Chow

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Bitter Cup of News: Revolutionary Grounds Is Grinding to a Halt

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 10:12 PM

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Revolutionary Grounds Coffee and Books, the small storefront on Fourth Avenue near the corner of Fifth Street, is closing its doors for good on Sunday, June 17. But a revival may be on the horizon.

Usually invisible to the average tourist, the store’s red brick walls housed a vibrant local community for the past decade. The place has a collection of leftist and progressive books that are sourced and sold by the owners, Joy Soler and her husband, attorney Paul Gattone.

You can find paperbacks about Marxism, sustainable food sourcing, feminist memoirs, the Civil Rights Movement and much more stacked on the shelves, adjacent to a comfy seating arrangement with faces of famous activists accenting the wooden tables.

Soler received a letter earlier this month from her landlord, Andy Fried, announcing that their rent has been increased, again. The monthly bill has risen to a point where her family can no longer afford it.

“Our landlord sent a letter saying that he had increased [the rent] back in January and we hadn’t been paying it, but he never told us he increased it back in January.” Soler said.

The letter Fried also said he will be increasing the rent again this month, and he expects back rent to be paid from January through May on top of this increased price.

“He wants us out, so he told us if we leave by the 30th he’ll forgive one month’s rent,” she said.

Soler and Gattone have spent the last decade building up their business at 606 N. Fourth Ave. She told me they have been paying on a month-to-month basis, and although Fried has been slowly raising the rent in the last couple of years, it has never been this drastic until now.

Fried, who also owns the connected buildings where Tallboys and Myztic Rootz are located, told the Weekly he increased the rent because Pima County increased the value of the property, and therefore his property tax.

Records from the Pima County Treasurer’s Office showed the property tax was $8,636 in 2017, compared to $7,856 in 2013.

Soler’s regular customers are understandably upset about this news, which she announced through the store’s Facebook page a few weeks ago. Revolutionary Grounds hosts a lot of niche community events and outreach activities that can’t be found elsewhere.

“A lot of people feel like [Revolutionary Grounds] is a safe space on the Avenue for folks who don’t have many safe spaces to go to,” she said.


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Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Three B's of This Weekend's Baja Beer Festival

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 9:01 PM

(Four if you count bloat, and five if you count bliss.)

The Brews

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The guys over at Sentinel Peak are bringing their Salida del Sol Amber beer, which is like a desert sunset in beer form, both because of its warm color and the way drinking it melts away the stresses of the day into the cool stillness of the evening. Equal parts smooth and spicy, it’s their most popular brew by far.

“If we brew five days a week, we brew that one four days a week, just to keep up with demand across the state,” said Sentinel Peak co-owner Jeremy Hilderbrand.

Whether you’ve admitted it to yourself yet or not, temperatures are starting to creep up, but Sentinel Peak’s crisp, light and local (some of the brew’s wheat grains are grown over in Marana) Heatwave Hefeweizen will keep you cool.

With a repertory of beers including "Señorwheata" and “Oats, Oats Baby,” the owners of Dillinger Brewing (all UA alumni!) knew they had to come to Baja Beer Fest prepared. So they’ve got the Boatshoes Hazy IPA, their entry into the festival's IPA competition, judged by the Tucson Homebrew Club, and named for their old college kicks that they still wear when they’re brewing.

Their second new offering is “The Notorious ESB.” The “ESB” stands for “Extra Special Bitter,” and the mild, malty brew is a part of Dillinger’s series of traditional beers. Said co-founder Aaron Long, "I mean, I think everyone likes old-school rap."

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. A full list of the beers available from the festivals' 40+ vendors can be found here.

The Bites

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Reps from the Gastronomic Union of Tucson will be present — four teams worth of them. Chefs from all over town teamed up to put together a collection of beer-friendly menus.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

IP-Yays

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 2:52 PM

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If you’re already feeling nostalgic for the way the Easter Bunny hopped in and out of your life last weekend, the perfect solution for this weekend is to fill that void with a different kind of hop.

The third annual Baja Beer Festival features more than 40 vendors, all from Arizona, with a special focus on India Pale Ales, or IPA’s, this year. In fact, the Tucson Homebrew Club recently judged the
 first-ever statewide IPA competition, and the winners will be announced this weekend as well.

