Culver's Is Open
ButterBurgers and frozen custard for all! The brand-new Culver's restaurants at 40 S. Broadway Place and 6905 N. Thornydale Road are open. I know this Midwest-based restaurant chain well from my youth in Green Bay, Wis., and Tucson is in for a serious treat. What separates Culver's from the competition is the sheer decadence of the offerings: burgers made from fresh patties slathered in real butter; frozen custard with loads of candy and other things mixed in; and deep-fried cheese curds that are melty nuggets from heaven. It's not exactly a heart-healthy menu, but it's delicious; www.culvers.com.
Do It Yourself
Genghis Grill is opening soon near the Tucson Mall, at 4386 N. Oracle Road, Suite 150. The restaurant does a build-your-own Mongolian stir-fry thing, where you pick the ingredients and sauces, and they cook it up for you in a giant wok. The restaurant's website, www.genghisgrill.com, claims this cooking technique is modeled after the legend that Genghis Khan's warriors cooked their food on overturned shields while in battle. A company spokesman tells us the opening is tentatively scheduled for early October.
Impress Hot Pot, another do-it-yourself gig, opened earlier this year at 2610 N. First Ave. The eatery provides broth spiced to your desire, and you order items to toss into it. There's also a table where you can make your own dipping sauce, which makes for a fun, interactive dining experience. Interestingly enough, this style of eating is also said to have originated with Mongolian warriors, but this legend claims the cookware was helmets instead of shields. Hours are 3 to 11 p.m., every day but Wednesday; 882-3059.
The Farm Box
Sunizona Family Farms in Willcox has started a new community-supported agriculture program called The FarmBox. What makes the program different from many CSAs is how participants can go online and pick what they want delivered each week, which offers a lot more flexibility in meal-planning. Program manager Evan Storey says the program currently has three local pickup points: Harvest Restaurant, at 10355 N. La Cañada Drive in Oro Valley; the Grill at Hacienda del Sol, at 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road; and Mercado San Agustín, at 100 S. Avenida del Convento. Storey says he's making every effort to keep prices down, and that he's working on establishing additional pickup locations. Visit www.sunizonafamilyfarms.com and click on the FarmBox logo for more information.