George and Traci Markou, owners of The Fat Greek (994 E. University Blvd.), are opening a second location in what is currently Ziggi's (3225 N. Swan Road, Suite 105). The Fat Greek II will offer a larger selection of vegetarian fare, said George Markou, and will open in mid-May. Visit www.thefatgreek.biz for more info.
Janos Wilder says he'll open a new restaurant and demonstration kitchen later this year in the 200 block of East Congress Street. It's been more than a decade since Wilder moved from the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (140 N. Main Ave.) to the grounds of the Westin La Paloma (3770 E. Sunrise Drive), and his downtown homecoming is causing quite a stir.
The desert provides much in the way of food, if you know where to look for it. Consider the calcium-packed flower buds of the staghorn and buckhorn cholla cactus, an abundant desert edible that tastes like tart asparagus. Ethnobotanist Martha Burgess will explain how to harvest and cook this spiny food from 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25. Both workshops take place at Agua Caliente Park (12325 E. Roger Road) and are $15 each. Reservations are required. Call 615-7855, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations or more information.
It's a bit of a drive to the Sonoita Vineyards (290 Elgin-Canelo Road, Elgin), but it'll be well worth it when the 29th annual Blessing of the Vineyards Wine Festival goes down from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 25. Watch a procession through the vineyards and a grape-blessing, and enjoy gourmet food, wine-tastings, live music, hot-air-balloon rides and a book-signing by Starley Talbott, author of Four Corners: Vineyards and Wineries of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. There'll be bottle-feedings of baby goats for the kids. The $10 admission includes a souvenir wine glass. (520) 455-5893; www.sonoitavineyards.com.
Dozens of local restaurants will donate as much as 20 percent of sales made on Wednesday, April 29, to Dine Out for Safety, an annual fundraiser for the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault. Visit www.dineoutforsafety.com for a list of participating restaurants and more information.