Posts Tagged ‘dining’

Things to do in Tucson

September 20th, 2018 by samhughesinn

Things to Do, plus Places to See, Food to Enjoy

Tucson, AZ

Downtown Tucson
by John Burcham for The New York Times

Things to Do in Tucson

Travelers search for Things to Do in Tucson and the The New York Times posted a wonderful article in today’s paper. Subtitled 36 Hours in Tucson, it includes recommendations for sightseeing, most importantly, architecture & historical treasures.

Besides the usually available tourist information the article also touches on great food, the proliferation of new restaurants & local food. Also featured are biking & hiking plus some of the treasures of the University of Arizona including the Mirror Lab, and two small museums, (The Center for Creative Photography and the University of Arizona Art Museum). It describes two of our observatories (Flandrau Planetarium & Kitt Peak National Observatory). Shopping areas (like 4th Avenue) and the lesser known Mercado San Agustin on the west side of town are profiled as well.

Many lovely photographs of the places featured, accompany the article. There are too many wonders to be enjoyed in just 36 hours but if visitors reach even half of these great recommendations, they will have a terrific first taste of Tucson, AZ.

The full article (including links to all their recommended sites) is available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/travel/what-to-do-in-tucson.

Some of the “must do” adventures in Tucson are not mentioned in the New York Times article, but there are only so many things a person can see in 36 hours. A more textured visit would have to include the Sonora Desert Museum on the West side of town, Pima Air & Space Museum, and DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun to cite only a few. The Mission of San Xavier del Bac (the White Dove of the Desert) is only twelve miles south of Tucson and is one of the most historically significant remaining pieces of early Tucson. Begun in the 17th Century, the complex stands in the middle of the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. (Constant renovation has kept this beautiful building looking exactly as it did upon completion in 1797.) And with ample time it’s possible to combine your lodging in Tucson (hopefully at Sam Hughes Inn Bed & Breakfast) with a trip to the old mining towns of Bisbee and the cowboy historic Tombstone, AZ.

Thanks to the New York Times for this great advertisement for our sweet little city in the desert Southwest.

 

More Great Tucson Restaurants

September 18th, 2015 by samhughesinn

A month ago we described a group of “original” to Tucson eateries and now would like to note that there are many more great Tucson Restaurants close by. In most cases, these are one of a kind eating experiences to suit the most devoted foodie. Some of our favorites include the following, ethnic spots to enjoy fabulously different food experiences from other countries.

Mexican

Mexican Cuisine

Café Poca Cosa (Unique Mexican), is always the first answer to the question “Are there any good Mexican restaurants?” It seems absurd in a town like this so close to the border. There are, of course, many, many good Mexican restaurants but only one is Café Poca Cosa. Unlike many other restaurants the owner/chef, Suzana Davila, is generally present in the dining room making sure everything is perfect. She is a master of molé and changes the menu twice a day based on market purchases.The menu is presented on chalkboard and requires at least the basic knowledge of chicken, fish and beef in Español (or the helpful staff will translate). A unique dining experience featuring regional flavors culled from Suzana’s Guaymas, Sonora home. This is my personal favorite Tucson restaurant at 110 Pennington Street in the middle of downtown Tucson. Reservations are recommended; the place is incredibly popular. Call 520-622-6400. Open until 10 p.m. Friday & Saturday; until 9 p.m. other nights, and closed Sunday & Monday.

Zemams (Ethiopian) is now two times as good. The original location at 2731 E. Broadway (520-323-9928) has expanded to Zeman’s Too at 119 E. Speedway (520-882-4955).Though they have no

Ethiopean

Ethiopian Cuisine

liquor license you are encouraged to bring your own for a $1.50 corking fee. Featuring Ethiopian specialty dishes both meat and veggie served on a delicious giant circle of native Ingera bread torn into bite size pieces and eaten with “your hands”, the way you remember it from childhood. Zemams also offers a gluten free version of the bread if you order it before your arrival to avoid waiting. Surroundings are unpretentious and the food is just wonderful. Open 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closed Monday.Many restaurants are closed on Sunday so this is a nice alternative to the Sunday blahs.

 

Greek

Greek Cuisine

Athens on 4th Avenue (Greek) is at 500 N. 4th Avenue & 6th Street. The food is authentic Greek, featuring fresh fish & seafood, meat dishes & vegetarian specialties plus homemade soups and desserts, all at a moderate price. As you will see on their website, chef Andreas Delfakis opened his restaurant in Tucson in 1993 and has been honored with Best Greek Restaurant mentions in many publications over the years. Athens has a faithful following and is open Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Call 520-624-6886. If you like Greek food you will love this place on the very touristy 4th Avenue shopping street. Opah!

