Sad to say the last time Mr. Sunny was home for the weekend (he works away from Tucson) we had two less than stellar experiences. I wanted to wait a little before I shared so I could be a bit more objective and less Debbie Downer. Today I’ll talk about Commoner & Co and maybe next time I’ll bring myself to tell you about the other disappointment.
When we came out to Tucson for our house-hunting experience in June 2016 we “discovered” Commoner and Co on Sunrise and Kolb and we were wowed with the entire experience. From the friendly greeting to the top notch service to the ah-maz-ing real Southern fried chicken we were thrilled. We talked over our craft cocktails about this being our new favorite go-to once we moved.
Sadly, since then the service has taken a dive and the food is mediocre at best. The cocktails are hit or miss. This has been a slow decline and I’ve been holding a candle for them to turn it around for at least a year. Harboring the hope that we would be pleasantly surprised I charmed Mr. Sunny into heading over to Commoner on a recent Friday night.
We noted that the side porch was closed off and the dining room, while filling up, was not packed. The bar was full and the greeter told us we’d enjoy the dining room although we were leaning toward the bar area.
Our server was a pleasant young woman with a smile who took our drink orders and returned within a few minutes with them. No problems there and I was hopeful for a great meal.
I ordered the trout special and Mr. Sunny ordered “The Suit,” the Commoner’s name for a hamburger and fries. Mr. Sunny is a simple guy and always gets a plain burger, cooked Medium to Medium well with nothing on it except bacon. No mayo. No ketchup. No tomatoes….you get the picture.
Bread was served and finished quickly and when asked if we wanted more, we agreed that would be perfect. It never came.
The entrees were delivered in a reasonable time frame and my trout was fine but a bit salty and dry. As though it had been pre-cooked and then reheated. It wasn’t awful and although it wasn’t as innovative as I’d hoped it would be based on it’s delicious description I was happy to eat it. Mr. Sunny’s burger arrived with cold fries. As though they’d been on someone else’s plate, returned to the kitchen and then shifted to his as his burger was plated. The server came around to check on us about 5 minutes after the food’s arrival and we requested hot fries. She offered to just bring more fries but we asked that the meal be replated with fresh fries.
Fresh fries arrived and Mr. Sunny cut into his burger which was a perfect example of medium rare. This was a burger I probably would have loved (lots of red juice and a red middle) but definitely not a medium to medium well cook. Look, I hear that chef’s aren’t fond of cooking meat until it looks like shoe leather (and I feel that way too) but the man likes his burger to look like it’s not mooing.
We couldn’t find our server so we motioned to the — expediter? floor manager? person walking around the dining room filling water…and told her the burger needed to be re-fired. By now, I’ve been eating my trout without complaint, we’ve noted that we never received that refill of bread and I’m both frustrated and embarrassed by the whole situation. I don’t really like to cause a scene and have issues with asking for what I need, so this was a great opportunity to support Mr. Sunny as he asked for what he wanted (and was going to pay for). Sadly I realized this would likely be our last trip to Commoner, my high hopes had been shattered.
Eventually the burger returned with fresh fries and I waited as Mr Sunny ate half the burger and took the remaining portion home for the dog.
When it finally came the burger was fine. Our server was pleasant and did her best to accommodate our requests for the meal to be prepared as requested. Commoner comped the burger and we tipped based on what would have been the full amount of the meal. Still, with so many innovative and customer-obsessed options in town we won’t be spending time or money here for a long time to come.
Commoner and Co is located at 6960 E. Sunrise Drive. Call for hours, it’s often closed when you expect it will be open.