vanilla frozen yogurt towers over the flaky crust and slowly melts into the warm apple filling. Surprisingly light for its flamboyant appearance, the frozen yogurt offering a cool creamy texture without weighing the dish down. The apples are just soft enough and the pie crust is crispy on top with a softer, chewier underside.
With a broad variety of choices and a comfortable, cheerful atmosphere, Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant is a pleasure. Try it for yourself and you’re sure to fall in love too.
Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant is located at 5451 E. Benson Hwy. For more information, call (520) 574-0961 or visit omarshiwaychef.com.