It’s your first time in Tucson, you’re driving around, taking in the sights, searching for a quick bite to eat, when you see it. eegee’s. But what in the world is it? The red lettering is inviting, and the line of drive-through cars let you know it’s obviously serving up something good.
You roll down the window to beat that sunny glair, and a whiff of fresh baked bread tickles at your nose. Now you’re intrigued, and your stomach rumbles in agreement. As you pull into the parking lot, hunger leading the way, you still have one question. What is eegee’s?
There’s been plenty written on the history and growth of eegee’s. But you’re hungry, so we’ll keep it short. eegee’s started over 50 years ago as a frozen lemonade drink served outside of local high schools and sporting events. Things tend to get hot here in Tucson, so having such a delicious, tasty, and most importantly cold treat, is key.
The frozen drink was an instant success, and soon the single drink option grew into several. Demand for eegee’s never stopped, and helped lead to the opening of the very first eegee’s brick and mortar restaurant.
With fresh baked bread, expertly crafted grinders, and award-winning bacon ranch French fries (really, the fries are frequently named Tucson’s best French fries), eegee’s has everything to help satisfy those hunger and thirst cravings. All with affordable prices and dozens of locations.
And who knows, you might even see Captain eegee, the restaurant mascot, on your visit.
If you talk to enough people around town about eegee’s you’ll likely encounter a handful that bring up the “secret menu.” The secret menu started as unofficial additions to menu items made by kitchen staff in individual restaurants. Word of mouth then helped spread the recipes to different eegee locations (when nearly all restaurants are located in the same city it becomes pretty easy for word to spread).
Now, while the secret menu isn’t all that secret, not all restaurants will be able to make items from the secret menu. But that’s also what makes it so exciting. You can request a secret menu item at any eegee’s restaurant to see if they are able to make it for you. Some will be able to, others won’t, but again, that’s what makes scoring that secret menu item such a thrill.
Some of the most popular secret menu items include Trashcan Fries, The Italiano, The Junkyard, and a Suicide Style eegee.
The Trashcan Fries, as the name suggests, is a mashup of all kinds of ingredients added on top of the traditional bacon ranch fries. Basically, everything is added, like tomatoes, onions, banana peppers, lettuce, cheese, and the works.
The Italiano is a grinder that includes roast beef and marinara, while The Junkyard is basically a California-style burrito, only instead of a tortilla it uses the freshly baked eegee’s bread. And as for the Suicide Style eegee, do you remember when you were a kid and would add all the soda fountain flavors in your cup? This is the same thing, only with eegee frozen flavors.
When listing off the most popular menu items, it always begins and ends with the local favorite ranch fries. The ranch fries takes the award winning, crinkle-cut French fries, and adds ranch and bacon bits on top. It turns a side item into the star of the show. But maybe that’s not enough for you. You still want to take it up a notch. Not to worry, because you can opt for cheesy bacon fries, chipotle ranch fries (for that extra pop of spicy flavor), and buffalo ranch fries.
Whether you decide to build your own or select from the menu, there’s a grinder for everyone at eegee’s. The Original Grinder is the thing legends are made of. Not only is it made using delicious homemade bread (baked fresh daily), but it features ham, salami, provolone cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, special spices, pepperoncini, and eegee’s house dressing.
All of it is expertly crafted together to bring your taste buds alive. If this is your first time at eegee’s, there’s no better combination than grabbing an Original Grinder, some bacon ranch French fries, and a frozen eegee’s. You’ll be an honorary Tucson resident with this purchase alone.
There are plenty of meat grinders available, but maybe you’d like to avoid meat. Not a problem there, because the Veggie Grinder comes just as packed and loaded as any of the meat offerings. This grinder features Swiss and provolone cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, black olives, onions, pepperoncini, spices, and house dressing. And don’t worry. If you need to add or subtract certain toppings, you certainly can.
There’s just something about hot meatballs served on a toasted bun. It’s truly a match made in heaven. The hot meatball sub features meatballs (as you’d guess), covered in marinara sauce, plus mozzarella cheese toasted on the bun. And it all comes packaged in your choice of white or wheat bread, both of which were made earlier in the day. Toasted to perfection, this is the kind of sandwich that brings people back.
Want to add a little kick to your sandwich-eating experience? There are a few spicy options on the eegee’s menu, including the Hot Spicy Chicken Bacon sub. This flavorful item includes chicken, chipotle ranch, provolone, salsa, plus lettuce, all of which is served on your choice of bread.
It’s not all subs and fries at eegee’s. There are plenty of meal-sized salads as well. One of the best selling salads is the Southwest Chipotle Ranch Salad. The salad features greens with red bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, wontons (for that extra crispy finish), cheese, and crispy chicken, all topped with the chipotle ranch dressing. And don’t worry, if you’d like to skip the meat, the Chopped Italian Salad is also a delicious option.
As the local fast-food chain, eegee’s has been serving fresh baked bread, mouth-watering grinders, and heat-beating frozen drinks for half a century. You don’t make it 50 years in the restaurant world without doing more than a few things right.
So, whether you’re visiting Tucson for the first time, or you’re a local who hasn’t made your way in, there’s never been a better time to satisfy your cravings and cool off the desert sun than right now. So come on out and stop by your local eegee’s today.