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St. Mary’s Mexican Food

October 7, 2010
Outside St. Mary's Mexican Food

The eye-catching exterior.

It took an article in the LA Times to get me into St. Mary’s Mexican Food.   I live less that two miles from them.  I drive directly past them at least twice per week.  I drive within 1/2 mile of them twice a day.   I’ve lived in Tucson for nearly 19 years – why’d it take so long?  I’ve eaten at many small Mexican restaurants down that stretch of St. Mary’s, but never there.  Whatever the reason, I’ve been missing out.  The good news is that I don’t have to any more.

I stopped there almost on a whim.  It was a long day at work and I’d been running around some after work, too.  I was tired.  I was driving past.  I remembered that article…

I almost missed the turn into the parking lot, then almost hit the motorcycle parked in a place that wasn’t really a parking spot.  I began to wonder if those were signs that I shouldn’t go in.  After deciding it had more to do with my less-than-cat-like reflexes, I went in.

The menu board

The menu board. Click the pic and you can kind of read it...

The setup is simple.  There’s a menu hanging above the counter.  Read it, step to the counter, say what you want, and you’re done.  I went with the combination #1 – I mean, it’s #1 for a reason, right?  That combo came with your choice of red chile, green chile, or birria, beans, a taco, and a tortilla.  I’m wild about birria, but was feeling more like red chile tonight.  My sytrofoam box came out within a couple of minutes and I was out the door.  Oh, and had I ordered my dinner to eat there, it still would have come in the styrofoam box.

I got to the car, dropped the box on the seat next to me and started to back out.  Then I stopped.  I was overtaken by the smell of the red chile.  I popped open the box and dipped my finger into the sauce.  It was thick and smoky, with a light back-of-the-throat heat.  I knew right then that I’d be writing about this dinner.

I raced home and went straight to the table.  I pulled out the tortilla and it was utterly amazing – so huge, so thin, so delicate.  I was afraid that it wouldn’t be able to stand up to the food

The food - red chile, refried beans, taco, & tortilla.

The food - red chile, refried beans, taco, & tortilla. The taco is hiding under the cheese and lettuce.

and just fall apart, but it was firm and slightly elastic.  Those things are hand-stretched, and there’s not anything to compare them to.

The refried beans were great: thick and dense, with – again – sort of a smoky flavor to them.  The beef in the chile was lean but meltingly tender.  A little scoop of beans with a little scoop of the red chile in a little piece of tortilla was incredible.  Go get some.  Get some now.

But wait, there was still a taco in that box!  I’d almost forgotten about it in my rapt attention to the other parts of my dinner.  It had a hard corn shell, but not the kind that would either a) disintegrate with the slightest amount of liquid or b) shatter into 1000 pieces at the first bite.  The texture was a perfect compliment to the moist shredded beef inside.

Holy cow.  This was a good meal.  Strike that – a great meal.

So, my friends, don’t make my mistake.  Don’t wait 19 years to visit St. Mary’s Mexican Food.  Go soon and go often.  I may just see you there.

And did I mention that my total for dinner – including tax – was $5?  Yeah, $5.00.

St. Mary’s Mexican Food is located at 1030 W. St. Mary’s Road, just a couple of blocks west of I-10.

St Mary's Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

What are your favorite places to eat in Tucson?

September 20, 2010

This isn’t as much a post as reconnaissance.  I want to know your secrets – what do you, dear readers, think are some of Tucson’s hidden culinary gems?  They don’t even have to be all that hidden – I’m just looking for new places to scope out, and I don’t want to just start working my way through the phonebook.  What is the first restaurant listed in my actual paper phone book, you ask?  A Great Location at 20 N. Sarnoff.

So what do you think?  Where should I go?  What should I try?  Tucson is a really spread out place, so I’m sure my horizons are ripe for expansion!

Just leave me a comment down below and let me know.

Thanks, Tucson!  You’re the collective bomb.

Added about 1 hour after original post: Wow!  Thanks to everyone for the great response!  I totally stand by my collective bomb comment above.  If you don’t see the comments, click the post title up there.  That’ll take you to the page with the good stuff.

-TFD

It’s the Most Wonderful Time… of the Year!

