Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Quick Bites: Miracle on Congress Street (With Booze)

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 10:30 AM


Have your kids been good this year? Or at least this week?

If so, and if you celebrate Christmas and they still believe in Santa, they’ll probably be delighted to tell him that. But you don’t want to tote your fam to some overcrowded shopping mall just to facilitate this, do you?

Hell, nah, you might think—holiday spirit, holiday shmirit. Besides, what’s in it for you?

However, every year around this time, so many people heave big sighs, brace themselves and get the kids in the car, mall bound—for when, oh when, has there ever been a true alternative to the Mall Santa? He’s become a freakin’ institution. An alternative would be a real Christmas miracle.
But wait! Wipe the sweat from your brow and put away that Xanax. We’ve got your miracle right here—right downtown, that is. “Miracle on Congress Street” has brought Santa to the storefront space between HUB and Playground, where St. Nick and his elves have created a “winter wonderland extravaganza” (says the Facebook page) where your kids can sit on Santa’s lap, get photos taken, and do all kinds of other stuff like watch holiday movies and do arts and crafts (there’s a free kids’ crafts class on Saturday, Dec. 17).

Meanwhile you can get the energy you need to deal with holiday-season stress through food—yes, the most sugary kinds—and, if you wish, adult beverages—yes, we mean booze.

Every weekend at Miracle on Congress Street is a little different, but in general you can expect lots of fresh-baked treats courtesy of Miracle’s neighbor HUB Ice Cream Factory—cookies, Rice Krispie treats, almond brittle and more—and homemade beverages like candy-cane sweet tea, hot cocoa and of course eggnog (with or without rum). For adults, Miracle also has a separate “Naughty List” of hooch-spiked-only drinks with names like “Tipsy Grinch” and “Rudolph’s Ruin” (plus wine and beer).

The event is the result of a partnership between HUB and Playground, with sponsors including the Humane Society, Casa de los Niños, Higher Ground Resource Center and the Children’s Museum.

Regular hours for Miracle on Congress St., 272 E. Congress St., will be 4 to 11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, with Santa on site for free photos 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays until Christmas Eve. Keep informed about additional hours and activities on Facebook and Instagram via @MiracleOnCongressSt.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Quick Bites: You Can Give a Kid a Cupcake… or Teach Them How to Bake

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM


The Carriage House is a very classy restaurant. But who said kids can’t appreciate fine cuisine? Certainly not Carriage House owner Chef Janos Wilder.

This weekend he makes that very clear with the Carriage House’s first-ever kids cooking class (more precisely, baking class), when children—and teens!—can learn how to make fine cuisine—or more precisely, dainty desserts.

Carriage House Chefs Ashley Chen and Devon Sanner will lead youngsters between the ages of 8 and 14 in a fully interactive class instructing them on baking and decorating holiday treats that are so fancy they can be given out as gifts this year. (Although you’d better not even pretend the young bakers won’t sample plenty of their wares.)

The class will cover such tricked-out treats as candy-cane white-chocolate hearts and truffles, cupcakes in mason jars and more, and all participants will get take-home gifts for their families—even if the goodies they make don’t quite turn out perfectly … this time.

The class takes place 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at The Carriage House, 125 S. Arizona Ave. Each child’s entry will cost $40 (and each must be accompanied by an adult). Make reservations at or by calling 615-6100.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quick Bites: A Healthy Kind of Bar

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 2:06 PM


“Let’s just get a sandwich or something.”

The latest commercials for national chain Panera Bread pooh-poohs this phrase. But if you ever visit Tucson’s own long-beloved Food Conspiracy Co-op—especially for its ready-made snacks and meals (notably, but not limited to, sandwiches)—you might be saying it more frequently, with gusto, to your friends (and/or yourself … to each their own inner dialogue).

Because yes, the Co-op’s Conspiracy Kitchen—one of Tucson’s latest, greatest “grocerants” (noun: in-store diner offering cooked dishes and take-out prepared foods)—has just opened a “sandwich bar” (noun: like a salad bar, but for sandwiches).

