Chow

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Quick Bites: Stay Away From Denny’s This Thanksgiving

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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There are plenty of reasons you might not have a big, home-cooked Thanksgiving meal planned with your loved ones this year.

But if you’re going to dine out, do not become one of those holiday-themed Hollywood movie characters who’s supposed to epitomize “depressing and/or pathetic and/or quirky” by patronizing a 24-hour chain restaurant or Chinese joint.

Go thou instead to Hotel Congress’s Cup Café, which will offer the exact opposite of a depressing/pathetic experience—just because it’s a cool and classy place. And the food—holiday specials served from 9 a.m. to close—will be as good as anything your Great Aunt Mildred would make, whether your holiday meat of choice is traditional turkey (with all the usual fixins’) or coffee-cured Virginia ham.

Vegetarian? Just go for the pie: apple, pumpkin and pecan by the slice.

Reserve a table at The Cup Café, 311 E. Congress St., at hotelcongress.com/food or by calling 798-1618.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Quick Bites: STEM Your Excitement

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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Are you an adult who supports youth education (specifically, helping young people get more careers in the STEM fields)? Yet for whom that certainly doesn’t mean you prefer your fundraisers to be lacking in the adult-beverage department?

This Saturday’s inaugural YESNET Block Party has you covered. This event is organized to raise money for the S.Y. STEM Coalition, a Tucson-based nonprofit working to steer kids toward work in science, technology, engineering and/or math—and it’s being held as an outdoor party in Three Wells Distilling and Ten 55 parking lot, with all the distillery’s deliciously alcoholic products available for consumption.

The event’s other sponsors, also offering their wares, are all likewise local: Ten 55 Brewing, Yellow Brick Coffee, Green Feet Brewing and Hamilton Distillers. (Besides promoting a local nonprofit, the event hopes to show off the area where it’s being held as the newly blossoming “craft-beverage district” it is, northeast of PaloVerde Road and Ajo Way.)

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Quick Bites: Pizza, Not Politics

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 12:30 PM

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Need a little voting practice just before Election Day?

It can’t hurt, right? Well, in our opinion it can’t… as long as the practice activity is fun, meaning having nothing to do with the actual election—no politics allowed.

If you agree, and if you happen to be a fan of pizza—like, um, probably most people?—we have the perfect event for you: the Pizza Throwdown 2016, to be hosted by Fresco Pizzeria and Pastaria this Sunday, courtesy of Tucson Originals Restaurants, an alliance of independently owned local restaurants, food purveyors and others whose goal is to show off Tucson’s first-class culinary community.

Drop by the restaurant at 3 p.m. and enjoy three hours of handmade pizza from establishments across the city; then vote for your favorite. If you’re 21 or older, you can also enjoy samples of hand-crafted beer.

Of course, you don’t have to be any particular age to choose your fave pie. So this is especially good voting practice for 17-and-younger future president-pickers.

The only drawback? Well, you’ll want to be discriminating in your choice of best pizza—so you just might have to eat a lot of it. (Of course, there won’t really be any real-life consequences if you’re not discriminating… but it’s the principle of the thing! And what good will this practice voting be if you don’t take it seriously?)

So come on down to eat, drink and support local cuisine.  Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, this weekend you can be a member of what many would deem the best party of all: the Pizza Party.

The Pizza Throwdown happens from 3–6 p.m., Sun., Nov. 6, at Fresco Pizzeria and Pastaria, 3011 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $20 at the door or $20 bought in advance.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Win Tickets to the Chiles, Chocolate & Day of the Dead Festival

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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It's the end of October which, in my house, means diving head first into vats of chile and chocolate—and, of course, paying homage to those we've lost with Día de los Muertos.

To that end, Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte, is the place to be this Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29. Buy some chile plants and walk through the gardens enjoying Day of the Dead-inspired artwork, chile roasting, food and wine tastings, live entertainment and free Día de los Muertos-themed face painting, plus activities for the kids.  

Tickets are $15 ($5 for members, free for kids under 12), but we're giving away four pairs of tickets, good for either day. 

Want to win? Enter below. We'll get in touch with winners throughout the day.


Fill out my online form.

Quick Bites: Halloween, Japanese-Style

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 9:30 AM

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Yoshimatsu Healthy Japanese Eatery might be the last place you’d expect to be serving Halloween-themed eats—but you’d be wrong!

This locally owned, super-vegan-friendly restaurant is so authentically Japanese that the menu is written in choppy English and it serves some stuff that some Americans would find, well, not so yummy-sounding—like squid salad or fermented soybeans. But this place serves up so much variety that you’re sure to find something you like, be it the low-cal stir-fried tofu noodles or the more decadent bacon-and-onion Kushi Yaki skewers.

Anyway, in honor of All Hallows’ Eve this year, in mid-October Yoshimatsu started offering a Halloween Special: pumpkin ramen—a unique but great idea!—as well as Yuzu Miso Dengaku, or miso-glazed eggplant (whose relation to Halloween we’re frankly not sure about, but which we’ve heard is heard is delicious).

