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


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


Tonight, Tonight

Here are the finalists for tonight’s Cocktail Challenge at Carriage House:

Stephanie Kingman and Kris Carr, The Parish 
Robert Gillies, Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink and the Tough Luck Club 
Janelle Haegert, DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails 
Ryne Hoffman, The Still Speak Easy, Sazerac Creole Kitchen & Cocktails 
Eric Farmilant,  Contigo Latin Kitchen 
Kiva Strand, 47 Scottdscn2490 

Tucson’s 23 – Miles and Miles of the Best Mexican Fare on the Planet

Those of us in Tucson know that we are blessed with the best Mexican restaurants north of the border. Tex-Mex can’t hold a candle to what we have and So-Cal offerings are just so So-Cal.

In celebration of the many restaurants that can be found in Tucson, the second annual Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival will be held on Saturday 17th at JW Marriott Star Pass Resort. The event is sponsored by VisitTucson, SAACA (Southern Arizona Arts and Culture Alliance) and the resort. Cost is $49 and there are stay and play packages available at the resort.chile-en-nogada

The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food was officially proclaimed by the city to celebrate all the wonderful Mexican food options found in the 23-mile area that “is Tucson.” From South Tucson through Downtown to Mid-Town, you can find a full assortment of Mexican fare. Many of those restaurants will have food and drink at the event. Music is a part of the mix.DSCN1025

I went last year and had a truly great time. There was so much food to choose from that I doubt I got it all.

Other events that weekend include a Celebrity Chef Dinner on Friday night and an Authentic Father’s Day Mexican Buffet on Father’s Day (Sunday the 18th).

Cooking Classes from The Middle East

The Tucson Jewish Community Center is partnering with the International Rescue Committee to present a series of cooking classes from foods of Syria, Iraq and the Congo.

On Sunday June 4th from Noon to 3pm, refugee chef Shahd will be teaching the fundamentals of a Syrian breakfast with such treats as fattet hummus, falafel, ful medames (fava beans and sautéed vegetables and bad maslooch (her signature hard boiled egg dish).

Cost is $70 ($65 for JCC members). or call 520-299-3000.

Monies will benefit the International Rescue CommitteeDSCN1970