Another first? The fest has teamed up with the Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT) to keep your stomach full of something besides bubbles. No outside food is allowed, unless in the form of a stylish pretzel necklace.

The Baja Beer Festival takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at Armory Park.

A $35 general admission ticket includes 20 tasting tickets (one ticket gets you one 4 oz beer tasting). $60 VIP tickets get you in at 1 p.m., an extra hour early, include 25 tasting tickets and a food voucher. Both come with a commemorative tasting mug, so you’ll have something to remember the afternoon by, even if you forget everything that actually happens. Designated driver tickets are available for 10 bucks.

Check out the full list of beers available at the event.

For more information, visit BajaBeerFestival.com

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Help a Local Mushroom Farm Win a Big Grant

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 10:37 AM

Mmmm... bacon mushrooms!
  • Mmmm... bacon mushrooms!
If you have a minute to cast an online vote today, you can help a local mushroom farm's effort to win a big award.

Sonoran Mushroom Company is hoping to land support from Greener Fields Together, which runs the Cultivating Change grant program. Sonoran Mushroom Company is one of the finalists for the award, with online voting continuing through Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Greener Fields Together is hosting two different contests: In one, the grant winner is determined by popular vote and in the other, the winner is determined by a panel of six judges. All applicants are qualified for the popular vote, but only Greener Fields Together partners are qualified for panel voting. Winners for the popular vote can win as much as $10,000, while the panel voting contestants can win as much as $20,000.

Sonoran Mushroom Company is a produce company that has successfully grown mushrooms in Tucson—a challenging task because, in order to flourish, shrooms need a lot of water. With a lot of time and effort, farm founders John Jacobs and John Jacobs Sr. invested in a facility to grow them indoors.

"We chose mushrooms because they take up less space and you can grow them indoors, which is cool," said Jacobs Sr.

Mushrooms can be harvested every day of the year and, because they can be grown indoors, the environment they're in can be controlled. Jacobs said the biggest obstacle is keeping the humidity up since it's so dry in Tucson.

"It's easy to grow a mushroom, but it's not easy to grow a lot of mushrooms," said Jacobs Sr. "We're still tweaking and perfecting our systems."


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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Guero Canelo Has Won a James Beard Award

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 10:18 AM

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Tucson's Guero Canelo—celebrated for its Sonoran Dog—is one of five eateries that won a James Beard Award in the American Classics category. From the James Beard Foundation:

The Sonoran hot dog evinces the flow of culinary and cultural influences from the U.S. to Mexico and back. Decades ago, elaborately dressed hot dogs began to appear as novelty imports on the streets of Hermosillo, the Sonoran capital. Today, Tucson is the American epicenter, and Daniel Contreras is the leading hotdoguero. A Sonoran native, Contreras was 33 in 1993 when he opened El Guero Canelo. The original stand is now a destination restaurant, outfitted with picnic tables and serviced by a walk-up order window. Fans converge for bacon-wrapped franks, stuffed into stubby bollilos, smothered with beans, onion, mustard, jalapeno sauce, and a squiggle of mayonnaise. Contreras operates three branches in Tucson, one in Phoenix, and a bakery to supply the split-top buns.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick Bites: Bacon, Chili and Pie

Posted By and on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM

What to Eat with What You Drink. Don’t understand wine pairings, or wine in general? Hey, same here. Well, here’s your opportunity to get a little more cultured. Dive in with Tana at Sand-Reckoner Vineyards, and find out what food tastes best with what wine. Unlock the mysteries of wine and maybe, for once, drink it because you enjoy it, not just to get drunk.
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16. 510 N Seventh Ave, Unit 170. $27

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Fifth Annual Arizona Bacon Fest. Did you know eating bacon actually makes you lose weight? Well, that’s not true, but you might feel like flying after having an awesome time at the fifth annual Arizona Bacon Fest. Tucson’s best chefs converge for one day to make some of the tastiest plates, and they all include bacon! And if you thought there wasn’t going to be beer, congratulations: you just proved you’ve never been to this festival before, so now you have no excuse not to come. In addition to craft beers, there will be live music and NFL games. Honestly, what more could you ask for? 2 p.m on Sunday, Nov. 19. At 260 S. Church Ave. $38. Purchase tickets beforehand.

