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The Fieri Effect – Four Years Later

When the Food Network’s Guy Fieri rolled through Tucson to profile local restaurants for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, each of the eateries had a corresponding boom in business.

But what about now, four years after those segments first aired? Are these restaurants still seeing spikes in sales whenever those aging episodes are rebroadcast?

In this week’s Tucson Weekly, I caught up with two local restaurateurs who told me that the Fieri Effect is actually a thing, even years after his 1968 Camaro left town.

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


At the Corner of Route 66 & Toole Ave (well, sort of)

If Toole Avenue and Route 66 intersected, it would likely be at Maynards Kitchen during Arizona Beer Week when these two storied roadways will virtually connect.

As I report in this week’s Tucson Weekly, Maynards will team up with Flagstaff’s Mother Road Brewing Company, which sits on the original 1926 alignment of Route 66, for a pairing dinner on February 23 at Tucson’s iconic train depot. I hope you get hip to my timely tip and join me at this dinner celebrating Arizona Beer Week.

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


Swank at the Center of the Plate

“Try to imagine The Parish’s punk rock cousin, who grew up in Los Angeles rock clubs, won the lottery, moved to the South, bought an old swanky joint and turned it into a chef-driven bar and grill.”

This is how Chef Travis Peters describes his second restaurant, The Delta, which he launched a decade after he and his business partners opened The Parish.

In last week’s Tucson Weekly, I tell a story about Peters’ salute to the swank at The Delta and its manifestations at the center of the plate, including a Stuffed Pork Rib Crown and The Big D pictured here. An ode to the punk rock scene of the late ’80s and ’90s also plays a part in this fun homecoming story.

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


Top 10 Stories of 2021

Here we are at the end of another delicious year in Southern Arizona, and the commencement of my 10th year writing the food and beverage column for Tucson Local Media and its portfolio of publications.

I enjoy getting feedback from our readers as much as I enjoy writing the stories themselves. This feedback comes in many forms, but it’s your digital engagement with my stories—the clicks, likes, and shares—that tells me what you really value. So I’ve called on our web editor once again to dive into the data to reveal my top 10 stories from the past year that triggered the highest level of reader response.

Check out the list here and let me know your thoughts!


Holiday Spirits

Getting into the holiday spirit is something that the managers of two downtown lounges have done quite literally with the holly jolly season now in full swing.

The weather certainly doesn’t have to be frightful to enjoy a delightful seasonal drink, and my column in this week’s Inside Tucson Business has some tips for Santa when it comes to wetting his whiskers as he maps out his global travels. My strategy for staying on his nice list is also revealed!

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


Dining with Daou

With parents who honored the communal nature of the evening meal, Tyler Lapotosky and his siblings cherished the nightly family dinner tradition as kids growing up in northwestern Vermont.

Decades later, that tradition continues in the way Chef Lapotosky will connect his guests at a Daou wine dinner on December 12 at the Flying V Bar & Grill.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I get up close and personal with Chef Tyler whose childhood reflections inspired this dinner that must not be missed.

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


Expect the Unexpected

Expect the unexpected.

That’s what I discovered when I first set my eyes on the new menu at OBON.

Paulo Im, brand chef and director of culinary innovation at OBON, executes the unexpected in fascinating ways with these new seasonal selections, and my column in this week’s Inside Tucson Business tells a story about his big reveal and how a sensibility to his roots is a reflection of the food that he creates.

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


Hockey & Hops

Call it a power play for the palate.

Hockey and Hops, a beer garden with 11 regional brewers that will pop-up outside the Tucson Convention Center prior to the Tucson Roadrunners hockey game on November 13, will raise money for local non-profits that promote healthcare, education, and cultural arts programs for children, servicemen, and servicewomen in Southern Arizona.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I caught up with two local craft brewers who will participate in the hockey-hops pairing as they shared what they’ll be pouring and why it’s important to be involved in events like this.

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


Mulligans Menudo

Tucson cook Vanessa Baker wasn’t surprised when her 8-year-old son revealed that he wants to be a chef when he grows up. What he doesn’t know is that he’s the fourth generation in a family with culinary traditions steeped in tripe broth.

As I report in this week’s Inside Tucson Business, Baker’s longtime family recipe for menudo, with roots in Sonora, Mexico, started making local food news the very moment it landed on the new Sunday brunch menu at Mulligans Sports Grill. But no matter where they land on the issue of stomach lining as a morning and mid-day meal, hungry football fans have much to choose from on this chef-driven, scratch-based brunch menu.

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


Mother Road Mondays!

Since my very first sip of suds from Flagstaff’s Mother Road Brewing Company, there’s been joy in the adventure with every pint I’ve hoisted with friends and family. I’ve even had the opportunity to share some treasured moments with Mother Road’s owner Michael Marquess, the dapper dude pictured here, enjoying stories about his company, its culture, and its distinguished and food-friendly brews.

Lucky for me and other Mother Road fans, these beers have become widely available in Southern Arizona, and local chefs are celebrating how well they pair with a variety of dishes.

These stories will anchor a new series on Wake Up Tucson on AM-1030 called Mother Road Mondays! Starting on October 4 and continuing every Monday morning through November, host Chris DeSimone and I will sit down with our Mother Road friends and a different Southern Arizona chef each week for some delicious stories about their brews, their cuisine, and why they’re the perfect match.

The series will launch on October 4 at 7:00 am when Mother Road’s craft consultant Stephanie Henderson joins us in the studio, along with Andrea Wagner from Casa Marana, to kick off National Pizza Month. Pizza and beer? A traditional pairing. For breakfast on live radio? Yes, please!

I hope you enjoy this nine-week series. You can listen live every Monday at 7:00 am on KVOI, AM-1030, and on KVOI.com.