Have a Fox-y Easter

Fox Restaurant Concepts is serving up some special Easter offerings and the neat part is you can go fancy or casual; All-American or Italian; brunch or lunch.

Wildflower opens early on Easter Sunday and in addition to the tasty lunch menu items, people can order from four specials: Wild Mushroom Quiche, Roasted Sea Bass, Blue Crab Omelet or Prime Rib. As per usual at Wildflower, cocktails play a role in a beautiful brunch and the Easter specials include $6 Bloody Marys or mimosas, Make reservations at www.wildflowertucson.com

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North at La Encantada will serve the usual Sunday Brunch items like the earthy Nonna’s casserole with torn bread and Italian sausage or the special of grilled cauliflower with fried egg, toasted breadcrumbs, pancetta cream and lemon. Prosecco may be more appropriate here. Rezzies are recommended. www.northitaliarestaurant.com

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Then for those folks looking for a more casual take, you might want to dine at Zinburger. There’s even an Easter burger called the Brunch Burger that is built with Waygu beef, ham, fried egg and hollandaise sauce; sounds like a knife and fork kind of burger. New items include a Classic Diner Burger, a California Burger Bowl and Seared Salmon Salad. Your choice of drink? Either one of Zin’s milkshakes or a chilled bottle of pinot grigio, No reservations taken but info can be found at www.zinburger.com

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They’re Baaaaack and We’re Glad They Are.

gordo's 2.0.

For anyone who’s lived in Tucson for numerous years when they hear the word, chimichanga, thoughts turn immediately to Gordo’s.

For decades Gordo’s was known for their tasty chimis and owner Al Valenzuela’s famous phrase, “If you like chimichangas, I mean, if you really like chimichangas then Come to Gordo’s” and people did, in droves.

But the restaurant closed in 2002 and Tucsonans had to rely on the culinary memory of Gordo’s.

Now though the wonderful flavors of Gordo’s are back with the new venture, Gordo’s 2.0.

Daughter Marguerite Brown and her partner Mark Callahan have dug out the old recipes and are selling mini-versions of her dad’s chimis at Heirloom Farmer’s Markets. On Sundays you can find them at Rillito Racetrack Market  and at  the Oro Valley Market on Saturdays. Nana Julie, Al’s wife, is usually there to lend a hand.marguerite and mark

The chimis are served hot from the fryer and come in refried bean and cheese, shredded beef and shredded chicken with Hatch chiles. If you want, Marguerite will drizzle a delicious lime crema on top. And speaking from having eaten the chimis one Sunday at the market, I have to say they were fabulous. Hot and crunchy on the outside; creamy and savory inside….just like the old day…and that crema is to die for.#1 Gordo's chimi sign

Marguerite and Mark also sell Gordo’s salsa and freshly made tortillas. They also have ready to heat chicken enchilada casserole and green corn tamale pie.

Marguerite wanted to bring back Gordo’s in some way for awhile and with Mark’s expertise in the gourmet retail food industry the time was right. They have plans to expand nationally.

Like I said, the chimis I ate were fabulous (they are bigger than your average mini-chimi) and I can’t wait to go back to try the others.

So if you like chimichangas make a trip to the Heirloom Farmers Markets this weekend.

Historic Restaurants of Tucson…hot off the press

Well, folks here it is….

HISTORIC RESTAURANTS OF TUCSON  –  Rita Connelly

Publisher: The History Press
Date: 02/12/2018
Tucson’s culinary journey began thousands of years ago, when Native American tribes developed an agricultural base along the Santa Cruz River. In modern times, restaurants ranging from tiny taquerias to fine dining spaces all contributed to the local food culture. El Charro, serving Mexican cuisine since 1922, still attracts crowds from all over. Folks head straight to Pat’s for a hot dog, Lucky Wishbone for some fried chicken or eegee’s for a grinder and a cold, frosty drink. On any given night, the patio at El Corral is filled with diners anticipating their famous prime rib and tamale pie. Local food writer Rita Connelly brings to life the stories of beloved eateries that have endured for decades and continue to delight with incredible flavors.

Rita Connelly has lived in Tucson since 1979 with her husband, John, and daughter, Riene. Somewhere in her travels, she earned a BA in education from the University of Arizona. She worked as a restaurant reviewer for the Tucson Weekly for ten years. During that time, she acted as a judge for hot dog, wine, tequila, salsa, chocolate and pie competitions. Her book, Lost Restaurants of Tucson, was published in 2015. She chronicles her food adventures in her blog, thewellfedfoodieblog@wordpress.com.

Rita will be on the Buckmaster Show on KVOI – The Voice 1030AM on Tuesday 2/13 around 12:30 pm and on Morning Blend on KGUN Channel 9 on Friday sometime after 11:00 am

 

EVENTS:

Sunday February 18. 2018

Noon

El Charro Cafe Downtown

Book Signing

 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

1pm-3pm

Mostly Books

6208 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85712

 

Friday March 2, 2018

5pm-7pm

Trail Dust Town

6541 E Tanque Verde Rd, Tucson, AZ 85715

 

Friday March 9, 2018

7pm

Antigone Books

411 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

 

Sunday March 11

Tucson Festival of Books

11:30 – Mini meet the author talk

2:00 book Signing and saleshistoriccover

SAACA Satisfies

Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance is one of my favorite non-profits in Tucson. Over the years they’ve developed a deep support of arts in all forms, including food.

