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Tucson Weekly Best Casual Dining 2011
Best Casual Dining Review: “There are all kinds of great restaurants in Tucson, and many of them do one or two things really well. But if you had to choose a best all-around place—one that's appropriate for almost any occasion—you'd be wise to consider The B Line. First of all, it's right in the middle of town. Second, the service is friendly and fast. Third, you can get all three main meals there, or you can just stop in for a drink or dessert. Fourth, the dress is casual, just like our town. Fifth, the desserts are to die for. This is delicious comfort food dressed up just a bit. And the wondrous train art on the wall caps it all off.”
Best Desserts Review: “Terri La Chance, The B Line's fabulous pastry chef, whips up desserts that are as premium as the ingredients she uses: real butter, cage-free eggs, real vanilla, Belgian chocolate, fresh fruit, flour sifted with love, and pie crusts rolled out with the delicate song of a siren. Just listen to this small selection of recent items in The B Line's enticing spinning dessert display: four-berry pie, with raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries; German-chocolate cakes that look like whoopee pies gone wild; chocolate pots de crème in pristine white tea cups; flourless chocolate pecan cookies; and various types of always-creamy cheesecake. Hear that music? It's the desserts calling you to come ashore and frolic in their deliciousness.”
Tucson Weekly Best Restaurants 2010
Best Casual Dining Review: “There's a lot of cross-pollination going on over at The B Line. The cool jazz on the speakers and the industrial details in the decor suggest New York sophistication; the panoramic desert railroad paintings and spicy menu are pure Southwest. The walk-up counter and extensive dessert selection - ranging from classic fruit pies to flourless chocolate pecan cookies and pots de creme - offer the best of cafe dining, while the menu is filled with hearty burritos, sandwiches and salads like you'd expect from an upscale diner. Whether you're enjoying a short stack of "crepe cakes" for breakfast, or the blackened mahi mahi burrito, you're in for some purebred dining pleasure.”
Runner Up for Best Desserts (2010)
Tucson Weekly Best Restaurants 2009
Best Casual Dining Review: “The food is great here. That alone, plus the amazing beer selection, should be enough to make you want to come and try it out. But the secret to the B Line can only be tapped during the days and nights when Fourth Avenue is teeming with humanity - like weekends, or during the Fourth Avenue Street Fair, or during the All Souls Procession. There's a stretch of seats along the windows facing the avenue. Sit there, ad enjoy your fish tacos, salad or porter, along with some good people-watching. It's also a good place to meet up with friends. The B Line is an unpretentious little spot that makes your tummy feel good.”
Runner Up for Best Desserts (2009)
Runner Up for Best Beer Selection on Tap (2009)
Caliente (Tucson Citizen/AZ Daily Star) 2008 (Review by Kevin W. Smith)
"You can tell a lot about the character of Tucson restaurants by the art on their walls and their beer selections. At the B Line, there's a long, brilliant, four-piece painting of a freight train passing through the desert that runs across three walls, just under the ceiling, in the front room."
"And the selection of 13 brews on tap ($4.15 for a pint) is top-notch — meaning, no Budweiser. Recently available was the one India Pale Ale no self-respecting local alcohol licensee should be without: the mouth-watering West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing in San Diego."
"The B Line opened on North Fourth Avenue in September 2002 and is owned by Eric Sophiea and Peter Wilke. Wilke is the same local genius behind quality haunts Time Market and Wilko, and his mother, Wendy Wilke, is the artist behind B Line's train painting."
"There's a casual sophistication at B Line that feels warm rather than judgmental. Upbeat jazz music fills the bright, cozy eatery, which has wrap-around windows facing out onto Fourth Avenue and clean wooden tables. Seating can be an issue when it's busiest — which Sophiea said can be weekend mornings and evenings."
"Another great thing about B Line is ordering. You walk up to a counter and survey the varied menu (from pasta and burritos to sandwiches and salads — not to mention tempting desserts) and make your decisions. The waitress clips orders onto a wheel that's attached to a wire then sends it scooting down to the kitchen."
"While it's a pretty informal atmosphere, if you're trying to pinch pennies on grub, B Line might not be the way to go. A plate of two fish tacos is $10.95, for instance. There are lots of deals on alcohol, like $1 off pints at happy hour (4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, all day Monday). On Tuesdays, there's $10 off any bottle of wine. If you are all right with investing a little change, then dig in, because B Line has some of the freshest fare in town, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner."
" "We make damn near everything from scratch," said Sophiea, who is also a manager."
"We ordered a Blackened Mahi Mahi Burro enchilada style with a side of guacamole and the Pasta Alla Vodka. The burro came covered in red chile sauce and cheese, which added to the tasty bites of seasoned rice, spiced fish and creole sauce. The bowl of pasta was large, with arugula scattered on top and garlic toast on the side, though my guest was looking for an added flavor kick in the dish afterward. You can also add items like fish, sausage, steak or chicken to pasta, which will cost between $2.75 and $6.50."
"For relaxed dining and quality libations in a central location, you'll be fine at B Line."
