The Best, I Mean The Best, 23 Miles of Mexican Food in America

Tucson has more than its share of fabulous food festivals. We are, after all, the only city in North America with the UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

But next Saturday, all the stops will be pulled with the 2nd ‘23 Miles of the best Mexican food in America” event.Blanco tacos

Held at the J.W. Marriott Star Pass Resort and Spa, this grand event celebrates all the great Mexican restaurants that can be found all over our great city.

Sponsored by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and visitTucson.com, this event will feature more than 25 local restaurants, breweries and wineries. Last year’s event was great and this year’s looks to be even better. SAACA had a way about them when it comes to their food events, They’re big and bright and fun.

Tickets are $49 for all you can eat and drink. Families are welcome and the resort has some special packages should you want to spend the night.

Check out SAACA’s website for details and to purchase tickets.

GUT! – Tucson Chefs Coming Together

One of the neatest aspects of Tucson’s culinary scene is the genuine respect and admiration that chefs in town have for one another. Competitions are plentiful, but in reality, these guys are friends.

Now, some of these chefs are coming together at Carriage House on Sunday, June 25th. It’s a celebration of Tucson and the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation. And it sounds divine,

GUT! Nose-to-Tail Tucson Collaborative Pop-Up Dinner will feature some of the city’s best and creative young chefs. The cost is $75. Seating is limited. Hor D’oeuvres start at 6:00. Dinner at 6:30.

Here’s the menu and list of chefs.

MENU:

PASSED HORS D’OEUVRE:

  • Arepas with Fiore di Capra chèvre, local peach salsa, bacon
  • Trotter taquitos with chiltepin aïoli
  • Melon and cucumber gazpacho verde with prosciutto

FIRST COURSE:

PIG & FIG

Forbes Meat Company Guanciale and fig agnolotti, arugula, Midnight Moon, fennel/orange/Sambuca syrup

SECOND COURSE:

PIGGIES IN A BANDERA

Trio of Enchiladas: puerco verde, puerco en nogada, puerco chile colorado

THIRD COURSE:

3 SISTERS, 1 HOG

Smoked porchetta pibil, blue corn sopes, white tepary bean purée, calabacitas en escabeche, cotija, cilantro crema

DESSERT:

IT’S WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST

Mesquite flour biscuit, coffee chocolate truffle with spicy chicharrones crumbles, Whiskey Del Bac crème anglaise

THE CHEFS/COLLABORATORS FOR THIS DINNER WILL INCLUDE:

Mat Cable, Fresco Pizzeria and Pastaria
Michael Elefante, Mama Louisa’s Italian Restaurant
Ben Forbes, Forbes Meat Company
Matthew Gutierrez, Union Public House, and Immersion Brewing, Bend, OR
Janet Jones, Hacienda Del Lago
Natasha Kalina
Roderick LeDesma, Primo
Maria Mazon, Boca Tacos y Tequila
Nohemi Montoya, Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort & Spa
Jason Purdy, Ermano’s
Devon Sanner, The Carriage House

PIG

Sauce Supports

Yesterday I posted about the great Summer special at Sauce Pizza and Wine restaurants

While we were there we noticed another great special that is happening at Sauce, ‘Mondays Are For Heroes’.

I could’ve mentioned it yesterday but this special deserves its own post.

Every Monday from 11:00am until 9:00pm, active police officers, active firefighters, active EMTs, active, Reserve and retired Militaty receive 20% off.

This is every Monday and is a great way to say ‘Thank you’ to all those who take care and protect us.

 

Sauce in Summer

Sauce Pizza and Wine has brought back their fabulous Sauce Summer Sampler.

For a mere $22, you can enjoy a choice of one of their great salads, a pizza and either 2 glasses of wine or beer. That’s one of the best deals in town.

We went to the Grant Road store last night and had the watermelon and arugula salad, DSCN2762the spicy chicken sausage pizza DSCN2763

and a glass of Sangiovese each. Our dinner was hosted.

The Grant Road store is a little fancier than the others in town, but not so fancy that you have to get all dressed up. Indeed, the good-sized crowd was a mix of families, couples and mixed groups of friends.

Service was top-notch.

And the food, which arrived at the table in no time, was great. No surprise there, I’ve never had a bad meal at Sauce.

The bright, crisp, refreshing flavors in the salad – watermelon, arugula, feta cheese, red onions, jicama, roasted pumpkin seeds in a light, while balsamic dressing – were a great counterpoint to the spicy pizza that also had poblanos and smoked mozzarella.

So. whether you’re on a date, with friends or dining alone, head on over to the closest Sauce Pizza and Wine. Great food at a great price can’t be beat.

Around the World 2017

Here’s a small hint of what you can expect at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails ‘Around the World’ Summer Tour.

These beauties are arancini with MANCHEGO + PIQUILLO PEPPER ARANCINI (3) + BEN FORBES’ CHORIZO CHIPOLTA  atop a Romesco sauce.

Utterly divine and a prime example how Janos and team take the everything to the top.

First up – Denia, Spain.

The price of the three course dinner depends on the protein you choose.

The class at the Carriage HouseIMG_0279 will serve the arancini and more costs $80.

What’s in a Name?

We ate at The Garage on 4th Avenue for the first time yesterday and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

When I heard about the concept and the location I sort of shrugged it off as ‘oh, well, another burger, taco, beer joint’ on the Ave.DSCN2760

But from the moment we walked in there yesterday for lunch there was a great vibe to the place. Casual décor with a hint to the buildings origins (a mechanic shop) yet totally modern.

Service was swift and super friendly. The beer selection was just enough to choose from and our choices were nice and cold.

The menu is smartly small: some quirky starters, a few interesting sounding salads, taco, sandwiches that included regular options but prepped in different ways and burgers.

We had two burgers: The #1 (American, caramelized onion, chipotle tomato, garage sauce) and build your own (blue cheese, shoe-string fried onions and the house aioli sauce) and some fries.DSCN2758

The burgers were cooked to well-done – for “safety purposes” according to the menu – and a little crispy outside, but they weren’t dry. The brioche bun is locally sourced and held up under some deliciously messy toppings.DSCN2757

I’ll definitely return, if only to try the charred guacamole appetizer and the fried calamari Caesar salad.

Can You Say ‘Pastizzi’?

One of the great pleasures of being a food writer is learning about new foods. Yes, it’s true, we food writers don’t know everything there is to know about food….

And so it was with pastizzi. Pastizzi is from Malta, an island country set in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Tunisia.

Pastizzi are a savory pastry and are usually filled with either ricotta or split peas and curry. I had my first one last year at the Iron Chef Competition, where Malta Joe was handing out samples. They were yummy and truly different. At that time, Joe was selling them out of his kitchen but I never heard or saw them again, until this week when Joe contacted me to let me know pastizzi are now available at Savaya Coffee, at farmers markets and on his website. If you are ever in Patagonia, they are also sold at Velvet Elvis.

Now Tucson has one more flavorful treat to add to our list of all the foods that make our City of Gastronomy great.

Check out this flavorful treat at maltajoe.com.

splitpeaandcurry_17

Rumor is that if you live in Tucson, Joe might just deliver the patizzi right to your front door.

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