Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Mayochup On a Cheeseburger?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 at 11:10 AM

  • Courtesy Heinz
There have been some interesting developments in the world of classic American staples recently, such as Heinz announcing their production of Mayochup.

What is this strange pink-ish orange substance you ask? Well, its apparently the perfect mix of ketchup and mayonnaise.

In April the internet furiously debated the new condiment, good or bad? It's something little kids have been making variations of for ages, but now the mixture is hitting shelves for real.

The condiment, however, will not make it nationally at first, and Heinz's marketing team has set up a contest to see which city will get the funny pink sauce first.

Through midnight tonight you can vote on Twitter for which city should get saucy first. The city that gets the most Tweets will get a Food Truck Takeover and be the first to officially try the new Mayochup: 
click image Happy National Cheeseburger Day! - DEPOSITPHOTOS
  • DepositPhotos
  • Happy National Cheeseburger Day!
Voting ends tonight, so make sure to get your vote in.

Today marks another celebration of classic American food, as it is National Cheeseburger Day!

Now there is only one question left to ask... Would you put Mayochup on a Cheeseburger? 

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Crawling for Some Grub

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 3:07 PM

Berry Divine Acai Bowl samples - ANISSA SPRECHER
  • Anissa Sprecher
  • Berry Divine Acai Bowl samples
Cookie options at Insomnia Cookies - ANISSA SPRECHER
  • Anissa Sprecher
  • Cookie options at Insomnia Cookies
Empire Pizza samples - ANISSA SPRECHER
  • Anissa Sprecher
  • Empire Pizza samples

Downtown Tucson was crawling with hungry samplers on Saturday afternoon at the Taste of Tucson Grub Crawl.

The crawl started at the Independent Distillery, who were celebrating the third anniversary of their grand opening. Attendees then crawled to Thunder Canyon Brewstillery for appetizers and beer, Cartel Coffee Lab for Jenga and coffee, then to Insomnia Cookies for a cookie and another round of Jenga.

Mayra Hindbaugh and Brett Wagner, founders of the event - ANISSA SPRECHER
  • Anissa Sprecher
  • Mayra Hindbaugh and Brett Wagner, founders of the event
Next they traveled on to Berry Divine Açaí Bowls for a sample and explanation on what they make, then to Empire Pizza & Pub who graciously provided entire pies for the hungry crawlers. The group then finally headed to The Screamery for an ice-cream dessert. Other venders included Highwire Lounge and Johnny Gibson's Downtown Market.

After traipsing around town and filling up on all the great local grub, the crawlers headed back to the Independent Distillery for drinks and some live music.

The event, put on by HERO Events, raised money for charities focused on helping veterans. Mayra Hindbaugh and Brett Wagner of HERO Events organized the crawl and said that the money raised will go towards the veterans-helping-veterans organization Rally Point Arizona and to a veterans event they are hosting at Reid Park in on Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10 and 11.

On Nov. 10 there will be a veterans rally with food, live music and activities from 2 to 8 p.m. The next day the group is hosting a motorcycle run and golf tournament at Forty Niner Country Club. Read more about Rally Point Arizona here.

The team at Hero Events said that they hope to add more restaurants and eateries to their Grub Crawl to expand the event next year. 

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Salsa, Tacos and Tequila, Oh My!

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 3:16 PM

2018 Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge at La Encantada - COURTESY SAACA
  • Courtesy SAACA
  • 2018 Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge at La Encantada

A little rain couldn't dampen the festivities on Sunday night at the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance's Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge. There was plenty of music, food and drink to go around.

39 local restaurants, distilleries and chefs flooded the La Encantada mall this past weekend and the community turned out to circle their way around the many tasting tables and end up on the dance floor. Local band Zona Libre played a combination of "latino urbano" and "pop americano" that set the fun and festive mood of the evening.

Zona Libre playing at the Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge, Sunday, Sept. 2. - COURTESY SAACA
  • Courtesy SAACA
  • Zona Libre playing at the Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge, Sunday, Sept. 2.
Guests were handed a bag of chips upon entering the mall, and the salsa tasting commenced. A personal favorite in the food category were the tacos from Crossroads Restaurant, which were a tiny meal complete with a side of rice and beans, but all of the salsa and tacos ranging from traditional to unique were delicious.

An abundance of mini margaritas also filled the courtyard, with flavors like prickly pear, mango and citrus. Varying levels of added jalapeno or Tajin (chili lime salt) added a particularly Tucson-esque flair.

Other stand-out challengers included Highwire Lounge, which gave tasters a magic berry to eat that changed their tastebuds to taste sweetness, and then provided a very sour margarita that tasted surprisingly sweet. The only downside to this science experiment was that the sweet taste stayed in your mouth for about 15 minutes after eating the berry, a little problematic when there were other tacos and tequila to taste.

SpunLight Cotton Candy was another a fun stop in the line around the courtyard, and slightly tequila-drunk adults dancing around with large white fluffs of cotton candy made for a comical scene.

Challengers set up their tasting table on both levels of the mall and tasters milled around under the string lights and impressive lightning show overhead.