September 16, 2010

Has he really mistaken the still-blazing hot September for Christmas?  Will he next break out into a rousing chorus of ‘Joy to the World’?  What’s wrong with this guy?

Well this guy is a big freakin’ fan of food festivals, and this is the most magic month.  Additionally, alliteration is always awesome.

What do we have on tap?  Check it:

I know – it’s more than a magic month, but ‘magic month and a half’ or ‘magic coupla months’ don’t have the same ring.  So before I digress any more, let’s take a little look at each of these…

Arizona Restaurant Week:

Yummy looking offering from NoRTH

Yummy looking offering from NoRTH (Photo: Fox Restaurant Concepts)

Are there restaurants in Tucson that you’ve been thinking about trying but haven’t for whatever reason?  Maybe something a little pricier than you might normally do?  Well this is your chance to spread your wings and try something new!

How does it work?  Some of Tucson’s top restaurants offer a multi-course menu for $19, $29, or $39 per person.  Some of them even include a beverage.  Some of the ones I think are particularly smokin’ include:

$19: Harvest, Zona 78, Mama Louisa’s (Includes a glass of house wine!)

$29: Acacia, Azul (includes a glass of selected wines), Fleming’s, Gold (may include a glass of wine?), Jonathan’s Cork, Kingfisher, Sullivan’s, Tavolino (includes a glass of selected wines)

$39: Well, Bob’s Steak and Chop House at the Omni Tucson National is the only restaurant currently showing a $39 deal, so I guess they get the honor for this price point!

There are a few (quite a few, actually) that don’t have details posted and things are subject to change so check back here for the latest info on the 45 or so participating restaurants.  Many of the restaurants are members of the Tucson Originals, so they’re locally owned and operated.

St. Demetrios Greek Festival:

There’s more to this festival than just food, but oh, the food.  If you like your cheese on fire (and who doesn’t?), you’d best find yourself here at least one 0f the four days of the festival.  The choices are great, the food freshly-prepared, and the aromas alone are enough to get you to shout ‘Opa!’.

In addition to the food, you get Greek cooking demos, art, dancing, community, games, lectures, and movies.  The schedule varies by day, but make some time and go.  If you don’t, Cat Cora is going to hunt you down and hurt you.

Tucson Meet Yourself:

Yeah, I know it’s not strictly a food festival, but most people I know refer to this venerable event as Tucson Eat Yourself – so deal.  The stated mission of the three day event is “To research, document, interpret and present the living traditional arts and expressions of everyday life of the folk and ethnic communities of the multi-national Arizona-Sonora region.”  So think, music, dancing, art…. and food.

Food from Ghana, Russia, Denmark (mmm….aebelskivers), Thailand, Poland…. the list goes on and on.  Bring your appetite and bring a lot of small bills – change is sometimes in short supply!

New this year: an Iron Chef competition for high school and college culinary students featuring healthy ethnic ingredients.  Sounds like my kind of good time!

I’m hoping to hear back from the TMY folks before too long about some of the other food vendors for this year, so I’ll update things when I do!

The Great Tucson Beer Festival:

Great Tucson Beer Fest Birds-eye view

Great Tucson Beer Fest Birds-eye view

Beer + Festival.  I don’t think I need to say anything else, but I probably will.  You’ve only got one night to get to this one, so hop to it and put it on your calendar now.  Get it?  Hop?  Like as in hops?  Ok, moving on…

Things kick off at Hi Corbett Field at 5:00pm for VIP ticket holders and 6:00pm for general admission.  You get to sample a whole lot of beers and snack on tasty treats from a variety of food purveyors for your ticket price of $40 general or $75 VIP.  In addition to the extra hour of admission, the VIP tix also include a souvenir mug, catered dinner from Agave Restaurant, and – just in case there’s not enough for you to drink – a wine garden.

There’s also live music, games of skill (which probably get a lot harder as the evening wears on), and giveaways. So far, the list of breweries includes some great ones from Arizona (Grand Canyon Brewing Company, Mogollon Brewing Company, and Arizona High Spirits), and around the world.  You can check out this page for the up-to-date list.

All proceeds from this event benefit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a  great organization that provides audio-format information to people with visual impairment.  How cool is that?

