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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?!

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

 

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?

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

 

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.

 

Top 10 Stories of 2020

One might suggest that food and beverage writers had a shortage of content to cover last year because of the pandemic.

Au contraire, I say, especially when I look back at the stories that I was honored to cover last year.

My top ten stories of 2020 are ranked in this week’s Inside Tucson Business by readers’ digital engagement — their clicks, likes, and shares.

Despite the virus-centric setbacks, it was a delicious year. And I look forward to the day this year when mask-less moments return to our favorite restaurants.

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

 

Winter Whiskey Wisdom

It’s a whiskey that people line up for every year. On the first Saturday of December. In chilly morning temps.

They’re the wise ones, because with only 493 bottles made of the 2020 Winter Release from Whiskey Del Bac, it’s possible that they’ll run out on the first day of the sale.

I tell the story behind this year’s blend in the current edition of Inside Tucson Business. The head distiller calls it “a blend of hope and joy” and I look forward to raising a glass and toasting both…if I can actually get a bottle!

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

 

Stories from a Hot Sauce Scientist

Local hot sauce scientist Zac Perkins describes his bottled products in the same way he describes himself

“Weirdly unique” and “oddly complex.”

Whether you’re odd, weird, or simply someone who fancies adventure, you may want to check out my column in this week’s Inside Tucson Business. And be on the lookout for the one hot sauce that Zac says is a must for your Thanksgiving table.

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

 

Oktoberfest’s Seasonal Suds

There’s only one beer that rightfully gets the nod when Polka music is playing and pork schnitzel is frying. 

It’s Oktoberfest time once again, mein Freunde, and few moments mark the season better than enjoying an Oktoberfest-style brew that’s been poured down the inside of a glass as the foamy head simultaneously rises to the top.

In this week’s Inside Tucson Business, I caught up with two local brewers who shared their credentialed perspectives on these tradition-inspired beers.

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