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Ellen Shapiro

Tucson Dining: Where Should I Eat?

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We are staying at La Paloma so we plan on eating at Janos one night.

Any good recommendations for Mexican and/or steak houses?

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

Deborah, what would you say about Janos? Is it worth it?


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

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what would you say about Janos?  Is it worth it?

I read something extremely positive about the fine dining restaurant at Loews Ventana Canyon...how many dinners do you have in Tucson?


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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what would you say about Janos?  Is it worth it?

I read something extremely positive about the fine dining restaurant at Loews Ventana Canyon...how many dinners do you have in Tucson?

A week's worth.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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what would you say about Janos?  Is it worth it?

I read something extremely positive about the fine dining restaurant at Loews Ventana Canyon...how many dinners do you have in Tucson?

A week's worth.

Based on what I just read, Loews Ventana's fine dining is a must. Janos and the J Bar (the casual concept) should make it into your list as well...where else are you considering?


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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what would you say about Janos?  Is it worth it?

I read something extremely positive about the fine dining restaurant at Loews Ventana Canyon...how many dinners do you have in Tucson?

A week's worth.

Based on what I just read, Loews Ventana's fine dining is a must. Janos and the J Bar (the casual concept) should make it into your list as well...where else are you considering?

Well, to be honest, the majority of my time will be with friends - probably cooking at their home. But, I do like to get out for a few meals. :wink:

Phoenix - I think I'll definitely be indulging at the gelateria you recommended - as in, spending the whole day there - eating. *Slathering*


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Well, to be honest, the majority of my time will be with friends - probably cooking at their home.  But, I do like to get out for a few meals.  :wink:

Phoenix - I think I'll definitely be indulging at the gelateria you recommended - as in, spending the whole day there - eating.  *Slathering*

How many dinners do you think you will eat out in each city so I can give you the ones not to miss-IMO?

Arlecchino is insane...he is an old school craftsman, lives, eats and breathes gelato. I can not imagine that you would not like it.


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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For fancy eats: The Grill at Hacienda del Sol

For great Mexican: El Torero off og South 4th Avenue

El Sur on 22nd st just east of Craycroft

Micha's del Norte on Prince Road

A great prime rib or Steak: El Corral

Loew's has a brand new chef, so I'm not sure what his food is like.

Cafe Poca Cosa is no longer on Broadway. They moved about a year ago to the corner of Pennington & Scott Streets. Decor is way different. Food is still delicious although pricier than anything on 4th Ave.

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For fancy eats: The Grill at Hacienda del Sol

                     

For great Mexican: El Torero off og South 4th Avenue

                            El Sur on 22nd st just east of Craycroft

                            Micha's del Norte on Prince Road

A great prime rib or Steak: El Corral

Loew's has a brand new chef, so I'm not sure what his food is like.

Cafe Poca Cosa is no longer on Broadway. They moved about a year ago to the corner of Pennington & Scott Streets. Decor is way different. Food is still delicious although pricier than anything on 4th Ave.

I thought the new chef at Loew's was the Executive Chef of the property not of the restaurant?

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For fancy eats: The Grill at Hacienda del Sol

                      

For great Mexican: El Torero off og South 4th Avenue

                            El Sur on 22nd st just east of Craycroft

                            Micha's del Norte on Prince Road

A great prime rib or Steak: El Corral

Loew's has a brand new chef, so I'm not sure what his food is like.

Cafe Poca Cosa is no longer on Broadway. They moved about a year ago to the corner of Pennington & Scott Streets. Decor is way different. Food is still delicious although pricier than anything on 4th Ave.

I thought the new chef at Loew's was the Executive Chef of the property not of the restaurant?

I'll research and get back to you all.

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For those in the area my parents opened and ran Bobo's Restaurant until my Dad died  :sad: and we had to sell the restaurant.

We are staying at La Paloma so we plan on eating at Janos one night.

Any good recommendations for Mexican and/or steak houses?

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

p.s. Janos and the more casual J-Bar at your hotel are great choices

maybe Acacia in the St. Philip's Plaza, same place where Cafe Terra Cotta used to be

I'll 2nd the suggestion of J-Bar at Loews.

I take it the Cafe Terra Cotta in Tucson has closed? Looks like the one in the Borgata is gone too. Too bad, I liked that place, but haven't eaten there in years.

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Cafe Terra Cotta did not close, it relocated and IMO, had not been the same.


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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FYI J-Bar is not at Loew's but at La Paloma. And Alan Zeman's Fuego is no longer....sad to say a chain will take its place.

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Just wanted to second El Corral! DH and I have eaten there several times thanks to a friend's recommendation, and we love it. I'm stupidly fond of the Silver Saddle, too...it's awfully touristy, but the steaks are terrific.

