Colt: I sort of understand what you're saying, but when we run content about local restaurants nearly every day and feature locally owned places 50 out of 52 weeks of the year in our reviews, I think you're making a lot of something out of nothing. Just because you don't care about TK's (and for the record, neither do I particularly) doesn't mean that none of our readers do.
I spent over a dozen years working in restaurants: mostly local places, and a small handful of chains. When viewed from the inside, the differences are astounding.
Scenario A: The food on your plate has been manufactured by food scientists. It has been formulated for maximum appeal (using fat, sugar, salt), and maximum profit (using cheap product, mass production, and tight portion controls). Most likely, a factory or warehouse has processed most of the elements on your plate. Much of it has arrived frozen and will be heated by a microwave. A few finishing touches may be added to make the plate appear fresh-cooked or from-scratch, but really, you are eating a glorified TV dinner.
Scenario B: The food on your plate is fresh, from-scratch, and cooked to order. The walk-in has a whole wall of fresh produce, and another with primal cuts of raw meat. The dressings are house-made, heck, the mayo is house-made. The owner, the managers, the head chefs invest 60, 70, 80 hours a week or more into their "baby". Heated discussions are had over the best vendors to use, the right spice for that vinaigrette, the best seasonal options for the new menu. Cooks and servers have their opinions, too, they lend to the discussion, as this restaurant is a growing, evolving, living place. Yes, profit is a goal here, but at the best of these places, it is only part of the goal -- alongside with the creation of a beautiful space and delicious food.
In other words, friends don't let friends promote chain restaurants.
Toby Keith will never have to worry packing seats on a Wednesday night. They can take a few bad months, and stay open. What about local joints that struggle to pay the bills, or give employees hours? Seems to me it's clear who is more deserving of an "alternative weekly's" time and space.
I appreciate that the Tucson Weekly is "writing more about the awesome things...as anyone", but that shouldn't mean that the publication should shrug and say "good enough". If anything, this community needs a stronger voice that advocates for local flavor. And the Tucson Weekly is in the position to be that strong voice; this review shows that this opportunity is squandered.
Believe the owners of Sleeping Frog Farms ran the Big Fat Greek restaurant at Camp Lowell and Swan??
Coit: We try to review every new sit-down place that opens, not because we're playing favorites, but because people sometimes eat at chain restaurants. They might want to know if it's any good.
You might not want to give us the credit, but we're out there writing more about the awesome things happening as anyone, so I think it's fair to cover one of the chain joints (especially when they only have one location in town ... a little different than Applebees).
Out of all the awesome things people in this town are doing with food, you write about what amounts to a Applebees? Thank goodness you are supporting a multi-state restaurant chain. With a million dollar ad budget. If this was a serious alt weekly, you would not have wasted ink on this blow job.
Thank you Jake. You are correct, it is 118 E. Congress. My apologies, damn my fat fingers and need for prescription lenses!
Correction: Bruno Panini's address is 118 E. Congress.
Is this a serious review?
I am starting a petition to have Rita Connelly removed as a food reviewer as her point of view is grossly outdated. So far I have 1,000 signatures, and I expect to have at least 10,000 by the end of next week.
I've dined at every local eatery in this fine city, and I offer my expert services that this city so desperately needs. For I am Garrett and I know way more than the mental midget that you currently have employed.
I totally get what you meant by "food worthy". It's not that there aren't any great chefs in Tucson, but it's not really considered a culinary hot spot nationally or internationally. The presence of a top-rated chef opening a restaurant there MEANS something and has significance.
I never said that there isn't equally talented Chefs/Restauranteurs already here. What and Who I am referring to is those that work day to day behind the line, making the visions of these chefs come to life. Its validation for us, the middle guys, not the ones with "Chef/Owner" after their name. That we, the day to day soldiers, are as good as places such as NY or LA or even Portland, a place that many like to compare Tucson to on a regular basis. That is what I am referring to when I say, "Food Worthy".
After Toby Keith's verbal attacks against the Dixie Chicks, I wouldn't eat at a restaurant started by him if my life depended on it... He's a chickhawk who loves wars that other people's kids die in.
"Food Worthy"???? Really? What does that mean? Tucson has a a lot of talented chefs and restaurateurs already and I don't think the owner of Bianco deeming us "worthy" of having his restaurants here suddenly gives them credibility or makes them any less his equal.
Many years ago it was a restaurant rum by the folks at a local ashram. It was also a Bavarian restaurant. And I think a pizza parlor.
I remember when the Dante's Fire building was actually on fire, in January 1996. Is this what they are naming the restaurant after?
Yes we closed post 9/11 :-( maybe someday soon we will be feeding Tucson again.
(Any investors interested?)
I'm friggin starving
TGIFriday's on Broadway closed on Saturday night.
Going where the French restaurant used to be, facing Tanque Verde.
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