The Markou Ranch
The owners of the local The Fat Greek restaurants have quite the operation going at their ranch out on Tanque Verde Road. The Markou Ranch's goats, chicken, sheep and rows of vegetables keep the restaurant at 3225 N. Swan Road flush in fresh milk, eggs and produce, and will eventually do the same for the other location at 994 E. University Blvd. George Markou said his wife, Traci Markou, started the project as a way to help the family eat more healthfully and has kept it running while he's at the restaurant. They've worked closely with the UA School of Agriculture and the county health department to ensure everything is within code, and plan to double the size of the ranch in the coming months. Check it out at markouranch.blogspot.com.
Now Open: Eat-a-Burger
In my opinion, the burgers made by husband and wife Christopher "Jass" Koster and Sineenart Wethatham are some of the finest in town. The couple operated the downtown food truck Eat-a-Burger until a couple of months ago, when they closed to start work on their indoor restaurant in the Pioneer Building at 100 N. Stone Ave. Eat-a-Burger's delicious burgers are always handmade and never frozen, and their hand-cut French fries make other fries look wimpy and lame. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday; eat-a-burger.com.
Janos Wilder and Sleeping Frog Farms have planted a patch of heirloom pumpkin and squash in a lot next to Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails at 135 S. Sixth Ave. When the crop is ready for harvest, Wilder will throw Tucson's first Pumpkin Palooza, where attendees will be invited to buy a squash or pumpkin to take home or for entry in a pumpkin-carving contest. Pumpkin Palooza takes place Saturday, Oct. 22; downtownkitchen.com.
The Happiest Hours
Patrons wanted a happy hour where they could let loose a little more, so Ghini's French Caffé (1803 E. Prince Road) replaced Tapas Tuesdays with Fabulous Fridays. The new happy-hour event—which starts Friday, July 29—features French-inspired small plates and $3 beer, wine and cocktails from 3 to 8 p.m.; www.ghiniscafe.com. Pastiche Modern Eatery (3025 N. Campbell Ave.) has also added a happy hour at the request of patrons, with discounted drinks and appetizers from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; www.pasticheme.com.