Who says an outing in the heart of the luxurious and scenic Dove Mountain has to empty your wallet? The Gallery Grille, located at 14000 N. Dove Mountain Blvd. wipes that misconception right out with a daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m. that features $2 drafts, $4 well drinks, $4 wine, and an attractive appetizer menu to go with.

That’s where staff of Tucson Local Media ended up in this month’s Sippin’ Social – an open-to-the-public event that takes place on the third Thursday of each month in which readers can discuss their thoughts on recent news, suggest local story ideas, or – the best part – simply get to know us.

Alright, fine. We’ll leave the flattery to The Gallery, because this place is definitely worth the visit. The Grille has a lot going for it even beyond its clean, calm atmosphere with mountainside views and a helpful wait staff. The appetizers – while undiscounted during happy hour, truly speak for themselves. That’s true whether of the Nachos De Casa ($7) or the Citrus Shrimp ($11), both of which we gave a test-run during our visit, and neither of which disappointed.

The nachos come on a big plate and could easily serve as a stomach-settling snack for three or four people. The dish of tortilla chips, grated cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, olives, cilantro crema, and pico de gallo with salsa is, however, fairly addicting, so if sharing, you’d be wise to get your hands involved quickly.

The citrus shrimp, orange-glazed with smoked paprika and olive slaw is every bit as good – so much so that you’ll wish the plate came with more than a mere five of them. Still, they were perfectly cooked and breaded to give a pleasant texture and even better follow-through when it comes to taste.

Both dishes were recommended to us by what seemed to be a veteran staff member who was prompt in her service, but even more importantly, honest about her thoughts when asked about menu items. There was no generalized “everything on the menu is good” (which it probably is) rather, she took the time to talk about her personal preferences or suggest items based on previous customer feedback.

And while the food needed no washing down, my coworker and I each enjoyed a beer to go with our appetizers, he getting the well-known Kiltlifter, made from Arizona’s Four Peaks Brewing Company, while I tried out a Hefeweizen. The beer menu was somewhat limited during our visit, although we were informed it changes and multiplies during particular seasons of the year.

Overall though, this place gets an A.

Where to next?

Staff of Tucson Local Media will next head to Oro Valley’s Café Torino, located at 10325 N. La Cañada Dr. Join us on Oct. 16, at 4 p.m.

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