New: Ike's Farmers' Market
Bashas' newest concept opened May 19 in Oro Valley, at 13005 N. Oracle Road and Rancho Vistoso Boulevard, in a former Bashas'. Shoppers can look forward to preservative-free breads; more than 300 natural and organic bulk items (including herbs, grains, granolas, coffees, flours, chocolates and nuts); a selection of organic wines; and natural USDA choice beef. The display of organic and conventional produce resembles old-time fruit and vegetable stands. Shoppers can pop popcorn and roast nuts; open daily; 818-9664; www.ikesfarmersmarket.com
Monkey Box in Limbo
Call Monkey Box's phone number, and you'll hear that the restaurant is temporarily closed. According to owner Bill Mackey, "The Monkey Box will reopen some day; I am not sure when that day will be, though." The restaurant closed because his two cooks departed suddenly to play in greener pastures, and instead of trying to find just anyone to run the kitchen with no guarantee of the same level of quality, Mackey decided to take a break. I hope the Monkey Box reopens, because more than three years ago, management took a chance on a downtown that promised redevelopment which has not yet happened.
Stogie and Vine, a wine-and-cigar bar, has shut its doors, reportedly because of an illness in the owners' family.
Ice Cream Extravaganza
Taste ice cream, gelato and sorbet along with the Chefs Association of Southern Arizona (CASA) to determine Tucson's best ice cream at the Pima County Home and Garden Show on Saturday, June 2, from noon to 3 p.m. The tasting is free, but admission to the show at the Tucson Convention Center costs $7. If you want to build your own sundae for $2, the money goes to the CASA education fund.
Tucson Originals $20 Summer Specials
When the temperatures and gas prices soar, there's at least one thing to be thankful for during our long, hot summer, and that's the Tucson Originals' $20 specials. Among the specials is a Barrio dessert plate; a rib-eye dinner with a glass of wine at Chad's; three courses from Acacia; a two-course world food tour with Elle; and Red Sky's prime-rib dinner. The offerings are too numerous to list here in length. Please check blog.tucsonweekly.com
for mouthwatering descriptions of what the 24 participating restaurants are serving. Who needs to cook?