13 September, 2019, 10:04

Tiny’s Saloon & Steakhouse: Big burgers, bottomless fries & cold beer

This westside dive has everything you could hope for: dim lighting, bright spirits, cold beer, and good food at a great price.

“You want (more) fries with that?”

One of Tiny’s Saloon’s bartenders or servers might ask you this, after noticing you’ve already devoured the pile that came with your half-pound steer burger.

The correct response is “yes, please!” After all, they’re on the house.

BOC Burger at Tiny's Saloon & Steakhouse

BOC Burger at Tiny’s Saloon & Steakhouse (Credit: Jackie Tran)

At Tiny’s Saloon & Steakhouse, free bottomless Brew City fries (purchased with sandwich or entree, anyway) are just one happy surprise that this family-friendly, truckers-welcome, biker-loving watering hole-meets-restaurant serves up.

Pretty much everything is on point here, from the food to the service to the Western paintings and vintage decorations.

But you probably wouldn’t guess how awesome it is while driving by.

The few cars and motorcycles out in the giant dirt parking lot on any given early afternoon can bely the number of customers getting their late lunch and a $4.25 Budweiser on behind the saloon doors. Sometimes, though, the lot is lined with motorcycles, like when the bar is sponsoring a charity poker run.

Tiny’s is almost always busy, and for good reason: once people try Tiny’s food, they become frequent customers, and fast. It’s the kind of laid back place where everyone knows one another’s names, especially the regulars. Dinner reservations are requested for parties of six or more – not something you normally associate with far-westside holes in the wall. Even though there are tons of tables, both inside and on the enclosed patio, everything is cooked to order and they don’t want anyone going hungry.

Facade at Tiny's Saloon & Steakhouse

Facade at Tiny’s Saloon & Steakhouse (Credit: Jackie Tran)

First-timers tend to order the burger, cooked to temp. They often stick with that order every time they come back.

But the menu is extensive and it’s a good idea to steer from the burgers toward other items sometimes. This is the kind of place that offers surf-and-turf holiday steak specials, and does a corned beef and cabbage spread for St. Patrick’s Day. The pastrami sandwich might as well be made for Dagwood Bumstead, it’s stacked so tall. It’s also flavorful, with no shortage of spicy mustard, Swiss, and pickles to amp it up. Tiny’s center-cut ribeyes are huge and come with chili, a baked potato, a roll, and salad … for just under $20.

There’s a weekly special, which is often – but not always – a creative burger amalgamation. Some favorites include the Nacho Average Burger, with orange cheese, olives, jalapeños, and a tortilla; or the FoGOUDAbout, with gouda cheese, crisp bacon, and barbecue sauce. The PB and B burger comes around every once in awhile, with peanut butter and bacon. As does the Cuban Burger, with Swiss, barbecued pulled pork, fried pickles, and ham for $12.50 with the bottomless fries or slaw.

Aside from the food, there’s regular happenings at Tiny’s too. I mean, some of those happenings revolve around, food, though.

BOC Burger at Tiny's Saloon & Steakhouse

BOC Burger at Tiny’s Saloon & Steakhouse (Credit: Jackie Tran)

On Sundays, the bar and restaurant open at 11 a.m. to begin Sunday Wing Days, offering a choice of 16 different flavors. The chef’s spicy, jammy mango habañero wing sauce could be sold by the gallon, it’s so good (get it with their $5 signature Twisted Margarita made with jalapeños and mangos). The cilantro lime and garlic parmesan wing sauces are outstanding too.

After eating your way through the menu and drinking stout cocktails all day, you can sing the blues away, at least on Karaoke Fridays. Sometimes there are live bands, too.

Recently, Tiny’s launched a new concept: they’re hosting a farmer’s markets in the parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Bar at Tiny's Saloon & Steakhouse

Bar at Tiny’s Saloon & Steakhouse (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Historically, Tiny’s was known for only taking cash, but as of mid-2018, it accepts credit cards.

Tiny’s is located at 4900 West Ajo Highway. Learn more at Tiny’s Saloon & Steakhouse on Facebook.

Angela Orlando is an anthropologist who owns Wandering Writers Workshops — retreats that take writers around the world. She’s into all things plant- and animal- and food-related, especially when cheese is somehow involved. She throws pottery and eats from her own handmade plates.

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