Thursday, June 22, 2017

Quick Bites: Wings of Desire

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 10:00 AM


Throw down at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 25 as Rincon Market, 2513 E. Sixth St., invites Tucson locals to reap the rewards of an inaugural Summer Slugfest Food Competition.

With six of Tucson’s finest eateries going head-to-head, the competition is sure to heat up. The first round in this summer’s series includes chicken wings and a $20 cover charge allows for wing samplings from all competitors and your choice of craft beer. All participants are encouraged to vote on their favorite eatery, granting the winning competitor the chance to make a cash donation to their favorite local charity.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Grand Glazed Opening

Posted By on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 10:35 AM

Amy's Donuts, purveyor of some of the most unique donuts you'll ever see, before it's soft opening on June 19. Demand for the donuts was so high, the official opening was pushed back to Saturday, June 24 according to the shops official Facebook page. - AMY'S DONUTS/FACEBOOK
  • Amy's Donuts/Facebook
  • Amy's Donuts, purveyor of some of the most unique donuts you'll ever see, before it's soft opening on June 19. Demand for the donuts was so high, the official opening was pushed back to Saturday, June 24 according to the shops official Facebook page.
Having lived in Phoenix, I'm of the opinion Tucson suffers from a dearth of quality 24-hour restaurants. Particularly when it comes to pick-'em-up-anytime donut establishments.

If you're trying to satisfy your after-hours sweet-tooth, you're totally out of luck. Want a long-john? Ha, you'll have to wait till 6 A.M. when the grocery store opens.

Unless a sleeve of store-bought, cellophane sealed donut-holes is your idea of a quality midnight snack, you're going to have to drive to Ahwatukee for your glazed fix.

Until now.

Amy's Donuts, located at 101 E. Fort Lowell Rd., opened on June 19 to much fanfare and long lines. With current locations in Columbus, Ohio and Colorado Springs, Amy's Donuts are known for being candy-coated, creme-filled and over-the-top; much in the same vein as Portland's Voodoo Donuts.

Armed with over fifty varieties of doughy goodness, Amy's theoretically offers something for everyone. From the traditional glazed, maple and chocolate offerings to the more exotic strawberry-cheesecake and rocky-road, Amy's aims to please.

With all that in mind, I headed down to Amy's for their 4 A.M. Grand Opening. Between yawns and bed-head, I was able to acquire half a dozen pastries ranging from the traditional to the off-the-wall. Here is one interns take on six of Tucson's newest confectionery treats:

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Quick Bites: Downtown and All Around

Posted By on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:00 AM


Janos Wilder is at it again. The James Beard Award-winner begins his annual “DOWNTOWNS Around the Globe” culinary tour with scheduled stops in four of Tucson’s international sister Cities of Gastronomy.

DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails, 135 S. Sixth Ave., is offering guests the choice of its summer menu, or a rotating international menu. Until July 17, the featured city will be Dénia, Spain. Other cities in the rotation include Florianópolis, Brazil; Shunde, China; and Zahlé, Lebanon.

Located along Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Dénia is known for its lavish religious festivals and increasingly for its emerging culinary scene. With a heavy emphasis on fish caught locally, Dénia is on the cutting edge of sustainable gourmet food.

In addition, The Carriage House, 125 S. Arizona Ave., will play host to a pop-up dinner and class focused on each sister city. On Friday, June 16 at 6 p.m., guests will be treated to a cooking demonstration and five-course meal encompassing the history and culinary point of view of Dénia.

Cost is $80 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 615-6100, or at

Who Has the Best Sonoran 'Dog and Chorizo in Town? One Contest Settles It.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 9:43 AM

click image Everyone has a favorite hot dog vendor in town. Find out if your favorite stands up to the best in town at the Chorizo and Sonoran Hot Dog Challenge at Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita. - BK TACOS
  • BK Tacos
  • Everyone has a favorite hot dog vendor in town. Find out if your favorite stands up to the best in town at the Chorizo and Sonoran Hot Dog Challenge at Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita.

Nothing says "Tucson" to out-of-towners like a Sonoran hot dog. For ex-pat Tucsonans, nothing screams home like a pound of good chorizo.

These two staples of Southern Arizona cuisine will share center stage at Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita on June 24 from 2-5 p.m. for the Chorizo and Sonoran Hot Dog Challenge.

The event is put on by Arizona Lotus Corp., owner of a couple local radio stations including alt-rock staple KFMA and Spanish-language KCMT.  Cindy Glysson, the marketing director for ALC, said she expects between 1.000-1,500 people to attend.

Since it is a "challenge," there will be a champion crowned in each category, along with a second and third place. Though the exact judging criteria is still being hashed out, Glysson said the winner will take home a $1,000 cash prize.

While specific vendors aren't set in stone, "right now we have 10 participants in each category, and we'd love to double that," Glysson said. Unlike similar events, Glysson said attendees' will not be limited to a set amount of samples.

Event attendees' will "be able to sample and judge every participant in each category," Glysson said. "We'll have a fan-favorite winner in both hot dogs and chorizo."

Along with the two main attractions, Glysson said there will "be live entertainment and a dance floor, as well as alcohol for purchase."

The event is free, but is ticketed. Tickets can be picked-up at participating Sprint locations (a list of locations can be found here) or at O'Reilly Chevrolet, 6160 E. Broadway Blvd.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Quick Bites: Delectable Memories

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 10:55 AM


A restaurant closing during the summer isn’t usually news in Tucson. It’s almost to be expected. Like the monsoon, change sweeps in fast in an unforgiving industry with razor-thin margin for error.