On the menu? All sandwiches on the existing Conspiracy Kitchen made-to-order menu (e.g., the tempeh BLT, egg-salad sandwich, roast-beef-provolone-and-green-chile panini)—but at the bar, they’re made by you. So if you want your a hummus wrap—but toasted, on sourdough rather than in a sprouted-wheat wrap, with sprouts, not lettuce—just grab your ingredients from the bread, protein and veggie sections and make it yourself. And grab a salad or other side dish while you’re at it.

The sandwiches all cost the same, sure, but now you can have the power.

(We admit when we first heard “sandwich bar,” we hoped it referred to a bar that also specialized in sandwiches. But maybe that’s coming next.)

The Conspiracy Kitchen Sandwich Bar, 412 N. Fourth Ave., is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 624-4821 or visit their website for more info.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Quick Bites: Help Keep Monsanto Out of Pima County

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM


Welp, it’s happened: Your good ’ol safe, fun Quick Bites column—which you could always turn to for light news about new goodies on the menu at your fave café or the latest quirky downtown ice-cream shop opening—has turned political. (OK, we’ve always been a little political, considering we’re all about local, sustainable and healthy, right?)

But … just this week … don’t freak out … we want you to sign a petition. Next week, it’ll be back to your regularly scheduled local restaurant updates and fun-community-food-festivity news. But this week, we want you to be an online activist for the sake of our local food community.
Maybe you’re not surprised. If you’ve got an activist bone in your body (or even if you don’t), you’re probably seeing petitions popping up everywhere you look—your mailbox, your email inbox, social media, clipboard-wielding people on the street. Ever since the presidential election, there’s so much everyone wants you to do to help keep our country sane, and petitions have been shown to make an impact, even online ones.

On the food front, here in Tucson, Quick Bites wants you to help us protect local farming interests—which right now means doing all we can to keep out the infamous pesticide-peddling, GMO-happy mega-agribusiness Monsanto.

According to the Pima County Food Alliance—a network comprised of farmers, chefs, restaurants, schools, gardeners, health professionals, activists, consumers (and many more)—Monsanto is right now holding secret talks with Pima County about building a greenhouse just outside Tucson.
Says the Alliance’s petition, “Given Monsanto’s history of bullying small farmers, we believe this is a threat to our local food system and our recent designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.”
We hope you agree that a Monsanto greenhouse will increase corporate control of our local food system and endanger all the things we love about it. ■

Sign the petition online and learn more about the Pima County Food Alliance at

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gobble Some Finger Foods With Pivot Produce in Celebration of Tucson's Local Eats

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 10:02 AM

Tucson food fiends unite, a food party is only a few days away.

  • Chrizzle_Lu/via
In a celebration of local food and with hopes of meeting a fundraising goal, Pivot Produce is teaming up with four local businesses to throw an hors d'oeuvres party with local produce on Dec. 4 from 4-8 p.m. at Pueblo Vide Brewing Co., 115 E. Broadway Blvd.

Pivot Produce is a for-profit company that work to supplying food-based businesses with local produce near the Tucson-metro area. The company is a distributor for Arizona farmers' produce in hopes to alleviate the worry of selling and to keep farmers doing what they do best.

Get ready for some finger foods from local businesses like 5 Points Market and Restaurant, EXO Roast Co., The Carriage House and Welcome Diner. Pueblo Brewing, the hosting location, will feature its special beet-infused PV Pale Ale—proceeds of this limited-times brew will benefit Pivot's cause.

The company is working toward a $20,000 fundraising goal to keep Arizona produce flowing into Tucson's kitchens. If the company reaches its goal, it will be eligible for the USDA's Local Food Promotion Grant. See their fundraising page here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quick Bites: From Catering and Carts to Café

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM


You might’ve heard of—and hopefully tasted something made by—Tumerico, a local catering, food-cart and farmers-market business owned and run by Chef owner and chef Wendy Garcia (See this week’s Chow feature for more about eatery).