Tucson Weekly Best Restaurants 2008
Runner Up for Best Casual Dining (2008)
Runner Up for Best Desserts (2008)
Tucson Weekly Best Restaurants 2007
Best Casual Dining Review: “While eating a fat breakfast burrito and e-mailing SOS messages to the world in hopes that someone would save us from the zombies, we realized that The B Line, with its tasteful décor, delicious food and free wireless Internet access, is the perfect place to lay low for a while and wait for the streets to clear. Plus, the bar seating by the window looking out onto Fourth Avenue provides a rare vantage from which to spot zombies, gutter punks or super-hot ladies--whatever you're into.”
Runner Up for Best Veggie Burger (2007)
Runner Up for Best Desserts (2007)
Tucson Weekly Best Restaurants 2006
Best Casual Dining Review: “We love how B-line creates a whole experience, not just a meal. We remember the months it took to prepare the space before it opened, every detail exquisitely designed and crafted. The food matches the décor: hip and urban and expertly prepared. It's fun to sit at the counter facing Fourth Avenue and people-watch. Save room for dessert; the pastry team knows their stuff. The fruit pies are good enough to stand in for dinner: The crust is extraordinarily flaky and delicate; the fillings are pure and unstarchy with a perfect acid-sugar balance so the flavor of the fruit comes singing through.”
Tucson Weekly Best Restaurants 2005
Best Casual Dining Review: “The B-Line might be a descendant of the luncheonettes that became popular in the '20s. It's comfortable. The menu features Tucson comfort food. The terrific quesadilla has a dipping sauce that emphasizes complex flavors and some heat. Dinner salads with tender steak or moist salmon come with innovative dressing choices. Burros are made with the best Tucson tortillas. Italian subs are spicy and served with a chaser of mellow pasta. An interesting selection of beer and Stewart's soda pop are offered with wine, coffee and tea. Part of the fun is the waiter taking your order at the counter, placing it on a clip and zipping it down a suspended line to the kitchen. The B-line is also modern and hip. The decor is New York stylish. The view is Fourth Avenue.”
Runner Up for Best Desserts (2005)
Runner Up for Best Desserts (2004)
Tucson Weekly Best Restaurants 2003
Best Casual Dining Review: “Oh, we love B-Line. We love that they're there for us on Sundays (so we forgive the Monday closure) and we love that they stay open in those hours between breakfast, lunch and dinner. We love that they have a small but excellent selection of beer on tap. And we adore the simplicity of the menu--giant buttermilk biscuits for breakfast served sweetly with pecan butter and honey, or prepared savory, with eggs and roasted green chilies. Lunch and dinner offer burritos and quesadillas, simple pastas with homemade sauces and salads the likes of which we ain't used to in these parts--combining purple Peruvian potatoes, sunflower seeds, dried fruits and feta--dressed with such a light hand that we needn't ask for the exquisite buttermilk horseradish on the side. The bakery case is gorgeous, with tarts, cakes, pies and chewy cookies. B-Line is perfect for a family brunch, a solo afternoon beer-and-crossword hour or a dinner date.”Runner Up for Best Desserts (2003)
Tucson Weekly (Review by Charlotte Lowe Bailey)
"The B Line's pies alone nearly reduced me to greedy tears. Such flaky crust, with a taste like lightly sweetened sugar cookies, should be celebrated.... What ever happened to pie anyway? Where is the good pie that makes you want a good cup of Joe or an icy glass of milk? At The B Line, that's where."
"Also fabulous are both the lunch and dinner entrees. You order at the counter and service is quick with orders brought to your table. A trough of tortilla soup, spiked generously with cilantro, redolent with fresh ripe avocado and not overwhelmed by jack cheese ($6.25) is a deservedly popular dish."
"Another favorite, the humongous blackened catfish burro ($6.95), served with peppery achiote rice and a fun twist on coleslaw with jicama and tortilla chips tossed in with red, green and yellow peppers, cilantro, salsa and a healthy squeeze of lemon. The flaky catfish had its distinctive sweetness and tasted as if fresh caught. The accompanying salsas on all the burritos are fresh, fresh, fresh."
"The very affordable menu (you can easily dine for under $10, even if a gourmand) has few flaws. It is limited and perhaps that is, for a devotee of the cafe, a minus. You can easily eat your way through The B Line fare but luckily they've started featuring a weekly special--currently a spinach salad with crumbles of blue cheese, toasted spicy pecans, sliced pear and Roma tomatoes with a raspberry vinaigrette."
"Their salad in general is very good, with the now standard selection of greens... but with the creative additions of seasonal vegetables such as purple potatoes, beets and carrots. The house-made dressings are lightly adventurous, such as the zippy horseradish. The pastas and the sausage sandwich are a clever mix of the hip and the homespun."
"The burritos are far from mundane, yet their essence is simplicity: tender carne asada, grilled chicken or black beans and rice dressed with sauces that understand the tastes and textures they accompany."
Food Network: $40 a Day (Episode AD1B16)
The desert sun of Tucson, AZ is almost as hot as the $40 burning a hole in Rachael Ray's pocket. She stops at The B Line to enjoy one of our tasty pies. The pies at The B Line are made fresh daily. This homemade berry pie is full of ripe, red fruit. It comes served warm with fresh. cold whipped cream.
The Berry Patch Pie Recipe (now called the Four-Berry Pie) is available from Food Network.