The event's competition was split into multiple categories, each of which had judges choices and people's choices.

The official results were as follows:

Taco Awards
Judge's Choice 1st Place — Tequila Factory – Tecate Traveling Taco
Judge's Choice 2nd Place – The Living Room — Chilaquiles
People's Choice 1st Place — El Coronado Restaurant - Birria Taco
People's Choice 2nd Place — The Grill at Quail Creek - Pork Belly Taco

Judge's Choice 1st Place Tequila – Cruz Del Sol Tequila with their Cruz Resposado Tequila
  • Judge's Choice 1st Place Tequila – Cruz Del Sol Tequila with their Cruz Resposado Tequila

Tequila Awards

Judge's Choice 1st Place – Cruz Del Sol Tequila — Cruz Resposado Tequila

Judge's Choice 2nd Place — 3 Amigos – 8 Year Extra Anejo Tequila

People's Choice 1st Place – The Lodge at Ventana Canyon — Berry White

People's Choice 2nd Place — 3 Amigos – 8 Year Extra Anejo Tequila

Salsa Awards

Judge's Choice Traditional Salsa 1st Place — Crossroads Restaurant — Tomatillo Salsa

Judge's Choice Traditional Salsa 2nd Place— The Grill at Quail Creek – Brasas Salsa

Judge's Choice Alternative Salsa 1st Place — Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain — Sweet Mango Chile Salsa

Judge's Choice Alternative Salsa 2nd Place — The Tequila Factory — Fruit Pico de Gallo Salsa

People's Choice Salsa 1st Place — Angie's Kick Ass Salsa — Hot Salsa

People's Choice Salsa 2nd Place — Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain — Sweet Mango Chile Salsa

People's Choice Salsa 3rd Place — Angie's Gourmet To Go - Fire Roasted Tomato Mango Habanero Salsa

Display Award

Judge's Choice Most Creative Display — Rigo's Restaurant

The Southern Arizona Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge is a fundraising event to benefit the presenting nonprofit organizations. All proceeds that are raised through ticket sales are invested into programs that provide foundational support to the communities' well-being.

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Salsa, Tequila & Tacos Take Over Tucson

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 9:38 AM

  • Courtesy
The latest entry in a string of fantastically delicious events set up by the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance is better than just a Salsa, Tequila & Taco Festival — it’s a Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge!

Over 50 vendors will converge in Tucson to battle it out for nearly 20 culinary awards. Both professional judges and the general public get to choose the winners. And serving as a special judge: our very own Logan Burtch-Buus!

Participating restaurants and breweries include: El Cisne Restaurant, Series 19, Barrio Brewing, Applewood Creek Farms, Rigo’s Restaurant, Three Wells Distilling, Embajador Tequila, Angie’s Kick Ass Salsa and much more.

General admission tickets get you menu samplings from over 50 local restaurants and chefs, with custom salsa and tequila cocktails, plus plenty of beer and tacos. VIP tickets are also available, and come with a special tequila toast and commemorative shot glass.

Get out there and get partying!

If you’re going: 7 p.m., Sunday Sept. 2 at the La Encantada Shopping Center (2905 E. Skyline Drive). $60 General Admission, $100 VIP. 21-plus.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

New Bavarian-Style Beer Hall to Open Downtown

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 4:45 PM

  • Courtesy
Ten55 Brewing Co. opened its doors as a taproom five years ago, and while its 44th Street location gave co-founders J.P. Vyborny and Chris Squires a chance to feel out the Tucson market and work on their brand, they always had their eye on moving downtown.

Their new beer hall, set to open on Congress Street Aug. 11, will give locals a taste of German traditions while incorporating the local culture.

“First we wanted to make good beer and get the town behind us, and it’s gone very well,” Vyborny said. “Chris and I have always have been a fan of the renovation of downtown. Five years ago, we knew that’s where we want to be and ever since it’s just been getting better and better down there.”

Ten55’s beer hall sets itself apart from other downtown spots with a taste of Bavarian stylings.

“While this has a basis in those old-world community-oriented beer halls, it’s definitely been adapted for this city that we love,” Vyborny said. “The idea is that you’ll be able to share a table with your neighbor and break bread together and converse in a friendly manner in a very approachable setting.”

The Southwestern-mixed beer hall will serve up Bavarian bratwursts and craft sausages but also offer them in Sonoran-style with bacon, pinto beans, pico, mayo and mustard. Guests can also get a literal taste of the desert with a rattlesnake and rabbit sausage.

Executive chef Ivor Cryderman and craft butcher Ben Forbes of Forbes Meat Company will create all of the sausages. Cryderman—whose former food truck, Chef’s Kitchen and Catering, collaborated with Ten55 for beer dinners—said the menu highlights the quality of local beer. One dish draws from Cryderman’s great-great-great-grandmother’s Polish sausage recipe, but now with wheat pale ale added.
  • Courtesy
The menu also includes salads and a pimento grilled cheese that Cryderman calls “absolutely amazing.” Ema Peterson of Beer Geek Bakery will provide desserts. Vyborny is especially excited about the beer hall’s Belgian fries, hoping they will be known as the best fries in town.

