Dmitri Bartlett (also known as Mr. Free), of Tucson's eclectic Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout, knows the Old Pueblo like the back of his microphone-gripping hand. Born and raised in Tucson, Bartlett has been in the music scene for almost 10 years and has toured the country on the band's vegetable-oil-fueled school bus. He took some time off between working the coffee counter at Time Market and playing a show at Vaudeville to reveal his very own Best of Tucson® list.
Best Italian food?
I'll tell you, my favorite Italian restaurant is definitely Gavi's on the eastside, the first one. ... I liked going there a lot as a kid. I would always go there on my birthdays.
I don't really eat a lot of meat, but I love burgers. I was a vegetarian from, like, second grade until high school, so I didn't grow up eating a lot of meat, but burgers—I'm, like, obsessed with them. My favorite burgers in town are easily Lindy's.
Best taco/Sonoran hot dog stand?
Actually, there's one—I don't think they have a name, but they're always parked at 22nd Street and Sixth Avenue—that used to be right by my house, and that's really good.
Maybe Time Market, actually. It's possible.
What's the sandwich you order there?
You have to combine the Grecian Erika with the Green Gringo. Get the stuff that's on a Grecian Erika, but exclude the chicken, and add a tamale and green olives. That's how you do it.
Here's a good one. This is the best cheap breakfast in town: Brawley's. ... They get huge lines; you have to get there really early.
The best iced mochas (are at) a little gem called Bentley's. ... People come from out of state ... and will buy a gallon of it at a time. It's, like, crazy good.
In all honesty, the Tap Room, yeah.
Best place in Tucson to go out?
I'm going to have to say the Best Western.
The Best Western?
Yeah, the Best Western—the one that's on Stone Avenue and Speedway Boulevard.
They have a nice bar there?
Yeah, definitely. It's very lounge-y.
Best bowling alley?
Golden Pin. Golden Pin Lanes is the best; they have the best deal, and they have also the best laser tag.
Best comic-book store?
Fantasy Comics. In fact, it's probably one of the best comic-book stores in the country.
Oh yeah? Good selection?
Yeah, they are the best—seriously, one of the top fucking comic-book stores in the entire country. I've been to a lot, and they're great.
Best herbal medicine?
Besides this guy that I know, the best herbal medicine is obviously at Tucson Herb Store. They got the best stuff. It's right near the (Food Conspiracy) Co-op.
What do you recommend?
I recommend just going in there and telling them what ails you, and they will fix you right up. They will know what you need, and that is the best.
Best place to buy underwear?
I don't wear underwear.
Well, you perform in underwear sometimes ...
I make it. ... Well, St. Vincent de Paul, the one on Sixth Avenue. I've acquired some really good '70s underwear there that I wear on very special occasions.
Best adult store?
Definitely Miracle Mile Movies. They have the quarter sluts; they have the video arcade; they have an excellent selection of lubrication ... that's the best.
What's the best thing about Tucson?
The heat. The heat and the debauchery.