Best Of Tucson®

The BOT Interview: Jonathan Paton

Republican Jonathan Paton is the state senator from District 30.

Best place to get beer supplies?

Brew Your Own Brew. The guy who runs it knows you. He takes an interest in finding out who you are. He's really excited about brewing beer, and he always has samples of things he's making and wants to show you this and wants to show you that. He's got unbelievable stuff and all kinds of tips for making anything you've ever thought of. He's like the beer encyclopedia guy.

Best spot for a bite?

Kingfisher. I love the bar area there. It's a great romantic scene for a date. I have a lot of memories of great food there. I love it in the summertime when they do their road trip, and you feel like you're going to Louisiana or you're going to the Midwest or wherever. I love their oysters with a little splash of Tabasco sauce. They always know you and always seem happy that you're there.

Best trails?

I'm totally in love with Saguaro (National Park) East. It's a great place to run or bike. There are so many trails that if you want to be a little more hardcore and go off onto a trail instead of being on a paved area, you can do that.

Best place to gain two pounds?

The Cup Café. I saw a movie at the Fox Theatre with my dad, and we walked over to Hotel Congress. They were so nice to my dad—they made him feel special. We had some of best banana-cream pie I've ever had in the Cup Café. That dessert case is amazing. It was like going back in time to the '40s or something, where you watch a picture show at the local theater, and then you walk down the street to have a slice of pie.

Best place to avoid members of your own party?

Epic Café. I think I'm the only Republican who has ever been in there. They always seem to get the cappuccino just right. Their coffee shake is the best in town—unbelievable. I like the subversive atmosphere. I think that if you hang out with people who always agree with you and always tell you want you want to hear, then you lose touch with the rest of the world. Ever since I was in college, I go down and do the same thing. It's the best place to read the Tucson Weekly.

Best getaway?

Rocky Point. It's so close, but you feel completely like you've gotten away from the grind of whatever you're dealing with. I like going to the taco stand. Everything slows down there and is on its own timetable. (In everyday life), we run around doing whatever it is we do, and we think these are the most important problems in the world, but Rocky Point doesn't really care what the rest of the world is up to. Whatever newfangled things are happening elsewhere, Rocky Point boils down to the beach, a shrimp cocktail and watching the sunset.

Best way to experience Rocky Point in Tucson?

Francisco's. It's like going to the taco stand in Rocky Point, but you don't have to worry about getting sick. You get the tacos, the radishes, all the stuff at the salsa bar, and free beans.

Best season?

Summer. All the snowbirds leave, and the monsoons come. You hear the sounds of the beating on the roof from the rain, and you have the smell of creosote. I remember having to paint houses or work on roofs when I was in college, and there was nothing better than watching those storm clouds gather and knowing that you were going to be able to go home early that day. The monsoons just cool everything down. And then you have the most incredible sunsets in the world. That's Tucson to me.