Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tucson Meet Yourself Adds New Food Vendors

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 2:42 PM

The annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival will be hosting 56 food booths this year, each representing different nationalities of food. Attendees can find food for under $12 a plate.

According to TMY Lead Folklorist Maribel Alvarez, many of the vendors come from churches, clubs and community groups and the food they cook and sell represents their cultures and traditions. TMY keeps their costs low and helps out with organization to ensure success at the festival. As this is the largest grassroots entrepreneurial event in Tucson, it is a great opportunity for all vendors.

  • Photo Courtesy of the San Xavier Co-op Farm
The newest additions to the food vendor group for TMY 2018 include the following:

San Xavier Cooperative Farm, Tohono O’odham Native Foods:
Representing the Tohono O'odham people who have been native agriculturists for the last 4,000 years, this vendor will be serving authentic Native American food. This includes cholla bud salsa, tepary beans, kaiwus, and much more. Learn More.

Yamila El-Khayat’s mother ready to do traditional Chilean dances. - PHOTO COURTESY OF YAMILA EL-KHAYAT AND TUCSON MEET YOURSELF
  • Photo courtesy of Yamila El-Khayat and Tucson Meet Yourself
  • Yamila El-Khayat’s mother ready to do traditional Chilean dances.
Holy Toledo Catering:
Although his restaurant, Holy Toledo, only serves Pizza and Tacos, when he is catering Chef Toledo is able to make many other unique items. At TMY he will be serving, mole, a traditional Oaxacan dish. Learn More.

La Fondita Chilena:
Yamila El-Khayat is bringing back her mothers traditional Chilean cuisine. El-Khayat grew up watching her mother sell her traditional dishes at TMY when she was a child. This year El-Khayat and her husband are bringing the back tradition in their own way. They will be serving empanadas, humitas and chilean salad. Learn More.

BK's Tacos:
A popular Tucson Restaurant, BK Tacos will be featuring their award winning Sonoran hot dog, carne asada tacos and caramelos. Its unique preparation has been quite the hit, they cook it to perfection over a mesquite fire, giving it a flavor fusion. Learn More.

  • Photo courtesy of Solid Grindz
Solid Grindz Hawaiian Food Restaurant & Food Truck:
Starting out as a food truck on Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Solid Grindz quickly gained a large following. A short two years later the owners opened an authentic Hawaiian and Polynesian restaurant. A mix of their Hawaiian and Polynesian cuisine will be at TMY. Learn More.

Off-the-Hook Seafood:
Matthew Kearney first started Off-the-Hook to remember a taste of home, New England, but also decided to add a Southern twist. For those of you who are looking to taste the flavor of New England, you will be guaranteed to get it at TMY.

Nur Market and Restaurant:
Started by three refugee brothers from Somalia in 1990, they bring a taste from home. While the market started in 2008, the brothers added a restaurant in 2010. They serve a variety of food that will take you out of your comfort zone. They will be serving lamb, goat, chicken, fish, shawarma and sambusa. Learn More.

Masri: An authentic Egyptian cuisine, offering Koshary, a national dish in Egypt, which is a Vegan dish including rice, pasta, onions and much more. You will not find this dish anywhere else as it is a top secret family recipe. 

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Dutch Bros Opens Tomorrow, Expects Heavy Traffic

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2018 at 1:22 PM

  • Courtesy Photo
It's now going to be a little easier to get your morning coffee as Dutch Bros Coffee opens tomorrow.

The grand opening, starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, is expected to be a busy day for the new Tucson location, but the company is prepared.

Dutch Bros has partnered with a traffic management company to make sure that everyone gets their coffee without a side of road rage.

Traffic control cones will direct drivers around the building and into an overflow parking lot behind LA Fitness.

“The Tucson community has already been so welcoming,” said Jordan Gonsalves, operator of Dutch Bros Tucson. “Since our soft opening a few days ago, thousands of people have already come through to enjoy a drink and say hi.”

The new location is expected to be very busy tomorrow, and customers are encouraged to try to come either early or late to avoid the morning rush.

The new Dutch Bros is located at 120 S. Wilmot St. 

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Tucson Meet Yourself Festival Highlights 'Culture Kitchen'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 4:00 PM

The annual Tucson Meet Yourself Festival will be highlighting a Culture Kitchen to provide festival attendees with fresh samples of homemade cultural recipes from different countries around the world including Iraq, Lebanon, Congo and Turkey.

  • Courtesy of Steve Meckler
Culture Kitchen mainly features families showing off their cooking traditions in front of a live audience who afterwards will hand out samples of the dishes they prepared.

Some recipes that will be shared at the event include phyllo dough filled with fruit such as fig, prickly pear, and dates prepared by Janet Griffitts and Nahide Aydin, and Sonoran style enchiladas prepared by the Breckenfelds.

Nelda Ruiz, the Culture Kitchen organizer for this year, said that the kitchen is a great way to share stories of families by sharing traditional food recipes. The theme this year focuses on the importance of traditions learned from family, loved ones and friends.

  • Courtesy of Steve Meckler
"People can come every single day of the weekend and still see different things each day," Ruiz said. "That's also very telling of where we live, there is a wide variety of different cultures and communities here in Tucson."

On Sunday, Oct. 14, at 3:30 p.m., there will be a round table discussion organized by the Center of Regional Food Studies from the University of Arizona, discussing the histories of foodshed, which is the term that describes how food is grown, produced, and consumed.

The Culture Kitchen will be located outside the Jácome Plaza at the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, Saturday, Oct. 13, and Sunday, Oct. 14.

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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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