A few weeks ago, Casa de los Niños lost the ability to use their kitchen when the roots of an old tree severed a nearby gas line. Community Relations Coordinator Dan Gregory called Terra Cotta's Michael Luria to help feed the 40 children and staff members. One good turn deserved another; the Luria family occasionally used Casa de Los Niños' kitchen for catering jobs while Terra Cotta was out of commission after its summer 2004 fire. Not only did Luria offer to provide food; he also contacted fellow Tucson Originals, which also came to the rescue. According to Judy Parin, Casa's operations manager, the following restaurants helped: Terra Cotta, Janos, Cuvée World Bistro, Kingfisher and Lodge on the Desert. Feast and Magpies also offered, but the gas line was fixed before their services were needed. This is what independent restaurants do--they support the community who needs them.
At least three local restaurants are celebrating Fat Tuesday (Feb. 28) with feasting, frivolity and music. Check out The French Quarter
starting at 11 a.m., where 13 blues and Cajun bands will play all day and night. Admission costs $10. Enjoy traditional favorites such as red beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya and live crawfish boil. French Quarter is located at 3146 E. Grant Road; 318-4767.
At Nonie, eat red beans and rice, jambalaya and crawfish boil while listening to the sounds of Grams and Krieger. Nonie is located at 2526 E. Grant Road; 319-1965.
Rhythmmm will be serving blackened catfish, chicken and sausage gumbo, crawfish étouffée and red beans and rice. The Tucson Jazz Society's Jazzwerx will perform during dinner, and at lunch, hear the strings of romantic guitarist Gerry Polo. Rhythmmm is located at 2547 E. Broadway Blvd.; 777-4200.
Craving comfort food? Bonnie Quinn has expanded her takeout business to include strawberry shortcake, banana cream pie, rice pudding and other diner-style desserts. She also serves ready-to-eat meals like spaghetti pie, Italian wedding soup, Amish macaroni salad and more. If you tell her about a favorite childhood dish, she'll try to re-create it. Find her goodies at the Oro Valley Farmers' Market, Sundaze Ice Cream Shop and Daglio's.