And if you haven’t been to Yoshimatsu for awhile, you might not even know two very important things about the place:

1. Yes, it’s open again—it reopened right across the street from its old location last spring!

And…

2. It’s apparently one of Bernie Sanders’ go-to Tucson eateries: He was spotted there just last week, when he spoke at the university. We’ll get back to you if we get the scoop on what he ordered. (Politicians: They’re just like us!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Quick Bites: Eat No Evil

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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You may have plans for Halloween—Mon., Oct. 31—and for the Friday or Saturday before Halloween (or even all three nights!). But what about the night before Halloween, traditionally known as a night for mischief and often called “Devils’ Night”?

Well, Hotel Congress’s hasn’t forgotten about this “holiday.” The folks at Cup Café have some mischief (the good kind) in store for anyone who wants to celebrate gastronomically: The Devil’s Night Dinner, a fancy four-course meal with a Halloween theme, entertainment and even a dress code—wear black!

The three dinner courses are all cleverly planned around the theme of the three wise (and creepy) monkeys. First, sit down to a “See No Evil” course featuring crudo of Spanish mackerel (we do think raw fish looks kinda gross) with a blood-orange-and-ginger glaze; then just try to “hear no evil” during the second course, including dishes with “sizzling mushrooms” and “crispy duck skin.” Of course the “Speak No Evil” course includes tongue. But after that diners are rewarded with the Devil’s Dessert: “pumpkin trifle and pumpkin ice cream with marshmallow sauce and shaved chocolate (plus “squid ink crumble,” whatever that is). And all four courses are paired with fancy Halloween-themed cocktails.

Despite all that talk of evil, we promise the food and drink will be good.

The dinner takes place outside in the dark, on the Hotel Congress Plaza, and the entertainment is dark, too—dark magic, that is, performed by Tucson’s own Magic Kenny Bang Bang.

The Devil’s Night Dinner starts at 7 p.m., Sun., Oct. 30, at the Cup Café, 311 E. Congress St., and costs $65. Get more information and make reservations at hotelcongress.com/devils-night-dinner.


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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fill Up On Beer, Bands and Brats at 4thtober Fest

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 3:30 PM

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It might be 90 degrees outside, but it is fall and with fall comes a series of delicious and refreshing Oktoberfest-ivals. This weekend, the fest to not miss is 4thtoberfest.

This Saturday, Oct. 22 from 1 to 7 p.m., enjoy bands, brats and so many local beers on 4th Avenue. 

Now, you can get into the bars and see the bands without purchasing a $15 ticket, but it does sound like a good deal (and a portion of sales will be donated to KXCI): A ticket gets you eight tasting tickets redeemable for 1 nickel pour each, a 5 ounce logo glass and a discount on your brat plates (plan to spend $5 on those) plus exclusive access to some specialty beers—but we'll get to those in a second. 

First, lets get you in! Five lucky people are getting a pair of tickets from us. Fill out our entry form here and we'll get in touch with winners today (Thursday, Oct. 20) and tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 21).

Now that we've got all the logistics out of the way, let's go over what you'll be putting in your mouth:

Continue reading »

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Quick Bites: Brunch Gone Wild

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 10:15 AM

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Tap + Bottle is having a ladies’ night!? Nope, wait—it’s more like a “ladies’ late morning.”

Ever heard of “Tucson Girls’ Pint Out”? It’s a local all-female organization that, according to its website, “promotes solidarity between beer drinkers of the fairer sex.” Through monthly events like field trips, drives and meet-ups—quite often, obviously, at bars and pubs—this group aims not only to unite women who already love beer, but to initiate future female brew connoisseurs.

“Boys” are allowed at Girls’ Pint Out events… but only “on chains and when dining al fresco.”

This group’s mission? “To increase women’s knowledge of beer through collaboration with fellow females, and introduce the uninitiated to superior suds.” Actually, GPO wants to “reclaim our supremacy” over the beer lifestyle, pointing out that females were the first brewers in ancient Sumeria. (We didn’t know that!)

So is GPO a bunch of radical feminists or just some cool chicks who love beer? If you don’t know yet, you decide when you come to their three-year anniversary party, where members (and initiates) will be getting together for one of the most ladylike types of gatherings—a brunch—and making it boozy.

This Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon—if you’re a girl, that is—come to Tap + Bottle and get girly over delicious eats from the Chef's Kitchen omelet bar, with beer on tap, naturally: A special-collaboration mole stout by GPO and Ten Fifty-Five Brewing Company will be flowing, as will taps from Historic Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewing.

Bring bras to donate to Sister Jose Women’s Center—because girls are generous like that.

Tap + Bottle is at 403 N. Sixth Ave., St. 135. Visit thetapandbottle.com for details and to check out the calendar.

Staff Pick

Frida: Portraits by Nickolas Muray

Tucson Botanical Gardens and Etherton Gallery are collaborating to bring the photography show Frida: Portraits by Nickolas… More

@ Tucson Botanical Gardens Oct. 10-May 31, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

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