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National IPA Day!

It’s the day over which hop fans like myself swoon, and I’m pleased to report that we’re one week away from National IPA Day on August 5!

In this week’s Tucson Weekly and Inside Tucson Business, I share some celebration-worthy suggestions for those who prefer their brews on the bitter and slightly more spirituous sides. And there’s a lot to consider from the perspectives of one local brewery that’s preparing to pour four distinct IPAs on the big day, ranging from 6-10 percent on the ABV scale.
Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts!
 

Summer Survival 2021

According to her great, great nephew, Monica Flin likely spent the first summer at her new El Charro Café making pots of stew and tortillas to feed local construction workers. That was 99 years ago, and summer survival continues to be the hallmark of the season at each of El Charro’s Tucson locations.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I tell a story about how this “fierce and feisty frontier woman” reflected the principles of service, family, and togetherness, and how they continue to guide this local restaurant’s work in getting us all through another long Tucson summer.

Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts!

 

Kyle’s Crudo

Raw gets rad when a restaurant has a full-time fish monger/butcher and three employees dedicated exclusively to its raw bar.

But don’t expect to find dishes there associated with a conventional raw bar. I’m talking crudo, a chef-driven program which elevates the raw foods conversation.

In this week’s Tucson Weekly and Inside Tucson Business, I caught up with Chef Kyle Nottingham to get the deets on his crudo at Flora’s Market Run.

Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts!

 

A Sonoran-Mediterranean Culinary Connection

All it took to connect the Rillito River to the Mediterranean Sea was a shared respect for Old World wisdom and an abiding love of hometown, plus a little inspiration from Uncle Joe.

In this week’s Tucson Weekly and Inside Tucson Business, I reveal the story behind this confluence of culinary cultures now on display at Zio Peppe, a new restaurant co-owned by Tucson natives and longtime chefs Mat Cable and Devon Sanner. The name of the eatery was inspired by Cable’s Uncle Joe, Zio Peppe in Italian, who opened Tucson’s first Sicilian pizzeria four decades ago.

Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts!

 

Banh Mi Boom

It’s been described as a banh mi boom when an information technology executive partnered with a real estate professional last fall to respond to a paucity of local purveyors of Vietnam’s street food staple.

While digging into the story for this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I sat down with Don Vongtheung to learn what’s behind the buzz, not only around the banh mi sandwich in general but around his hot new restaurant Banhdicted.

Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts!

 

Clothespins, Teapots & Totems…Oh My!

When my cocktail arrived with a corked ampoule of liquor fastened to the glass with a miniature clothespin, I knew there had to be a story behind this spirit riding side-saddle.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I explore the cocktail culture at downtown Tucson’s hot new restaurant, El Mezquite Grill & Taqueria, and the central role that clothespins, teapots, and Mayan totems play in that story.

What?!

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A St. Patrick’s Day Salutation

St. Patrick’s Day is nearly upon us, and memories of Matt Kane will again mark the day for this Godson of Washington, D.C.’s most revered Irish pub proprietor.

In the current edition of Inside Tucson Business, I offer an ode to my late Godfather while taking a peek at what Tucson’s Iron Chef Wendy Gauthier is planning for St. Patrick’s Day. Would her expressions of Irish fare have met the Matt Kane standard?

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Getting Saucy in National Sauce Month

French chef Fernand Point once said, “In the orchestra of a great kitchen, the sauce chef is the soloist.” That must mean that local chef C.J. Hamm will take center stage during National Sauce Month in March.

In the current edition of Inside Tucson Business, with chicken wings on my mind, I flew over to the northwest corner of Golf Links and Harrison Roads to sit down with the sauciest wingman I know. And with 23 varieties of wings on his menu with house-made sauces and rubs, he certainly wasn’t at a loss for words!

Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts.

 

A Hogg in the House

Hand-shucked and char-grilled oysters with chorizo and queso Chihuahua. Blackened tuna mignon with banana-jalapeno fried rice. Ribeye steak with a Burgundy mushroom and shallot ragout.

Five-star resort in the Foothills? Nope. These dishes were spotted just steps away from the north endzone at Arizona Stadium, and the buzz they’ve created suggests there’s a hogg in the house — Chef Matt Hogg, that is.

In the current edition of Inside Tucson Business, I caught up with this native Texan turned Tucsonan to see how he’s reimagined stadium club dining at the new Arizona Sands Club.

Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts.

 

Todd Hanley’s Latest Agave Adventure

Local hotelier Todd Hanley claims that he won’t sleep until Tucson is recognized as the Agave Capital of the United States. If you ask me, after learning about his latest agave project, I think he’s earned a short nap.

His go-to spirit on the agave landscape is most always mezcal, and in the current edition of Inside Tucson Business, I reveal the story behind his passion and how it’s prominent in the introduction of a handful of small-batch mezcals right here in the Old Pueblo.

Check out my story here and let me know your thoughts.