“Both [German and Belgian] cultures have perfected what goes well with a pint, and we’re just building on that,” Vyborny. “Even though the concept has some German influence, we’ve really updated it for Tucson and our community.”

The beer hall also gives Ten55 the chance to expand its selection of beers on tap. Now, they can have 10 to 12 of their own beers on tap, up from six at their previous location. They will also have a selection of German and Belgian beers available.

The local focus also shines through the brewery’s building itself. When renovating the downtown space, the founders discovered advertisements from the address going back to 1917, and those advertisements now have a new life as wallpaper in parts of the beer hall.

“We want to make sure that the building itself is part of the attraction and shows its color,” Vyborny said. “It really lends itself to our concept and the brewery being in there as well.”

The public will get the chance to take in this décor and try out the new eats at the beer hall’s grand opening. In classic Bavarian style, Mayor Rothschild will be at the celebration to pour the first pint.

“It really is about the community aspect,” Vyborny said. “We see beer halls and taprooms being meeting places for people more and more. Just tapping into that Tucson sense of community, it’s great to have the mayor down to hoist the first pint.”

That sense of community is what Vyborny said he and Squires love about breweries in Tucson, and now they can put their own spin on it.

“We’re excited to open it,” Vyborny said. “[It’s been] five years in the making and we can’t wait to open our doors to Tucson.”

Ten55 Brewing and Sausage House will open Saturday, Aug. 11. Catch Mayor Rothschild pouring the first pint at 11 a.m. The festivities continue Sunday with brunch and live music. The beer hall’s opening hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 110 E Congress St.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

It's National French Fry Day!

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 12:30 PM

National French Fry Day - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • National French Fry Day
Old-school low-budget horror movies often had special effects that looked like people bled ketchup, but today there is no better pairing. It is both Friday the 13th and National French Fry Day!

Here in Tucson we are lucky to have some truly delicious options when it comes to fried potatoes, from traditional fries and ketchup, British-style chips and malt vinegar, Eegee's style fries with ranch, and multitudes of carne asada fries, you can't go wrong.

In the 2017 Best of Tucson competition, three local spots won reader votes for Best French Fries:

1. Eegee's
2. Diablo Burger
3. Graze Premium Burgers

Agree or disagree with these top three? The final round of voting for this year's competition is open now. Cast your vote for 2018 Best of Tucson here.

Now, it's lunchtime and time to celebrate in style, get out there and get some French Fries! 

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Tucson Makes Appearance in New Cooking Channel Series

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Richie Farina, host of the new Cooking Channel series "Carnival Kings" - COOKING CHANNEL
  • Cooking Channel
  • Richie Farina, host of the new Cooking Channel series "Carnival Kings"

Fair food takes center stage in a new television show that pits a Michelin-starred chef against revered carnival chefs around the country, and the show’s premiere is set in none other than Tucson.

Chef Richie Farina heads to the Pima County Fair in the first episode of “Carnival Kings,” a new Cooking Channel series. There, he dukes it out with Dominic Palmieri in a cook-off judged by carnival-goers. The challenge? In 24 hours, Farina must put his own spin on a dish created by Palmieri to see if he can wow the crowd.

So what’s he working with? Farina must top Palmieri’s bacon-wrapped duck sliders, decked out with flaming hot Cheetos, and caramel apple slaw.

Tucson also is featured in another episode of the show. Also at the Pima County Fair, Farina faces off with Texas Steak Out’s Nate Janousek and his deep-fried nachos supreme.

The show features eight half-hour episodes set across the country. For more information about the show and recipes (so you can make your own carnival creations at home), visit the Cooking Channel website.

The show premieres at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12 on the Cooking Channel. Tucson’s second appearance is 6 p.m. Thursday, July 26.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Exo Roast Co. Ditches Plastic for Paper

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 3:00 PM

  • Amy Smith, Exo Roast Co.
Think about your average restaurant experience.

You sit down at a table, order beverages, and each beverage gets its own plastic straw. Then you order food, maybe something messy like wings or pizza, and the server hands you a tall stack of disposable paper napkins.

You eat until you’re full, then you take a couple of plastic or styrofoam to-go boxes with your meal preserved inside. When you eat those leftovers the next day, the boxes go into the trash and off to the landfill.

Multiply this routine by millions of American restaurant patrons each day, and there’s a major environmental problem laid out in front of you.

Amy Smith, the owner of Tucson’s Exo Roast Co., is fed up with the harmful effects of plastic and decided that her business won’t be a part of it any longer. So, she replaced all the plastic straws in her shop with paper ones.

Continue reading »

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Staff Pick

Tucson Greek Festival

Eat, Drink & Dance Like a Greek! Authentic Greek food and pastries Family friendly activities Live Greek… More

@ St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Thu., Sept. 27, 5-10 p.m., Fri., Sept. 28, 5-11 p.m., Sat., Sept. 29, 4-11 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 30, 12-5 p.m. 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road.

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