April 2013 The ancient Roman poet we call Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC) taught us an important lesson when he wrote the epic Aeneid. “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” I was reminded of that proverb recently. I had just been seated by the hostess at Opa! Greek Cuisine & Fun on N. Campbell when the “gift” was place on my table. It consisted of a rather large plate of sliced pita bread and two dips: one hummus and the other cucumber. Generally I don’t much care for hummus and I had all the cucumbers I’ll ever want when we were in Egypt. I inquired of the hostess as to why I was being served this “appetizer” since I had not ordered it. “Oh,” said she, “it’s complimentary. Try it. You’ll like it.” What was I to do? Since I was dining at Opa! to write a dining review, I … Continue reading
I have been searching for a steakhouse that serves a better ribeye than I can BBQ at home. I almost always purchase my ribeyes from Costco. They are ALWAYS better than any of the big-name grocery stores. If you know what you’re looking for, you can pick up a generous package of prime-cut ribeye’s for the cost of U.S.D.A. choice.Continue reading
Chef Massimo Tennino describes his Tavolino as “an inviting restaurant that feels like an Italian neighborhood trattoria. Tavolino specializes in simple, elegant food, including fresh salads, homemade pastas, succulent roast and grilled meats, rotisserie chicken and game, and luscious desserts. Tavolino brings Italy to life in Tucson.” Thus far, I have no argument with his self-description, but I will have to return a few more times and try some other dishes.Continue reading
February 2013 Our search for the best hamburger continues. Last year we chose Zinburger #1 & Red Robin at the Tucson Mall #2. This year I’m going to expand that list because almost everyone loves a great burger. Moreover, there seems to be a considerable increase in competition for this category. Recently, and entirely by happenstance, I dined at the new The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen. I was looking for a particular book at Barnes & Nobles in the Foothills Mall. As I came out with my prize, Jefferson: The Art of Power by John Meacham (highly recommended), and walked to my car, I realized that there is a new restaurant across the parking lot. As I recalled, this used to be a Greek restaurant. As I approached the front entry, it was abundantly clear that this place was no longer Greek. A couple of huge wooden Yeti statues greeted me. I soon learned that … Continue reading
If you’re looking for a different yet pleasant dining experience, Chef Alisah’s Restaurant is highly recommended. We will be adding Chef Alisah’s to our 2012 List of the Best Restaurants In Southern Arizona as we update for 2013.Continue reading
Marinara’s in Oro Valley. The restaurant’s tag line is “East Coast Italian Where The Sauce Sells Itself.” I like “East Coast” Italian. I have fond memories of Italian dining in New York City and Baltimore, MD, so I was looking forward to writing this review.Continue reading
September 2012 Many months ago I dined at Tohono Chul Park’s Tea Room for lunch and chronicled my experience in a fairly negative review. I’m pleased to tell you that things have changed there and entirely for the better. Tohono Chul Park, near Ina & Oracle, is one of our family’s favorite Tucson places. We [...]Continue reading
There I was, in this quaint little bakery on North Oracle, munching on an open-face turkey sandwich on French bread with a side of potato salad – all gluten-free – and enjoying the meal immensely. This was unexpected. Like most people who have tried gluten-free bread and other gluten-free foods, my limited experience was that [...]Continue reading
There’s nothing about the general appearance of Liv Café & Bistro to suggest anything but ordinary. I mean, inside it sorta looks like just another Starbucks, only more sparse. The patio seating is OK, but it’s not like there’s a great view or anything. But…Continue reading
The following is a review included in our post about our Southeastern Arizona road trip which you can follow under Adventures or Scenic Back Roads. Now we were really hungry and getting desperate. The next possibility would be Manor House & Rock ‘N Horse Saloon. One obvious problem is that this place is rated by TripAdvisor reviewers as not-so-good (2.5-Circles). Nevertheless, Manor House had the advantage of being open on Sundays. … Continue reading
Last week (April 2012) I had a most pleasant business lunch. My dining companion was Paul Hopman, a local artist whose specialty is scratchboard. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing Paul’s work, go to his website. He suggested the Tucson Tamale Company on Broadway. That worked for me ‘cause (1) I had [...]Continue reading
This is a review of a Tucson Japanese restaurant. But first … Disclaimers: I have never been to Japan, so I have no idea what REALLY GOOD Japanese cuisine is suppose to taste like. Asian food is not my favorite. I have an aversion to the idea of eating seaweed and raw fish. Besides, [...]Continue reading
The B Line is casual dining and a local favorite for good reason. For breakfast, their crapes, bagels, and pancakes are excellent.
