Noshing Around

Turkey Donations

Donate a 10-pound turkey to Magpies Pizza, and receive a free large pizza in return. Magpies collaborates with the Tucson Fire Department, the Community Food Bank and the Blake Foundation to provide Thanksgiving meals to people in need. Magpies stores the turkeys until needed. The turkey drive runs from Nov. 1-20. Visit for the nearest location.

Baloo Update

A few months ago, there was a flurry of excitement about Albert Hall's proposed new Latin restaurant in St. Philip's Plaza. Here's a follow-up: According to Hall, he hit not one, not two, but three major obstacles in the birth of Baloo. Delays in permits, construction estimates and the economic climate all played a role in his decision not to proceed: He has decided to put this project on the backburner.

Salsa Contestants Wanted

The 2007 My Nana's Salsa Challenge is seeking contestants to help spice up this year's competition. The event happens Saturday, Nov. 10, at Reid Park's DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contestants compete in one of three categories: individual, business or restaurant, in the hot or mild competition. Salsa will be judged on aroma, consistency, appropriate heat level, color, taste and aftertaste. Contestants are asked to prepare 8 gallons of salsa fresh onsite; ingredients can be pre-chopped, but not pre-mixed. The grand prize for the Salsa Challenge is a trip to Disneyland, with awards being presented for first, second and third place in all three categories. My Nana's Salsa Challenge is a fundraising event for the Arizona Hemophilia Association. For more information, visit or call (888) 754-7017.

New Tenant for the Central Bistro Spot

The Tucson City Council voted to allow Richard Oseran, owner of Hotel Congress, to be the next subsidized tenant in the Historic Train Depot. He won't have to pay rent until March 2011. Oseran's plans include grab-and-go foods, specialty coffee, a market where organic foods can be purchased and an area where people can sit and eat food ordered from specialty counters. He and his business partner, Ross Rulney, will reportedly be making at least $500,000 worth of improvements.