Chili Cook Off and Car Show. Yes, you read that title right. The only thing hotter than the homemade chili will be the cars, trucks and motorcycles. Once the car show and chili tasting are finished, it’s time for the awards. So whether you want to eat, hang out, or battle it out for the chili bragging rights, this is your place. And if none of that has convinced you, there’s also a swap meet! What won’t be taking place there? 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 19. Fred’s Arena Bar and Steakhouse. 9650 S Avra Road. Free entry.

Pints & Poses. If you have trouble maintaining your balance and poise while doing yoga, try adding beer to the mix. How would that help? Good question, it actually comes after the yoga as a reward. Pueblo Vida Brewing seems to have it all worked out for you. Do yoga and then once you’re tired and zen, get even more centered with their find craft beers. Say namaste and drink away. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. 115 E Broadway Blvd. $5 /21+

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Pie Exchange. One pie enters, one pie leaves! (Or three, if you’re feeling ambitious.) Desert Dove Chapel is hosting a magical event to really bring the community together in harmony. Show up with a pie of your own and trade it for a totally new one. If your tastebuds are feeling adventurous, be sure to check this out. (Please, no store-bought pies.)
Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Desert Dove Chapel, 5385 E. Ironwood St.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Quick Bites: Maize, Murder Mysteries and Meatballs

Posted By on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Get to tastin', Tucsonans!

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Gelato Festival Tucson 2017. Get ready for a lot o’ gelato, and a lot o’ authentic Italian artisanal gelato to boot. Gelato’s a huge deal over in Italy, but is starting to gain popularity in the U.S., and the benevolent Gelato Festival America is taking on the noble mission of raising awareness of the neat, sweet treat from across the pond. Try flavors from some of the world’s best gelato artisans, and learn how to make you own as well. To quote Gwen Stefani: Go Gelato! G-E-L-A-T-O Fest! 2 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3 and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 and Sunday, Nov. 5. La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Drive. $13.50-$40.

Murder Mystery Dinner. Let the games begin, and let the Game of Thrones begin first and foremost. Damascus Road Tucson presents this event, billed as a coronation for Queen Cersei, and everyone from Lord Marana to Lady South Tucson is invited. (Everyone is invited). Rincon Market will cater a formal dinner, so that guests will be plenty fueled up for part two of the evening: solving a mysterious murder (cue spooky music). Dress formally, but also dress ready to solve some crimes. 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. University of Arizona, Institute of the Environment, ENR2 Building, 1064 E. Lowell St. $20.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Quick Bites: Macabre Miscellany

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 1:00 PM

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
Yume Japanese Gardens Tea Ceremony. There’s something inherently mindful about drinking a cup of tea. You don’t drink it to help you move faster, like coffee, and the flavor is usually subtle, so as you slow down to focus on the taste, it feels like time slows down as well. In Japan, a tea ceremony is even more ritualistic, to the point where it’s a work of art that leaves a deep impression on participants. A master of “The Way of Tea,” will prepare a cup of matcha for everyone, and offer a traditional Japanese sweet to go with it. 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Yume Japanese Gardens. RSVP by Oct. 24 to yume.gardens@gmail.com with name, phone number and number in your party. $15 plus Gardens admission fee ($9 adults, $8 seniors, $7 students and military, $5 kids 3 to 15, free for kids under two, free for members.)

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Staff Pick

Native Gardens

A hilarious new comedy that’s anything but neighborly!… More

@ Temple of Music and Art Sat., Sept. 8, 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 9, 7-8:30 p.m., Tue., Sept. 11, 7:30-9 p.m., Wed., Sept. 12, 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 13, 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 14, 7:30-9 p.m., Sat., Sept. 15, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 16, 2-3:30 & 7-8:30 p.m., Tue., Sept. 18, 7:30-9 p.m., Wed., Sept. 19, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 20, 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 21, 7:30-9 p.m., Sat., Sept. 22, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 23, 2-3:30 p.m., Wed., Sept. 26, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 27, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 28, 7:30-9 p.m. and Sat., Sept. 29, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m. 330 S. Scott Ave.

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