Friday, April 24, 2015

Penca's Jicaro Is a Lightly Spicy, Agave-Centric Cocktail

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 6:00 PM

With just four components, this cocktail packs a punch. - HEATHER HOCH
  • Heather Hoch
  • With just four components, this cocktail packs a punch.

It's no secret that Penca's Bryan Eichhorst has a passion for agave distillates. Recently, he created a full menu for the downtown restaurant listing all of their mezcals—there are 32—in categories with notes on how it's made and from where it originates.

With a few new spring cocktails and old favorites like the housemade tepache, Penca's cocktail menu is modest, but ranges from bold and spirit forward to sipable and tart with just a few drinks.

One of the menu's stand-out new drinks is the Jicaro—a cocktail that shows both Eichhorst's knowledge of the history of agave spirits and his penchant for making them into balanced cocktails.

The four ingredient cocktail uses infusions to give the simple drink an extra edge. Eichhorst infuses Del Maguey Vida mezcal with elote (you know, corn). He also infuses, er, macerates aguamiel with chiltepin chiles.

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Check Out Tucson High's 8th Unity Festival Tomorrow

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 5:30 PM


Unsure of what to do tomorrow? The eighth annual Unity Festival is happening—a day of hip hop, urban art, cultural events and workshops, lots of food and aguas frescas to celebrate youth, and encourage them to express themselves in a a positive and creative way. 

It is put together by Tucson High and the school's M.E.Ch.A—Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan—in honor of Consuelo Aguilar, who founded the festival. She died of cancer in 2009 at the age of 26. (The Consuelo Aguilar 2015 Scholarship Walk/Run is also tomorrow.)

Donations for the scholarships, which are given to students majoring in Mexican-American studies, and next year's Unity fest will be accepted at the gathering at Tucson High happening from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There's going to be some mariachi music, hip hop and folkloric dancers, and spoken word goodness by the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam

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Maker House Founder Feels Threatened by Homeless Activist & It's Hard to Grasp Why

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 4:45 PM

KVOA posted a story last night with the headline, "Downtown Businessman Said He Was Threatened by Homeless Camp Founder."

The businessman is Maker House's John Jacobs, and by "homeless camp founder" they refer to John McLane, one of the creators of Safe Park—an advocacy group made up of Tucson's houseless residents.

Read McLane's message below:

  • Courtesy of KVOA

McLane is trying to put a forum together—he invited me, too—to discuss the way homelessness is dealt with at a city level, the lack of resources there are for some people, and debate possible long-term solutions to get individuals off the streets. All very relevant, fair and non-offensive conversations to have. 

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Zona Politics Goes Into Outer Space

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 4:05 PM

ZonaPol4-23finalb from Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel on Vimeo.

On this week's episode of Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel: UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Professor Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator for the OSIRIS-REx mission, stops by the set to talk about the plans to send a robotic spacecraft to explore the asteroid Bennu. You can learn more about the mission at this award-winning website. Then Anne-Marie Russell, the outgoing executive director of the Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, stops by to say goodbye. Watch it online above or tune in at 9 a.m. Sunday morning on KGUN-9.

Filmmaker Kirby Dick at the Loft Tonight With Campus Rape Film

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Campus rape is a difficult issue, for all kinds of reasons—victims sometimes have spotty memories as a result of alcohol consumption or because they were drugged against their will; there may not witnesses; sometimes it boils down to a he-said/she-said situation; and pursuing charges can be even more traumatizing for a victim. That shouldn't be read as an excuse to ignore claims of rape, but as an acknowledgment of the difficulty of proving it in a court of law. (And it's not a new issue; more than a decade ago, contributor Vicki Hart took an in-depth look at the issue for the Weekly.) Rolling Stone's recent disgraceful reporting on the topic didn't help matters any, either.

Filmmaker Kirby Dick has dug into the topic with The Hunting Ground, which opens tonight at the Loft Cinema. Dick will be there both tonight and tomorrow to introduce the film at the 7 p.m. screenings. Here's the Loft's description:

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So What's New?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Photo by Joan Safier

So what's been happening the past few weeks I should know about, and maybe write about? I've been traveling in southern Spain, and the reason you go there isn't to follow current events, though thanks to the miracle of wireless-in-every-hotel, I kept up a bit. The main lure of the area is getting a glimpse of the area pre- and post-inquisition. When it comes to Spain, I learned in school that in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. It wasn't until later I learned the date was also a marker of the worst kind of intolerance: 1492 was a very bad time to be a Jew, and a bad time to be a Muslim too. It was also later that I learned, when the Muslims were in control of the area, it was a hotbed of learning, culture and art. The Alhambra, above, is a wonder. The time is known as the Golden Age of Jewish Culture, when Jewish learning blossomed alongside Muslim learning. Walking through the Muslim palaces and mosques, seeing a small pre-Inquisition synagogue — one of three still standing in Spain — was educational and awe inspiring. And rubbing the feet of a statue of The Rambam (the name given to the scholar/philosopher/physician Maimonides [If you didn't before, next time you watch The Big Lebowski, you'll get John Goodman's reference]) is supposed to grant you luck and impart wisdom. I usually don't go in for the rubbing-for-luck thing, but in Córdoba, I rubbed his feet every time I passed.

So . . . if you think I missed something important in the news, give me a heads up in the comments, preferably with a link,
 and I'll try to get my mind back in Arizona, circa 2015 C.E.

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Hotel Congress Wins Best Breakfast Dish at the Arizona Foodist Awards

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Have you tried this well-loved Cup Cafe dish yet? - HOTEL CONGRESS
  • Hotel Congress
  • Have you tried this well-loved Cup Cafe dish yet?

Last night in Tempe, the Arizona Foodist Awards announced their winners among the list of 2015 nominations. Hotel Congress' Cup Cafe was recognized for their popular breakfast dish: cast iron baked eggs.

The dish features two eggs, ham, leeks and gruyere cheese that are baked in cream and herbes fines in a cast iron pan and served with a side of potatoes and toast. The $11 plate is served at Cup Cafe daily from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The cast iron baked eggs were also one of TW's 100 Essential Dishes this year, and, if you haven't checked those out, you have some reading and subsequent eating to do.

Although Agustin Kitchen, The Coronet, Casino del Sol's Aaron Defeo and Tough Luck Club were all nominated for various awards this year, Hotel Congress was the only Old Pueblo joint to get a nod in 2015. There's always next year, right?

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Wildcat Baseball Tickets are Waiting for You

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 11:00 AM

It's that time again! Friday morning and I was handed a stack of baseball tickets for games this weekend!  Four tickets for each game!

So, if you want to see the Wildcats do their thing against California this weekend, enter below. I'll draw winners at 1 p.m. You have to be able to pick the tickets up from our office near the Foothills Mall sometime before we lock the doors at 5 p.m.

Fill out my online form.

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  1. Hotel Congress Wins Best Breakfast Dish at the Arizona Foodist Awards (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
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