Speaking of touristy, La Parilla Suiza isn't bad for Mexican, either. I have better favorites in Phoenix, though. (Blue Adobe Grill in Mesa or Richardson's in Phoenix are our two faves.)

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We are staying at La Paloma so we plan on eating at Janos one night.

Any good recommendations for Mexican and/or steak houses?

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

Deborah, what would you say about Janos? Is it worth it?

We ate at J Bar and the food was fabulous! We opted for the more casual dining since we had our young children with us. Honestly, I think it was the best meal that we had on our trip. Everything was well prepared and the service was good. I would absolutely go again.

We also had dinner at Mi Nidito which was also good(not great but good). We tried El Meson del Cobre which was good although none of us cared for the shrimp appetizer we ordered. There was another Mexican food place that my sister wanted us to go to (past the Foothills Mall) and for the life of me I can't recall name which is not surprising since the food was only a step above frozen food.

We made a few other stops which were mostly for nostalgia purposes (Eegees, Austins Ice Cream Parlor which sadly is no longer in it's original spot, and a trip to Pinacle Peak so my son could get his tie cut off).

It was a great trip. We really enjoyed our stay at La Paloma and had a few decent meals and one great one.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

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I can't believe I'm leaving my nice cool town for the hot hell that is Tucson, but I am. We'll be down for 3 days with fairly tight wallets (been travelling a lot lately). Based on the previous comments we'll look at J-Bar (unless Janos isn't too expensive), Wildflower (so I can get a pastry from who someone aboved called the best in Tucson), Bistro Zin and Poca Casa. We'll probably only get to 2 of these. Any nudges toward or away before we park the car?

(Note: Even though Tucson is our closest big city, I've never eaten there except sushi by the airport).

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I can't believe I'm leaving my nice cool town for the hot hell that is Tucson, but I am.  We'll be down for 3 days with fairly tight wallets (been travelling a lot lately).  Based on the previous comments we'll look at J-Bar (unless Janos isn't too expensive), Wildflower (so I can get a pastry from who someone aboved called the best in Tucson), Bistro Zin and Poca Casa.  We'll probably only get to 2 of these.  Any nudges toward or away before we park the car?

(Note: Even though Tucson is our closest big city, I've never eaten there except sushi by the airport).

Bistro Zin is no more...I have not been to Poca Casa but that is on my list to try...I will get back with you in a bit


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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I can't believe I'm leaving my nice cool town for the hot hell that is Tucson, but I am.  We'll be down for 3 days with fairly tight wallets (been travelling a lot lately).  Based on the previous comments we'll look at J-Bar (unless Janos isn't too expensive), Wildflower (so I can get a pastry from who someone aboved called the best in Tucson), Bistro Zin and Poca Casa.  We'll probably only get to 2 of these.  Any nudges toward or away before we park the car?

(Note: Even though Tucson is our closest big city, I've never eaten there except sushi by the airport).

Bistro Zin is no more...I have not been to Poca Casa but that is on my list to try...I will get back with you in a bit

Poca Cosa is a treat! Went there the other night and had a most amazing mole.

Susanna Davila always has at least one on the chalkboard menu daily. Order the Plato Poca Cosa - chef's choice of three menu items - the combos will be different for everyone at the table.

I'd make reservations though.


Edited by rconnelly (log)

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I, too, would avoid Cafe Terra Cotta. The first time we went, 4-5 years ago maybe, we felt it was OK, but overpriced. Deciding to give it another chance we went again 2 years ago. Honestly, it was worse. I cook way better than what we were served. We have no intentions of going back. And if you're dying for the Garlic Custard, the recipe is to be found online.

We stay at the Arizona Inn (where we are tonight) and always have some meals here. Nothing has ever been a disappointment. As a matter of fact, we're about to go have dinner here now. Last time we visited we went to North, up on Skyline, and liked it a lot. Tomorrow we plan to have lunch at Wildflower.

Thanks for all the suggestions posted here. I also would like to try the Cafe Poco Cosa, but we're heading up to Phoenix tomorrow afternoon. Next time.

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I, too, would avoid Cafe Terra Cotta.  The first time we went, 4-5 years ago maybe, we felt it was OK, but overpriced.  Deciding to give it another chance we went again 2 years ago.  Honestly, it was worse.  I cook way better than what we were served.  We have no intentions of going back.  And if you're dying for the Garlic Custard, the recipe is to be found online.

We stay at the Arizona Inn (where we are tonight) and always have some meals here.  Nothing has ever been a disappointment.  As a matter of fact, we're about to go have dinner here now.  Last time we visited we went to North, up on Skyline, and liked it a lot.  Tomorrow we plan to have lunch at Wildflower.