Bangkok Cafe (Thai) is located at 2511 E Speedway Blvd. (520-323-6555) just across the street from the Sam Hughes Historic District.Open Monday through Thursday until 9 p.m. and Friday/Saturday until 9:30 p.m., closed on Sunday. Serving authentic Thai dishes featuring beef, pork, chicken, shrimp and squid with noodles in varying degrees of spiciness from mild to intense, according to the diner’s wishes and including exotic spices and sauces. Many curry dishes are also

Thai

Thai Cuisine

on the menu. Jasmine or Green Tea, tropical juices and even an Arnold Palmer (50/50 tea & lemonade) are some of the beverages. There is no bar service.Homemade ice creams for dessert.

More favorite restaurants will be featured in months to come. In the meantime, try one of these great places in central and downtown Tucson, AZ.

 

Restaurants Found Only in Tucson

August 15th, 2015 by samhughesinn

Chain restaurants can be found in abundance in every city of a certain size but locally we are lucky to have a group of sophisticated restaurants found only in Tucson. Those featured here are, for the most part, elegant & unique restaurants where visitors will find original cuisine highlighting local food sources. Some belong to a group called Tucson Originals and some to another group called eatlocaltucson,

The underlying appeal of these restaurants is that they are locally owned and dedicated to, as much as possible, using food products locally grown and/or produced.

In a class all by itself, is the Arizona Inn at 2200 E. Elm St., a family owned and run luxury hotel/resort on any tourist’s “must see” list since the early 1930’s. Boasting all the amenities of a 5 Star Hotel/Resort, it has two dining rooms, Main Dining (inside and with a stricter dress code than most Tucson restaurants) and the Audubon Bar, which is casual and opens to the beautiful lawns and gardens on its patio facing side. Arizona inn menus offer a variety of taste treats from the small and reasonably priced items, to full dinners when price is not an object for the very special occasion. A brunch menu is offered on Saturday and Sunday. The inn is located just 1.6 miles directly north of Sam Hughes Inn, presenting a nice way to walk off a full meal if you’re staying here and eating there.

Special Event

Primavera Cooks 2015

Pastiche Modern Eatery, (also not far from Sam Hughes Inn), at 3025 North Campbell, has been part of the Tucson scene for many years and almost never disappoints with its variety of popular offerings that appeal to anyone who loves to eat out.

On September 9, 2015 Pastiche will be one of six “Restaurants found only in Tucson” participating in a yearly dinner event called Primavera Cooks,, Described as “possibly the most fun you will ever have at a nonprofit fundraising dinner” the meal will consist of a 4 or 5 course, wine paired fabulous evening out. Three of the restaurants have already had their fund raisers earlier in the summer. Sorry to have missed them.

Another restaurant still planning its Primavera dinner on August 30th, is Kingfisher. 2564 E Grant Rd. This perennial winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence is also proud of its specialty oyster menu. Plenty of seafood is on offer here (For 8 years Tucson Weekly has voted Kingfisher the Best Seafood Restaurant in town) along with a variety of meat dishes.

If you read this blog in time, Tavolino, an Italian “ristorante”at 2890 E. Skyline Drive will have its specialty dinner on Wednesday, August 19. On the regular menu you’ll find home-made pastas and signature pizzas made in their wood burning oven. Described as elegant but relaxed, Tavolino also has an excellent patio dining area.Late summer hours begin on Memorial Day. (This is Tucson, so summer lasts quite a long time here.

All reservations made for the remaining special event dinners are through Primavera NOT the restaurants. For reservations call David at 520-308-3104. Unless otherwise specified, all dinners begin with a check-in between 6-6:30 with seating at 6:30PM.

Acacia, also in the Catalina Foothills not far from Taolino at 3001 E. Skyline Drive, boasts a Sunset menu until August 31st at $30 per person between 4 and 6PM. Dinners feature the usual assortment of American favorites, chicken, pork, duckling, steak but all with special chef touches that make them unique to this fine restaurant.Also on the menu is a surprising main dish, roasted garlic custard that would certainly satisfy a vegetarian.

Feast, is an appropriately named and creative restaurant at 3719 E Speedway Blvd. It describes itself as a “Relaxed bistro for market-driven, eclectic cuisine that changes monthly, plus a lengthy wine list”. One of their interesting appetizers for August is  “Pickled Shrimp and Fried Smelts, served over white beans and Spanish chorizo with lettuce juice and kale.” Yum!

And last on this small specialized list, Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails, at 135 S 6th Ave, is handily named for its location in the middle of the downtown area. Locally renowned chef, Janos Wilder, is the creative mind and body behind this popular restaurant A busy spot featuring global fare and creative cocktails, Janos was one of the first chefs to take a chance on revitalizing the now bustling downtown restaurant scene.So far so good!

These are just a few of the many wonderful Tucson restaurants. Others have taken root in the past few years and now this city can be proud of its collection of chefs dedicated to making this a great place to eat out..

 

 

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