Watch for Summer Hours
If you've ever spent the summer in Tucson, you know that things slow down. The heat makes everyone want to take a siesta during the day and stay inside until the sun goes down. Restaurants are aware of that pattern, so my advice is to check with your favorite places before leaving the house to make sure they haven't changed their hours. For example, Amelia Grey's Café is closed for the summer, Agustín Brasserie and Maynards have started new hours and Penca is now opening at 10 a.m. instead of 7 a.m.
Big Juan's Becoming a Los Betos; Venice Restaurant & Pizzeria Closes
The former Big Juan's at First Avenue and Wetmore Road is turning into another Los Betos. Banners on the building say "Coming Soon."
Venice Restaurant & Pizzeria, 7848 E. Wrightstown Road, has closed. "In the 36 yrs. that Venice Restaurant and Pizzeria has been open, we have gotten a great family of both employees and customers," an email said. "It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Sat. May 25, 2013 will be our last day of business. The economy for the last 5 yrs. has really hurt business. We thank all of you that have been so loyal and trying to keep us going, but we can't do it any longer."
Burning the Bacon
Two weekends ago, the first Arizona Bacon Fest was held at Reid Park. As a lover of all things pig, I was bummed that I would not be able to make the festivities due to work. But judging by the comments from acquaintances who attended, and numerous posts on the event's Facebook page, it sounds like I would have been disappointed.
First, the event didn't start on time. That alone set it up for failure. A long line of people waiting in the heat soon equals an angry mob. Then they ran out of food. People paid $25 to eat some swine. Not having enough pig on hand was strike two.
The overall impression from those who attended the event was that it was oversold, understaffed and unorganized, although in a post on Facebook, the organizers seem to realize they had some issues in their first year. It makes me sad that a tribute to one of my favorite proteins went off so badly. Pigs deserve better.