Tucson Culinary Festival

Feast's Chef Doug Levy's Flying Food

Feast's Chef Doug Levy's Flying Food (Photo by Alex Landeen)

There’s a lot going on for the Tucson Culinary Festival.

It’s four days of separate events at two different locations – each one with a different feel and flavor (although the feel & flav revolve around fine food & beverages, so it all sounds good to me!).

Day 1: The World Margarita Championship on the patio at Maynard’s.  Will Brian Metzger of Jax Kitchen (and the soon-to-be-open The Abbey) be able to repeat his winning margarita performance from last year?  I don’t know, but I’d be happy to try one and see!  Attendees get to vote right along with the celebrity judges, so if you’re a fan of distilled agave products head on over to Maynards to try some of the best margaritas in town!  Tickets are $35 p/p

Day 2: Reserve Tasting at Canyon Cafe at Loews Ventana Canyon.  Love wine?  Then this event is made for you.  Here you get to taste boutique wines from small vineyards, paired with small dishes prepared by chefs from the Tucson Originals specifically to compliment the wines.  Tickets for this one are $100 p/p

Day 3: Grand Tasting in the Grand Ballroom (fitting enough) of Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.  Over 100 wines and spirits – tastings of signature dishes of Tucson Originals chefs – cookbook signings – Master Mixologist Tony Abou Ganim sharing his vast expertise about cocktails – silent auction.  That’s a lot of foodie fun for one night, so get there early!  Tix are $65 p/p

Want to know what wine will be at the Reserve and Grand tastings?  You’ll find all of them right here, and it’s a heck of a list…

Day 4: Copper Chef Challenge and Barbeque on the patio of the Kiva Ballroom at Loews Ventana Canyon.  It’s barbecue, it’s a competition, and it’s gonna be tasty.  Last year’s champions Jim Murphy and Jeff Aretzsky will defend their titles against yet-to-be-named competitors, so it’s bound to be a fun and casual good time.  Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for the kiddos.

Tucson Jewish Food Festival and Family Fun Fest

Tucson Jewish Food Festival Food

Tasty-looking food at the TJFFFFF

Have you ever seen a 500 lb matzoh ball?  The answer to that question should be a resounding ‘no’, because there’s never been one made before!  But this year’s Jewish Food Festival and Family Fun Fest is going for broke and going for the Guinness Book World Record by doing just that.

In addition, there are going to be 15 Tucson restaurants represented, each dishing up dishes with a Jewish twist to them, children’s activities, music, dance, arts & crafts, and a silent auction.

Also very exciting is the Ethnic Israeli Womens’ Cooking Group coming all the way from Israel!  I’m not entirely sure what they’re going to be doing, but I’m excited to find out!

Proceeds from the Jewish Food Festival and Family Fun Fest will benefit the Community Food Bank, the Primavera Foundation, and Congregation Or Chadash, so it’s all for good causes.  And it’s thrifty fun: admission is only $4 and food tickets run $1 – $5 depending on the serving.

The Wrap:

No, it’s not a new food festival involving tortillas.  It’s just me concluding my long-winded preview of all the yum.  What I’m really looking forward to, though, is writing about all of these after I’ve grazed my way through them!

But to get serious for a moment, PLEASE do not drive to ANY event where alcohol plays a central role and expect to drive home.  You won’t be able to.  Bring a DD, have a friend on-call to pick you up, have cab numbers in your pocket – whatever it takes, be responsible.

Tucson has amazing chefs, amazing restaurants, an amazing culinary heritage, and an amazing culinary scene.  With that in mind, I encourage you to get out and support these local businesses and festivals.  You’re bound to find something new and exciting!  It may not be Christmas, but it’s a super savory season nonetheless.  Season’s Eatings!

-TFD

PS: Oh, and if I left out a festival that you’re in the know about, shoot me an email at tucsonfooddude (at) gmail (dot) com.  I’ll update this post to include new stuff as I hear about it.

Speaking of which – I left out the many Oktoberfest celebrations in the area.  That may be another post entirely, but in the meantime the Arizona Daily Star did a nifty roundup of options that you can find right here.

Perceptions of Picazzo’s – featuring world’s worst wordplay

September 9, 2010

My sweetie and some friends hit up the newish Picazzo’s location (Oracle & Magee) this Labor Day weekend for some hangout time for Happy Hour.  The deals looked pretty dang good (half off organic cocktails, wine, and appetizers) so I was looking forward to a place that specializes in organic, local, and gluten-free options.  None of our group have any problems with wheat or gluten, but I was still curious about the gluten-free (GF) options.

Picazzo’s is an Arizona-based chain that began in 2002 in Sedona.  Now just 8 years later, they have locations in Flagstaff, Sedona, Lake Havasu, Casa Grande and six in the greater Phoenix metro area.  That’s some pretty fast growth.  As alluded to above, they specialize in organic, natural, preservative-free, and gluten-free options.

We took seats out on the patio and waited a while for someone to come out for our drink orders.  Kristine had the house white, while Luke and I opted for a couple of the gin-based cocktails.  Mine featured sage and agave nectar, and Luke’s was a twist on a sloe gin fizz with cucumber.  Both were good, and probably the highlights of our visit.  Lucinda, being waaaay pregnant, opted for a sparkling lemonade.  Baby Rain enjoyed her ice water from a sippy cup.

So here’s the deal (and the really bad wordplay): Picazzo’s was not so hot so… I decided to write about it.  The food was, well, fine.  There was nothing that really got me excited, nor was there anything awful about the food.  The baked wings with spicy thai peanut sauce were nicely cooked (and I was happy to have wings that weren’t fried), but the sauce wasn’t all that spicy and there could have been a little more of it.  The spinach/artichoke dip was tasty, but the bread was sort of dry and tough.  Was that from not using wheat flour?  I’m guessing that had something to do with it, but again I’m not really familiar with GF food so can’t say for sure.

So the food wasn’t bad, but there were some problems with the service.  Our server was nice, and chipper, and chatty.  He was also slow, and made excuses for it.  A couple of times he blamed how slammed the kitchen was, but there weren’t that many people there.  When the veggies didn’t come with the spinach/artichoke dip, he said that the kitchen was still prepping them.  He then came back a few minutes later with a couple of baby carrots and celery sticks on a plate that was too big for the few that were on there.  I’d much rather hear that a server or the kitchen forgot something than an excuse that’s pretty obviously untrue.

So the recap is that the cocktails were good, the food was unspectacular (although we didn’t have a broad variety of things), and the service was lacking.  I’m certainly not going to say that I’d never go back – in fact I would like to try some of their pizzas – but it’s going to be a while before I make it back up their way again.

-TFD

PS: Sorry I didn’t get any photos of our trip to Picazzo’s.  I know how dull an image-free blog post is!

Puttin’ on the…. No, I can’t do it.

September 6, 2010
Dessert: Two-berry panna cotta with black pepper foam

Dessert: Two-berry panna cotta with black pepper foam

I got a really nice surprise last week.  Kind of out-of-the-blue I was invited* to a winemaker dinner at CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.  My first thought was, “Aha! They don’t realize that I haven’t written anything in months so I’d better accept before they change their minds!”  My second thought was, “This is going to be stuffy, super-formal, and probably the only time I’ll ever get to go to the Ritz-Carlton.”  I may or may not have been right about the first point, but the second – not so much…

The dinner was planned to compliment the wines from the Robert Craig Winery in Napa.  Most of my time spent in Napa was 1990-91 (yes, I was but a wee lad!), which was just before the Craig Winery began producing its signature mountain cabernets.  Nonetheless, I know that Napa + Cab = super-tasty wine, so I was really looking forward to this dinner even if I ‘knew’ that I’d never be back.

So here’s how this is going to work, I’m going to break this down into three parts: the food, the wine, and the ambience.  Each one deserves some attention.

The Food:

Buffalo tenderloin, liquid polenta, short rib-porcini stack, Starkey's squash threads, Howell Mountain Jus

Buffalo tenderloin, liquid polenta, short rib-porcini stack, Starkey's squash threads, Howell Mountain Jus

TFD: “I don’t think I can eat anything else.  I’m stuffed.”

Server comes out with another plate.

TFD: “That looks amazing.  I’ll just have a little bit.”

Server comes back a few minutes later and clears empty plate.

Repeat.

There are several things illustrated by the above scene.  First, yes, I’m kind of a piggy.  Second, that’s how good the food was.  Chef Joel Harrington worked some magic that night.  Some of my favorites:

  • Chile dusted Pop Rocks on sashimi-grade tuna cubes
  • Day boat scallop with dirty duck risotto
  • Buffalo tenderloin on liquid polenta with short rib & porcini stack (pictured in this section)
  • Raspberry-blackberry panna cotta on roasted almond orange cake with spiced chocolate and black pepper foam (pictured at the top of the post)

And that only touched on four of the six courses.

CORE works with one local farmer for much of their produce, and they have an on-site herb garden and citrus orchard (that isn’t producing usable fruit yet, but will in the next year or two).  There seems to be a focus on local ingredients and flavors, but there’s also a wide variety of fish and shellfish.

Is the restaurant cheap?  Why, no.  Is it the most expensive place in town?  No, not that either.  Entrees range from $25-$40, and they offer 40 wines by the glass.  CORE’s menu changes every 2-4 weeks, but you can see what they have currently by checking here.  I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but I’ll be back – and probably soon.

The Wine:

I’m not a wine snob.  I can’t tell you if a wine tastes like sugar-dusted figs (who’s eaten a sugar-dusted fig?) or if the bouquet is more like anise, black licorice, or concentrated essence of fennel.  I just  know some basics and I know what I like.  I like fruit-forward but I don’t like jammy.  I like a little tannic bite but I don’t like to make a horrible puckery face when I take my first sip.  Don’t get me wrong: I love wine and I love learning about it, but I’ll never be a world-class oenophile.

So in short , the wines were good.  No, wait, they were really good.  Every single one was a wine that I want to have again.  And then perhaps again.  In all, we had five wines with the dinner (all from the Robert Craig Winery):

  • Durell Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley
  • “Affinity” Cabernet blend (76% Cab, 13% Merlot, 6% Cab Franc, 5% Petit Verdot), Napa Valley
  • Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cab, 17% Merlot), Napa Valley
  • Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (84% Cab, 12% Merlot, 4% Cab Franc), Napa Valley
  • Howell Mountain Zinfandel, Napa Valley

The chardonnay had balanced melon/citrus flavors with a little minerality.  I usually prefer red wines, but this was a very enjoyable white.  The zinfandel was full of berries and black pepper with a long finish.  I was a little wary of the pairing of this wine with the dessert, but it sure worked.

The three cabernets were definitely the stars, though.  All three were beautifully structured with fine (not puckery!) tannins.  The Affinity makes up half of the winery’s total production, and was named a top 100 wine by the San Francisco Chronicle last year.  My personal favorite was the Mt. Veeder, though.  It had some chocolate notes along with the black fruits that I really enjoyed.

One of the highlights of the evening was that I sat at the table with Mr. & Mrs. Craig.  They were two of the nicest people that you’d ever want to meet, and getting to hear them talk about their wines and winemaking in general was truly a treat.  Originally hailing from Bisbee, the Craigs spend a good amount of time in Tucson.  This means that they do more tastings and events here, so if you see a Robert Craig Winery event pop up, GO!

The Property:

I knew the food was going to be great.  I knew the wine was going to be great.  What I didn’t expect was to be so blown away by the property and hospitality that I experienced at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.

It’s beautiful there.  The setting in the Tortolitas is stunning – no other way to describe it.  And the hotel/resort fits in to its surroundings wonderfully.

CORE has one of my favorite features in a restaurant: an exhibition kitchen.  And not one of those exhibition kitchens where you see heads moving around and nothing else, but a full-on exhibition kitchen where you can watch the chefs work.  Yeah.  And there’s a bar that runs the length of the kitchen where Chef Joel told me that he’s been known to make little surprise dishes for folks sitting there…

Finally, the thing that surprised me most was how welcome I felt there.  From the moment I arrived to the time I left, the entire staff was working to make sure that my visit was perfect.  And not in some kind of forced way, it was a genuine desire to leave their guests with a warm feeling.