For lunch and dinner, their menu is varied – from soups & sandwiches, to salads w/ or w/o chicken or fish; to carne asada burritos; to pan fried salmon – all very tasty.
In the spirit of honesty, Asian food is not my favorite, although I do enjoy some for a little variety … little being the operative word. Raw fish and seaweed just do not appeal to me. And the Oriental food I do like, Sweet & Sour Pork, Kung Pao Chicken, etc., isn’t particularly healthy.
That, and I had yet to experience a really good Oriental restaurant in Tucson.
Theresa’s Mosaic Café A few days passed since we had dined at El Charro. Now it was off to Theresa’s Mosaic Café (Silverbell & Grant) with the remnants of our extended family: middle daughter Paige, her husband Tim, and their teenage boyz, Jon & Morgan. Dree and boyfriend Todd, and Julie and kids, Jessie & [...]Continue reading
December, 2011 We two had completed our errands and were trying to decide where to eat lunch. I used my mobile device to consult tripadvisor.com. Their customer reviews rate Wildflower highly. I checked their website. According to their menu, Wildflower says they continue “to set the standard for innovative, yet classic, American cuisine with European and Asian influences.” Hummm. Sounds intriguingly vague, not to mention contradictory, all at the same time. Just as their public relations specialists intended. But, if the food is good, I can forgive their circuitous propaganda. As we approached the front of Wildflower, we observed a very nice patio area with a walkway down through the center to the main entrance. At the door, the young, beautiful, and half-naked hostess asked if we would like to be seated on the patio or inside. Generally, if the weather is nice, we prefer outside seating, but this was … Continue reading
September, 2011 updated July 2012 Recently renamed Scordatos, after the owner, because people kept confusing it with Vivace, I had never heard of Pizzeria Vivace (pronounced Va-Vaa’-Chee) until I was looking though some other restaurant reviews recently and found that it was rated very highly. It’s located in the St. Philip’s Plaza. St. Philip’s is a moderately high-end commercial center at the busy intersection of Campbell and River. Lodging, restaurants, shops, professional suites, etc. Scordatos Pizzeria is hidden at the southwest corner … so hidden they have to put out a sandwich board with a directional arrow in the parking lot so visitors can find it. 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson, AZ … Continue reading
September, 2011 BLANCO Tacos + Tequila says they offer “modern Mexican fare in a casual-chic setting. Updated classics like tacos, enchiladas, and queso crisps are reinterpreted with fresh, flavorful, and unique ingredients.” That they do and they said it better than I could. Blanco is not ‘authentic’ Tucson. It’s very new and in theory could be anywhere USA. But you can sit on the patio overlooking the city and have yourself a fine Mexican meal. Like North just around the corner, it’s on the upper level of La Encantada. 2905 E Skyline Drive; Tucson AZ 85718 520-232-1007 Hours: Sun – Thu 11am to 10pm; Fri – Sat 11am to 11pm; Happy Hour Daily 4pm to 6pm. … Continue reading
Dakota Café serves a wide variety of dishes for lunch and dinner.Continue reading
Generally, my criteria for dining recommendations includes ‘authenticity’, as in authentically Tucson. I’m gonna make an exception, ’cause North is that good. I almost never go to a shopping mall, but North is located at the far end of La Encantada, Tucson’s attempt to recreate Rodeo Drive.Continue reading
This used to be a stage coach stop back in the Old West not so long ago. Full bar. Outdoor seating with live music on weekends. Big BBQ. Good steaks. Better ribs. Lil Abner’s would be a 3.5 Saguaro, but I had to give it a half Saguaro for authenticity.Continue reading
Kingfisher Bar & Grill on East Grant is my favorite in Tucson for seafood. Seared scallops, excellent. But if you like lobster or salmon, go for it. Very good!Continue reading
Beyond Bread has the Best Sandwiches according to Jim. Not fancy, just fresh bread, sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries. Locally owned since 1998. Visit the website Three Locations: Central: 3026 N Campbell Road, Tucson North: 421 W Ina Road Tucson East: 6220 E Speedway Blvd … Continue reading
First, Blue Willow Restaurant on Campbell is a bakery: fresh-out-of-the-oven cakes, pies, muffins, cookies, you-name-it.Continue reading
I know it sounds weird, but a really good burger and a really good glass of wine really do go together.Continue reading