By Bruce Itule | Photo by Keith Whitney
Move over, Wyatt and Doc, there’s some new bronze at the restored Southern Pacific Railroad Station at the east end of downtown Tucson. In addition to your sculpted images, there’s a splash of bronze on the skin of the many al fresco diners at Maynards Market & Kitchen.
The outdoor area between the depot and the tracks is a popular place. At one table, a woman in a blue tank top and shorts is sunning her feet, which she’s placed on top of her flip-flops. At another table, two young mothers, their babies in strollers, are visiting and laughing. One says, “They also serve wine.” Nearby, three women in business suits are eating salads and discussing some sort of peer-review process. One more patron, whose hair is monsoon gray, is telling her dining companion about the times her father took her to the depot as a child to watch the trains.
The bronzes of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are 120 steps away. They’re standing guard over the place, just a short distance northwest of the station, where Earp shot and killed Frank Stilwell on March 20, 1882. History has it that Earp was still dealing with his enemies after the October 26, 1881, shootout near the O.K. Corral in Tombstone.
The busiest part of today’s restored depot, where Amtrak trains arrive and depart six days a week and Union Pacific giants clatter past 24/7, is the south end. That’s where Maynards draws tourists and locals to shop in the market, eat at the kitchen or relax at the adjoining coffee and espresso bar, which switches to wine, beer and cocktails by late afternoon.
The market and kitchen is named for Maynard Dixon, an early 20th century painter and illustrator who painted four murals at the current train station, which was built in 1907 and replaced the wooden depot built between 1880 and 1881.
Maynards Market sells a variety of unique food and other products, many of them produced by Arizonans. The kitchen serves dinner and Sunday brunch, and there are special events throughout the year.
At lunch, you can order a Cuban pork sandwich with Gruyére cheese, pickles, jalapeños, caramelized onions and lime juice. There’s also imported tuna, which is served on a grilled baguette. (Wouldn’t any tuna in Tucson be imported?)
At dinner, there’s organic eggplant that’s marinated, charbroiled and served with mushroom sauté. There’s roasted tomato risotto and watercress salad, or grilled Scottish salmon with olive oil, herbs and wine sauce.
The desserts are homemade daily, and include flourless chocolate hazelnut cake and pomegranate panna cotta.
As for the customers, they range from toddlers to elders on canes. Some people are in suits, others in shorts. There are to-go orderers in a hurry and Wi-Fiers who aren’t. Go figure, Wyatt. There’s even Wi-Fi.