Thunder Canyon Brewery, the locally owned pub at the Foothills Mall (7401 N. La Cholla Blvd.; 797-2652), recently held a competition to see which bartender could create the best holiday drink. When the results were in, the bosses couldn't decide on the winner, so they put all of them on the menu for the holidays. Omar's Russian Reindeer Martini should get those bells jingling, and if it doesn't, Maggie's Mulled Cider will. Other creations include J-Rod's Peppermint Stick, Lexi's Nutcracker, Kyle's Chocolate Covered Cherry and Lori's Naughty (Not Nice) Pumpkin Pie Martini. The cocktails are priced between $4.50 and $6.50.
The folks over at Jonathan's Tucson Cork (6320 E. Tanque Verde Road; 296-1631) have been busy turning loads of chocolate, toffee and almonds into 1,000 pounds of almond roca. They sell it for $14 a pound, and chef Jonathan Landeen says it's the bomb. On another note, be on the lookout for Landeen's grilling classes, where he covers topics from cooking a rotisserie goose to hosting the ultimate Super Bowl grill-out. The classes are held about
once a month and cost $100. Visit www.jonathanscork.com for more information.
Arbuckle Coffee has found many ways to green things up around their headquarters at 3498 S. Dodge Blvd. Used burlap bags are donated to the Reid Park Zoo, where they're used to play a hide-the-treat game with animals. Bean hulls become mulch for the Tucson Botanical Gardens; grounds and tea leaves become compost. Cardboard is reused or recycled; an afterburner reduces smoke from the roasting process; and low-energy lighting is used throughout. Caffeine with a conscience!
The Hog Pit Smokehouse Bar and Grill (6910 E. Tanque Verde Road; 722-4302) has come up with the "Hog Trough Challenge." Your mission, should you choose to consume it, is this: Eat a sandwich made up of a pound of hamburger, a pound of pulled pork and a pound of chopped brisket—all covered in extra-spicy hot sauce (oh, along with a one-pound side of french fries) in 25 minutes, and the $25 meal is free. Finishers also get their picture on the wall. As of our press time, this carnivorous challenge had been undertaken by a Hog Pit employee, but the meal remained unconquered.