Now you can taste Garcia’s delicious, healthy dishes on a whim, without browsing markets, hunting down food carts or hosting a dinner party (yeah, like that wouldn’t be a hassle…). Just head over to East Sixth Street, where Tumerico has materialized as a brick-and-mortar café.

The venue, which opened Nov. 12, offers some prepackaged meals for those in a hurry, but it also has tables for sit-down diners who want their meals cooked from scratch. Tumerico will continue to focus on gluten-free, vegetarian and/or vegan options, also serving local coffee from Exo Roast Co., Yellow Brick Coffee, and Presta Coffee Roasters.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quick Bites: Wildcat Fans Unite (and Get Dining Deals)

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Wilbur the Wildcat takes a moment to entertain the crowd by playing with himself. - JOSH MORGAN
  • Josh Morgan
  • Wilbur the Wildcat takes a moment to entertain the crowd by playing with himself.

Calling all UA Wildcat fans—that's probably most of you: The Downtown Tucson Partnership, Playground Bar & Lounge and ZonaZoo have joined together to honor the fact that… well, the fact that most of you are Wildcat fans.

More specifically—and excitingly—the groups are celebrating with “Bear Down Downtown at Playground,” dubbing Playground Bar and Lounge the official new ZonaZoo Watch Party Headquarters. From now on, Playground and its host of bigscreens will be hosting road game watch events with ZonaZoo throughout the entire 2016–2017 Arizona men’s basketball and baseball seasons (and hopefully post-seasons, according to the Downtown Tucson Partnership’s press release).

What does this have to do with food? (Besides the obvious traditional inhaling of beer and snacks while game-watching, me mean?)

We’re glad we made you ask: In addition to Playground now hosting the game-watching events, there’s a brand new ZonaZoo app that’ll lead Wildcat fans to special deals and discounts (on game days) offered by a variety of downtown merchants, including Hotel Congress, Maynards Market & Kitchen, Ike’s Coffee & Tea, and Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery—with more joints jumping on board every day.

The first “Bear Down Downtown” event happened Fri., Nov. 11—when the Cats beat Michigan State in basketball, 65–63—and according to the Downtown Tucson Partnership’s Marketing and PR Manager James Jeffries, “That party was pretty darned packed.”

Playground Bar & Lounge, 278 E. Congress St., will host a watch event for every televised road game; visit the website for a schedule. Meanwhile, download the ZonaZoo app anytime—it’s free and available now at the iOS and Android app stores.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quick Bites: The Scoop on The Scoop

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 9:00 AM


In almost any other city, it’d be crazy to plan the grand opening of your awesome new ice-cream shop in November. But this is Tucson, the land of the 70-degree [insert winter holiday of choice], where maybe it’s actually a good strategy to debut your shop now, when you’ll probably have the ice-creamery-opening market cornered.

Such was the (successful) plan of the UA and Shamrock Farms, who’ve joined together last week in opening The Scoop Creamery, a new concept store on campus, where UA attendees can enjoy hand-dipped ice cream, protein-packed shakes and cold-brew coffee.

It’s definitely a UA-themed place, with fun menu items like the “Lean Mean Machine” protein shake—perfect for a Wildcat football player or other aspiring student athlete—and ice cream flavors like “StrawBear Down”—which will get you in the team spirit while simultaneously providing a sugar rush.

But is The Scoop only for UA students? Of course not! Check it out inside the Student Union, 1303 E. University Blvd., 626-0396.

Staff Pick

Tucson Friendly & Fearless Death Cafe

Tucson Death Café is a group directed conversation about death and related subjects without agenda or objectives.… More

@ Ward 6 City Council Office First Wednesday of every month, 5:30-7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 6 3202 E. First St.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. The Weekly List: 12 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Once Again, It's Time to Deconstruct the U.S. News "Best High Schools" Rankings (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Libraries Trump Hate (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Ed Shorts (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr tackles 10cc's '70's Classic 'Rubber Bullets' (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation