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Best Late-Night Restaurant

100 E. Congress St.

READERS' PICK: One guy we know goes there for the models. (He saw a picture of European beauties hanging out in the glow of Grill's neon chicken in some chi-chi magazine, which ranked downtown Tucson up there with Berlin and Hong Kong, and now he's hooked.) Another guy goes for the photo booth, which still has real chemicals (as opposed to that crappy, digital technology taking over the majority of photo booths these days. Grill has the only booth left in the entire city that takes actual color photographs--four for $2.) Some go for the games--Scrabble, Scattergories, checkers, chess, among others--which can be played at the enormous booth in the Red Room. And some go just because they've been going there for years--more years than any of us can count.

But the real reason to go to Grill, aside from its quasi-historical significance and Americana ambiance, is the food. We're told chef and co-owner James Graham earned his culinary chops at none other than the Four Seasons, and his eclectic menu offers some of the tastiest diner fare you'll find anywhere, not just Tucson. So look beyond the Tater Tots and Cap'n Crunch, and try the pasta and vegetables, or a top-sirloin burger . And don't forget to save room for a butterscotch milkshake or perfect latte. Best of all, if your eyes are still open, so is the Grill.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Coffee Etc., 2830 N. Campbell Ave.; 6091 N. Oracle Road

Case History

1997 Winner: Coffee, Etc.
1996 Winner: Coffee, Etc.
1995 Winner: Coffee, Etc.

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