Mom and pop diners and family-value concepts litter the wash of what-ifs when the heat gets intense and the sun stays around longer.

That’s why it’s so sad when a pillar of the community falls. Delectables on Fourth, 533 N. Fourth Ave., will be closing its doors after 44 years of operation. In an email to the Weekly, owner Donna DiFiore said she would continue the Delectables brand as a catering-only establishment.

"I will not miss a beat making your weddings, events, lunches and dinners special," she said.

Another restaurant is expected to fill the space, according to Fred Ronstadt, executive director of Fourth Avenue Merchants Association. No timeline has been set, but it will take quite a bit of time longer to accept the fact another establishment occupies the spot Delectables called its own.

“I have so little time left and my heart is already filled with missing my little oasis in the heart of Fourth Avenue,” DiFiore said. “My career has been filled to the brim 15,000 days of my life right here on Fourth Avenue.”

Friday, June 2, 2017

Poutine Parking Problem

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 4:30 PM

  • US Fries/Facebook

The Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally celebrated with pool parties, barbeque and good-times. However, on Fourth Avenue, a few merchants rang in the holiday with passive-aggressive power moves and parallel parking wars.

Since it's grand opening on April 20, local food-truck Geronimo's Revenge has parked regularly outside of Fourth Avenue main-stay bar, Che's Lounge. Che's, as any good denizen of Fourth Avenue knows, is located at the junction of Fourth Avenue and Seventh Street.

While the truck's customers appreciate that dependability, its welcome hasn't been unanimous.

US Fries, a local poutine-n-burgers establishment, sits about two hundred feet south of Che's. Depending on what parking spot is open for the truck to park in, Geronimo's can end up even closer in proximity.

On Friday, May 27, those parking spots became the scene of a dispute between US Fries and  Geronimo's. That night, a limo belonging to US Fries that is usually used for promotional appearances was parked on Fourth between Che's and US Fries.

Jeronimo Madril, owner of Geronimo's, confirmed that in addition to the limo, a large white van was parked in the public parking spot along Seventh Street. That particular spot, which Madril said he usually parks the food-truck in, made it impossible for his business to operate.

Madril didn't want to comment on the specifics of the incident, but confirmed that both the limo and the van remained parked in place until sometime Sunday.

After the initial Friday incident, US Fries social media accounts received a torrent of bad reviews and admonishment.

"Soggy mess that was saltier than their attitude," said one Google reviewer. "This place smells, they have had multiple health code issues, and they use two parking spots for their freaking limo," said another. A search for health code violations by the establishment turns up nothing.

The Tucson Weekly reached out to Tom Jones, the owner of US Fries, but he had no official comment.

However, the backlash prompted US Fries to respond on Google Reviews. That response claimed that, due to Geronimo's being open "SEVEN DAYS A WEEK" and in such close proximity to US Fries, the company made the decision to park the limo in the parking spot in question.

"Up to three other food vendors are on our block as well," the statement said. "Though we are for fair competition and wish these vendors well, the situation has created an unfair playing field."

The statement also claimed US Fries received much more than social media backlash. "US Fries vehicles were vandalized as well," it said.

While no one currently employed with US Fries would go on record, a former employee who left just before the incident, David Goss, was willing to speak. He said that, in his year with the company, US Fries experienced more than its fair-share of vandalism.

"On two occasions our power was shut off," he said. "The breakers in the back aren't something you can just pull, you have to go out of your way to reach them."

One particular instance of bathroom graffiti caught Goss' eye. "It said 'go back to Canada,' which is where Tom is from."

Goss also felt US Fries was unfairly singled out by some merchants. "A lot of people thought we were a chain," he said. "We weren't, we're just a local business, too."

For his part, Madril denies being open seven days a week. He said he is just trying to look past the incident. "We're not interested in talking bad about anybody or any business," he said. "I'm just trying to be here to provide the community good food and service."

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Quick Bites: Pints and Poses

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 9:00 AM


Get a little boozy while also getting a nice stretch. Pueblo Vida Brewing Co., located at 115 E. Broadway Blvd., will be hosting Pints and Poses every Sunday through December. This 21-and-over event is $5 (there is a $1 credit card charge) and includes a yoga class and beer.

The one hour-long, relaxed yoga class takes place in the brewery and is accompanied with a fresh pint of craft beer at the end of the class. Classes begin at 10:30 a.m. but they ask participants to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of class. The class is taught by a rotating list of teacher from various yoga studios throughout Tucson. Be sure to bring your own mat and ID to prove you’re old enough to drink.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Quick Bites: Summer Markets

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM

The best kind. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • The best kind.

The hot months of summer may be quickly approaching, keeping Tucsonans tucked away in the coolness of their homes, but Tucson’s local farmers will still be out at their respected farmer’s markets to sell their summer season favorites. Be sure to step out into the heat to pick up some fruits and veggies to help cool down.

On Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market will be open at the Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida Del Convento. The market will showcase fruits, vegetables, plants, eggs and baked or canned goods.

The farmer’s market at Steam Pump Ranch will be open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. This market attracts farmers, ranchers and culinary experts. The market averages about 30 vendors and brings in hundreds of customers every week. Check the website for events at the markets. Steam Pump Ranch is located at 10901 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley.

Sundays are for Rillito Park’s farmer’s market located at the Rillito Park Race Track, 4502 N. First Ave. The market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. A wide range of produce is offered from apples to oranges, beets or blood oranges. Food trucks are also usual vendors. Admission is free for all markets.

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