Great Grub & Games at Culinary Dropout

Matt and Tyler

We’re happy to share our experiences at a location that is known to senior Tucsonans as “the old Grant Road lumberyard,” but today is known as a vibrant restaurant / bar / games establishment called Culinary Dropout.

Every so often we take the five-minute drive from our apartment to hang out here. The first thing we always notice when pulling into the parking lot is that there is a charging station for electric cars. Sadly, Matt’s handy 02’ Ranger doesn’t not be need a charge, but we think having that is pretty cool! 

Our go-to meal every time is the turkey pastrami on a pretzel bun with a side salad and pickle. The pretzel bun is always fresh and tasty paired with juicy turkey and pastrami meat and swiss cheese. It has the perfect amount of salty and savory flavor. The salad afterward cleanses your palate with its delectable balsamic dressing and fresh fruits and vegetables. We also paired our meals with a cup of coffee – important to mention this was a high-end cup of coffee with beans imported from Columbia. The coffee was in a huge mug and tasted absolutely fantastic.  Although not the most popular food item on the menu, it is by far our favorite. 

After speaking with General Manager Zack Baum, his take on the food and drink choices was great to hear.  We asked our server to speak with a manager and he immediately came and greeted us with joy.  We informed him of our “Takes on Tucson” project for our English 102 and he was glad to offer his email to answer any and all of our questions.  We were interested in what his favorite options on the menu were, and he followed my question by saying, “ Korean steak; perfectly marinated juicy skirt steak, just the right amount of spice,​ on a bed of nutrient-dense forbidden black rice and topped with fresh crisp sauteed vegetables, cilantro, and mint.  Evil Jungle princess; proprietary blends of Caribbean rums, fresh pineapple, orange, and guava juice, topped with a cinnamon almond spiced orgeat.”  Both of these options sound absolutely delicious and I certainly will be giving them a try in the future.  The Korean steak is his favorite food item while the Evil Jungle Princess is his favorite alcoholic beverage on the extensive drinks menu.

Although under the legal drinking age of 21, we did happen to notice the extensive cocktail menu!  Wow, did we ever wish we were legally allowed to consume alcohol because many of these beverages sounded delicious!  There was wine, beer, mixed drinks, and even shots to order on the menu.  We made sure to peek over at the bar and look at some of the drinks coming out and being served to other guests.  Many of the beverages were exotically colored like bright pink, orange, and even green!  I, myself, have never seen such unique-looking drinks and wish I was able to tell you how they tasted!

Live Entertainment too!

When you visit Culinary Dropout, you will never be bored since there is always something to do! Culinary, for one, is a terrific place to watch sports, especially if you are a die-hard Arizona supporter. General Manager Zack Baum states, “In our main dining room, they have over 26 TVs and a large projector showing all Arizona local sports, including the Arizona Cardinals, PHX Suns, University of Arizona basketball, football, and more.”  Let me tell you, both Matt and I had a large projector streaming an irrelevant basketball game while we were enjoying our meal, but we can see why Culinary Dropout is a hotspot when big sporting events are on!  P.S. – We both hate watching basketball!

In regards to performers on the large stage located smack dab in the middle of the restaurant, Zack Baum states, “Culinary is very supportive of local budding artists. On Friday nights, they highlight local bands and artists through a third-party firm called Groove Booking. Jason, a long-time local DJ, used to perform at Club Congress, hi-fi, and the playground rooftop before joining Culinary. Jason currently plays every week on Saturday night and Sunday brunch.”  Jason is a wonderful DJ and we were able to actually listen to him at Culinary while we were eating! It made the whole experience even better!

And Games for All!

We also cannot forget to talk about the mini-games that Culinary has set up through the outside-inside sitting area. Honestly, Culinary has three of our favorite childhood games that we played growing up during cookouts or when we had people over the house for dinner.  We started at Ping-Pong where Matt smoked me, but I made a strong comeback and beat him in a close cornhole match! We then finished with some foosball and cornhole. We think it is very unique that this establishment has added this into their already special place. These games are perfect to pass time if your group is waiting for food or just to hang out and have fun after your meal.

All-in-all, Culinary Dropout is a place that has just about anything any guest would ever want, but it was our conversation with General Manager Zach Baum that truly proved to me that the entire staff at Culinary Dropout will go to extreme lengths to ensure all guests are happy.  Matt felt he put true effort into emailing him back with responses that came from the heart.

When asked about how guests should feel after leaving Culinary Dropout, Zack states, “​(Our guests should feel) Fulfilled. We pride ourselves on great hospitality every time, when departing our restaurant our guests should feel fulfilled and taken care of.”  After leaving Culinary Dropout we would say fulfilled was an understatement. Culinary recognizes that the only way to ensure the finest experience for their guests is to constantly enhance and perfect an unforgettable experience. So, they create new concepts in their test kitchen and immerse themselves in all of the tiny details. This includes uniforms to menus, from the entertainment all the way to the food, and all the way down to the napkins and utensils. Culinary Dropout reworks minute details until everything comes together flawlessly.  We were so extremely happy with our overall experience and recommend Culinary Dropout to anyone who has never been.


Tyler Sharp and Matt Marquis are both sophomores at the University of Arizona and are majoring in Business