This week is one of SAACA’s biggest fund raisers – Savor – Southern Arizona Food & Wine Festival, which this year includes three separate events.

Tonight at Monarch Premium Appliance site is Sweet Charity where folks can enjoy cakes, candies, pies, ice cream, cotton candy and much, much more (I think the chocolate/candies chile pepper pate sounds divine.) Confectioners from all over the area will be there as will local wineries and breweries. If you don’t know which wine pairs with lemon bars, here’s the place to find out. Monarch is located at 3850 N. Orange Grove Road. The event runs from 6pm-8pm. Contact SAACA for tickets.

Then on Thursday February 1st, SAACA teams with GUT (Gastronomic Union of Tucson) for a bit of New Orleans in Tucson, CARNIVAL.  The best chefs in Tucson will be collaborating and serving fabulous food from the world over. The following is just a small sample of what you’ll find. Cost is $45 and monies raised will support not just SAACA bur the Rialto Theater, where CARNIVAL is being held.

  • Dirty South Mudbug Rolls n’Gutzz
  • Smoked ‘gator boudin sausage with creole mustard
  • Green gumbo & grilled kale garlic rice
  • Brazilian Feijoada
  • Pao de Quiejo
  • Yuca Fries
  • Molho Rose
  • Smokey duck boudin balls with kumquat remoulade
  • BBQ shrimp & pork belly poboys with charred pickle slaw
  • Chicory, celery & chicken heart salad with crispy onions and buttermilk vinaigrette
  • Stuffed fresh water shrimp head with a Shrimp mousse
  • Corn flour tempura with Smoked chimichurri
  • Beef Roulade with charred green onion, pickled carrots, bacon, avocado and Serrano cream
  • Coconut flan, filo crisp and sous vide candied plantain topped with a coconut lace garnish.
  • Heritage Red Beans and Carolina Gold Rice and Pickled Pork
  • Alligator Gumbo, Cajun Trinity, and Tasso Ham
  • Fresh Beignet “Fosters” au Foie

Music will be a big part of the evening.

Then on Saturday is the big SAVOR where many of the same participants from the other events at Tucson Botanical Gardens. This is a can’t miss event. The Botanical Gardens are a Tucson treasure and all the food and wine here will be top notch. Tickets are $75. Contact SAACA to purchase tickets.

 

 

First Annual Guac Bowl Rocked

A bit belated but a big shout out to the people who held the First Annual Guiacamole Bowl at St. Philip’s Plaza on Sunday.IMG_0306IMG_0309

A handful of restaurants, caterers and even Pima College’s Culinary Program plied their avocado creations to hungry eaters. Bags of chips were handed out at the gate to make all that munching easier (I believe they were made by Reforma, the upscale Mexican eatery located in the plaza.IMG_0305

Voting for the best guac was hot and heavy but the winner, at least in my opinion, was spot on. PCC Culinary Program served their guac on durros, those weird wheel-shaped snacks that are totally addicting. Their guac was rich, smooth, thick and the falcors were well-balanced.IMG_0302

Thank you, Tucson Flavors, Reforma and all the participants for a tasty afternoon.

A New Twist

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the soft opening for India Twist, the newest venue from JAM Culinary Concepts.

Located at the sight of the short-lived Twisted Tandoor, India Twist has a Sikh chef who makes dishes of New Delhi and environs.

We ordered the cauliflower patties, tandoori fish and the butter chicken, which we were told is the recipe of the man who invented bitter chicken.

Everything we had was fab!

For me to it cauliflower there has to be something special about the white veggie. Here, the florets were dusted with a spicy breading and deep fried. The cauliflower was like butter and the breading popped with heat.IMG_0295

The white fish was juicy with blackened edges and served with ultra-soft onions and green peppers.IMG_0298

The chicken was tender.Big chunks of white meat in a creamy tomato based sauce, which we sopped up with toasty naan. Fluffy rice accompanied the chicken.IMG_0300

PS. Other media was there. Bill Buckmaster, long time Tucson radio talk show host and his wife reported that the mango chicken was “amazing!”

India Twist opens today. There will be a lunch buffet and you can have any number of clever cocktails from the full bar.

I’ll be back.

 

Time to Dine for a Good Cause

DSCN2346Dine on Your Corner

January 8th marks a day in Tucson’s history like no other. That’s the day a senseless and tragic shooting took place at a ‘Congress on Your Corner’ meet up with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Giffords was injured as were 12 others; six people died.

Now a local group is raising funds for a memorial downtown and, as is in true Tucson fashion, the culinary community is pitching in.

On Monday, January 8th, the following restaurants will donate a portion of their daily sales to help fund the project.

The list is a great mix od eateries, from high end to downhome fun places. I’m sure more will be involved.

Check it out.

Donate, Remember, Embrace

http://www.tucsonsmemorial.org/january-8-2018-dine-corner-donate-remember-embrace/  .

Dine on Your Corner participating restaurants:  

Bentley’s Coffee & Tea

Brother John’s

DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktail

Eclectic Café

Frost Gelato

Kingfisher Bar & Grill

Mama’s Hawaiian Bar B Cue

Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

Senai Thai Bistro

Sundance Café at Hilton El Conquistador

The Shanty

Sunrise Café

Zinburger