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For the Pacific Northwest Palate

What does the Pacific Northwest look like at the center of the plate and in a glass?

Jeff Azersky, of Tucson’s Kingfisher Bar & Grill, offered his insights when we discussed the latest regional destination on his annual Summer Road Trip that that makes virtual stops in the most delicious regions of the country.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, Jeff transported my palate to Oregon and Washington while telling a fun story about how a mountain man in 1848 inspired this authentic Pacific Northwest menu that runs through June 25.

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

 

Craft Beer for a Cause

Building a thriving community by uniting people, ideas and resources requires lots of hard work. I’d suggest that recognizing these tireless efforts requires lots of cold beer.

What a coincidence. In commemorating the 100th Anniversary of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Ten55 Brewing Company released its UNITED Summer Ale last week, a sudsy way to celebrate the organization’s century of service during the year’s warmest months. 

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I tell the story about this beer, including the incorporation of a rare peppercorn from western Africa called “Grains of Paradise.”

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

 

Who’s a Liver Lover?

My affinity for liver and onions ranks right up there with anchovies and fruitcake, and I’m well aware that I stick out like a sore thumb when I order these foods in public places. But those of us who share a love of liver can hardly contain our enthusiasm for National Liver and Onions Day on May 10.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, a local chef shared a story with me about the significant role that liver and onions has played on his menus for decades. He said, “Liver and onions is one of those classic comfort foods, like beef stew, fried chicken, and meatloaf, which has a way of connecting people with their past.” Few dishes have a nostalgic nature like our beloved L&O.

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

 

Slider Smack Down

There’s nothing small about the life Chef Lindy Reilly lives.

His iconic burgers are second only in size to his prodigious personality, and a big bolt of lightning is the centerpiece of his Fourth Avenue restaurant’s brand. So, imagine my surprise when I learned that he’ll soon go to battle in a cooking competition that requires participants to set their sights on the smaller side of things.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I share some of Reilly’s strategies for success as he prepares for the inaugural Slider Smack Down on May 7 at Button Brew House.

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

 

Social Sippers

With mask mandates expiring, and many of us rightfully dragging our Zoom apps into the recycle bin, local businesses across Southern Arizona are celebrating what it means to be social again.

At Portal, an intimate cocktail bar on Fourth Ave., they are taking the idea of social rather seriously. My column in this week’s Inside Tucson Business stirs up a few examples, from the Swamp Thing to the Jupiter Bowl, where straws are handed out by the handful.

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

 

BATA-boom!

While many of us learned early in life about the consequences of yelling “fire” in a crowded building, the exclamation has taken residence in the formal and flame-licked lexicon of downtown Tucson’s hottest new restaurant.

BATA, the newest concept from the crew that brought us Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, is inspired by fire, and all of the nearly 20 dishes on the menu are touched by fire in some way. My column in this week’s Inside Tucson Business tells a story about these flames and how the Fenton family is igniting them at a beautifully re-imagined 1930s supply warehouse.

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

 

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!