To wrap things up, I was wrong about the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.  I thought it was a place for affluent vacationers, but came to find that it’s also a place for locals to experience great food and amazing service in a beautiful natural setting.  I’ll certainly be back – you can look for me at the bar by the kitchen…

-TFD
Core Kitchen & Wine Bar (Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain) on Urbanspoon

*In the spirit of disclosure, I was invited as a guest of the hotel so my dinner was complimentary.

New & Exciting Things at Tucson Originals!

May 29, 2010

I couldn’t find all of this info in one place on their website, so I’m putting it all here!  There’s some great stuff going on at the local members of the Tucson Originals.  Make sure you check out some of the summer specials going on starting Memorial Day, and the Fun with Food Fridays at the Tucson Children’s Museum!

WHAT’S NEW
GIFT CERTIFICATE SALE
Our next Gift Certificate sale is coming up on the morning of June 23rd! Be sure to mark your calendars and get ready for summer dining at amazing prices. Gift certificates from all Tucson Original restaurants will be on sale in increments of $15, $25 and/or $50 at 25% off the face value. On the morning of the sale, just click on the Gift Certificate link at www.tucsonoriginals.com to select the certificates you want. After the transaction is made, your certificates will be immediately delivered to you via email. All certificates are valid for 6 months from date of purchase. Certain restrictions may apply.

MEMBER NEWS
TUCSON ORIGINALS SUMMER SPECIALS
Treat yourself this summer to the many exciting summer offerings at our member restaurants while you accumulate points and rewards on your Tucson Originals Rewards Cards. Check the website regularly for an updated list of delicious deals. Go to www.tucsonoriginals.com and click on the “specials” button.

Delectables Art to Go Gallery
Delectables invites you to check out the art in their restaurant gallery. Featuring an ever changing show of fine local art, it’s an extra special addition to a fine meal at Delectables on 4th Avenue. www.delectables.com

Pastiche Friday Night Wine Tastings*
Friday Night Wine Tastings! Every Friday Night from 5-6:30pm explore different flavors/regions/histories of wines at the Pastiche wine shop. cost is $5 per person, and the quality of the wines will dictate the number of varieties available to taste. www.pasticheme.com

WHAT’S HOT
Tucson Culinary Festival Update
The Tucson Culinary Festival website has now been updated with all the latest news, and pricing for the 2010 event. We invite you to visit it and save the date October 28-31st for the best weekend of the year. Please note the new special pricing available until October 1st – order your tickets soon!

Welcome New Sponsor!
~ Reserve Tasting Wine Glass Sponsor ~

smile spa Smile Spa provides an unparalleled experience by offering a full range of dental services under one roof, and in a tranquil and serene setting complete with spa amenities, including massage, facials and cosmetic procedures. Dr. Mickel Malek’s integrative approach to dentistry combined with the most advanced technological equipment assures that each client is receiving the best possible treatment available.  To further their commitment to the health of the whole body and the environment, Smile Spa is completely mercury and fluoride free, bio-friendly and virtually paperless.

WHAT’S COOKIN’
NEW! “Fun with Food Fridays” at the Tucson Children’s Museum

Climb the food pyramid with Tucson Original Chefs in fun filled hour long interactive cooking session; includes recipes, and tastings.

June 4th Noon to 1pm Focus on Fruits/Vary your Veggies ~ Chef Casey McQueen, jax Kitchen

June 18th • 2-3pm The Protein Team – Chef Travis Peters, Cup Café

July 9th • 2-3pm Grow up with Grains – Chef Renee Kreager, Eclectic Pizza

July 23rd • 2-3pm Milk Family for Muscles – Chef Jim Murphy, Kingfisher and Bluefin

Classes are included with regular admission to the Children’s Museum. Pre-registration required – please call 792-9985 x 114 to reserve your spot. Open to children ages 4-8.

Crate and Barrel Demonstration Class
Saturday June 5th – 10am – Featuring Chef Addam Buzzalini from Maynards Market and Kitchen. Chef Buzzalini will share one of his summer signature dishes in the Crate and Barrel store located at La Encantada. Attendees receive complimentary tastes and recipe.

