Cowboys and cowgirls will never get the blues dining at El Corral, where the menu remains static. Nothing nouvelle exists here, and that's just the way we like it. Rustic ambiance and eager-to-please service without a dollop of arrogance make us hanker to return for special occasions and everyday dining. Where else offers salads prepared tableside with honey Italian dressing, which taste the same as they did 25 years ago? Tamale pie makes us thankful we live in the Southwest instead of the Midwest. As heady aromas of mesquite-grilled steaks and racks of barbecue ribs permeate the air and parking lot, we know the wait is worth it.
2. Sullivan's Steak House, 1785 E. River Road, 299-4275, www.sullivansteakhouse.com/tucson
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 6360 N. Campbell Ave., 529-5017, www.flemingssteakhouse.com
Pinnacle Peak, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road, 296-0911, www.pinnaclepeaktucson.com