NEW! St. Philips Sunday Farmers Market Cooking Demonstrations
Presenting “Cooking with Chef Albert Hall and His Tucson Originals Friends”

Sunday, June 27th – 9am – We open this exciting new series with Chef Albert Hall of Acacia, Marketplace at Acacia and Tohono Chul Tea Room. Join him as he walks through the Sunday farmers market collecting a variety of fresh ingredients that he will assemble into a quick, delicious dish right there on the patio of Acacia at St Philips. Get a taste, get the recipe and get the ingredients all in one great location. This series will continue through the summer every other week featuring many of your favorite Tucson Originals Chefs.

chefs at work
Chef Albert Hall and Manish Shah at Udall Farmers Market cooking demo in April 2010

“On the Menu Live” with Matt Russell – KJLL 1330AM – Thursdays 5-6pm
Thursday, June 24th – live, on air interview with Tom Palomares, owner of the Hog Pit

“Food and Wine Radio Network Show” with Jennifer English – KJLL 1330AM –Fridays – noon to one.

Friday, June 4th – Broacasting live from the Tucson Children’s Museum for kids Cooking Classes “Fun with Food Fridays”

Upcoming events at Wilhelm Family Vineyards in Sonoita

May 29, 2010
tags: ,
Wines at Wilhelm Family Vineyards

Wines at Wilhelm Family Vineyards

Hi All!

Here are some upcoming fun events at one of my favorite local wineries: Wilhelm Family Vineyards.  I’ve enjoyed their Kevin’s Choice (not just because of the name), and have bottle of their Rendevouz sitting in the rack now.  They make good wine, and they’re just nice folks.

So here’s what they’ve got going on for the next month or so.  Salut!

Wine Aroma & Sensory Perception Seminar
May 29th & 30th, 2010 (Sat & Sun)
2:00-4:00 p.m.
$30.00/Person or $50.00/Couple

How many times have you sniffed a glass of wine and thought “I know that smell”, but you just couldn’t put your finger on it?  Karyl offers a Wine Aroma and Sensory Perception Seminar to help educate you and make your wine drinking even more enjoyable. Whether you are new to wine or long-time enthusiast, you will find this seminar a memorable and entertaining experience.  Come join Karyl at our winery for this fun event.  Call ahead to reserve your spot – space is limited.

Wine, Dine & Unwind
June 18th, 19th & 20th, 2010 (Fri, Sat & Sun)
Wine, Dine & Unwind is sponsored by the local Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Patagonia Business Association who invite fellow Arizonans to experience the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the communities. Keith Barth, President of the Mountain Empire Rotary states, “We hope Arizonans will discover all the treasures that our community has to offer. There is something for everyone-hiking, biking, shopping, bird watching and wine tours. There is a live radio performance broadcast in Patagonia’s park, dancing at Sonoita’s SteakOut, a film festival, “Visions of the Southwest”, and a bluegrass concert in an Amish Barn. The entire Empire is bursting with activities.”

Wine Aroma & Sensory Perception Seminar
June 19th & 20th, 2010 (Sat & Sun)
2:00-4:00 p.m.
$30.00/Person or $50.00/Couple
Karyl will be offering this seminar at our winery during the Wine, Dine and Unwind weekend.  So while you enjoy everything our community has to offer, make sure you come in and see us during this weekend.  Whether you are new to wine or long-time enthusiast, you will find this seminar enjoyable.  Karyl hinted at a barrel tasting with a wine thief too!  Call ahead to reserve your spot – space is limited.

Patriot Salute Wine Festival
July 3rd & 4th, 2010 (Sat & Sun)
12:00pm – 6:00 p.m.
$15.00/Person
We will be opening our doors for our first Wine Festival.  We have many local vendors planning to sell their homemade foods, crafts and arts.  The entry fee includes a commemorative glass, eight tickets for tasting and access to the winery and crush pad with tours, food vendors and live music throughout the weekend. We’re excited about our new release red wine sporting a snazzy Patriot Salute label.  Other activities such as horse back rides and a mounted shooting demonstration are being coordinated.  Come enjoy this special day of our National history and help us show our support by saluting our troops and heritage.  Present your military ID at the door and receive a discount.