Thanks for all the suggestions posted here.  I also would like to try the Cafe Poco Cosa, but we're heading up to Phoenix tomorrow afternoon.  Next time.

Sorry I got here so late:

If you go to Poca Cosa next time, bring the credit card. Dinner isn't cheap (not pricey by NYC standards, but entrees will run $25- $30. A better bet is Little Poca Cosa - only open for Breakfast & Lunch m-f , cash only....but it's as good if not better than the fancier big Poca.

There are plenty of great Sonoran places - too many to list at the moment.

Top Shelf is Janos.

Down home Tucson - El Corral (prime rib)

Feast, Cuvee, North, and esp Kingfisher offer truly good food in comfortable tucson style.

decolady is that you from Giadas page?

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Sorry I got here so late:

If you go to Poca Cosa next time, bring the credit card. Dinner isn't cheap (not pricey by NYC standards, but entrees will run $25- $30.  A better bet is Little Poca Cosa - only open for Breakfast & Lunch m-f , cash only....but it's as good if not better than the fancier big Poca.

There are plenty of great Sonoran places - too many to list at the moment.

Top Shelf is Janos.

Down home Tucson - El Corral (prime rib)

Feast, Cuvee, North, and esp Kingfisher offer truly good food in comfortable tucson style.

decolady is that you from Giadas page?

That's me. :-) Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm making note of them for our next trip. I've been to North before and we really liked that. Wildflower was closed at lunch today, but we'll go there on the next trip. When you get a chance, I'd love to add the Sonoran places to our list.

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Sorry I got here so late:

If you go to Poca Cosa next time, bring the credit card. Dinner isn't cheap (not pricey by NYC standards, but entrees will run $25- $30.  A better bet is Little Poca Cosa - only open for Breakfast & Lunch m-f , cash only....but it's as good if not better than the fancier big Poca.

There are plenty of great Sonoran places - too many to list at the moment.

Top Shelf is Janos.

Down home Tucson - El Corral (prime rib)

Feast, Cuvee, North, and esp Kingfisher offer truly good food in comfortable tucson style.

decolady is that you from Giadas page?

That's me. :-) Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm making note of them for our next trip. I've been to North before and we really liked that. Wildflower was closed at lunch today, but we'll go there on the next trip. When you get a chance, I'd love to add the Sonoran places to our list.

will do. When you come let me know. maybe we can do lunch!

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Bumping this up in preparation for a trip in March. Janos: check. Cafe Poca Cosa: check. El Guero Canelo, which no one has mentioned here yet: check. (Click here for a quick post about that hot dog mecca.) What else can't be missed?


Chris Amirault

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Bumping this up in preparation for a trip in March. Janos: check. Cafe Poca Cosa: check. El Guero Canelo, which no one has mentioned here yet: check. (Click here for a quick post about that hot dog mecca.) What else can't be missed?

try the new jazKitchen on Oracle. They were fab when I reviewed them it the fall, but the chef has left and I don't know if that changed anything. But it is worth a try. Reservations are a must.

Terra Cotta has closed.

Feast is always fun.

And for casual Mexican with a modern twist Zivaz on Broadway.

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While in Tucson, I had the great pleasure of eating thrice at El Guero Canelo, one of my favorite places to eat on the globe.

gallery_19804_437_25907.jpg

I had only been before on one previous trip, but the perfection of the Sonoran hot dogs transformed my understanding of what a hot dog can be. You can read the description here:

gallery_19804_437_38430.jpg

The menu features many other Mexican dishes as well, including a very good carne asada taco that you'll see more of in a minute.

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Everything about the place is well-designed, well-prepared, and just damned good. The seating area is outdoors under a roof, and consists of stainless steel tables kept spotless by a cadre of friendly, attentive staff. In the center of the dining area there is a stand filled with salsas and other condiments:

gallery_19804_437_7129.jpg

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I'm partial to the grilled jalapeno salsa in the foreground of this shot:

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There are also hoppers filled with free grilled jalapenos and spring onions:

gallery_19804_437_36170.jpg

The hot dog kitchen sits in what looks like a boxy Airstream trailer knock-off:

gallery_19804_437_38954.jpg

The hot dogs arrive wrapped in a strip of bacon and then sit in the rectangular bin in the photo below, which quickly turns the bacon to crisp meat and bubbling fat:

gallery_19804_437_23689.jpg

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Here's the chef blazing away while the queue grows:

gallery_19804_437_13175.jpg

Across the way from the hot dog kitchen is the taco kitchen, in which two guys toil in the Arizona heat in another metal box:

gallery_19804_437_22467.jpg

Here's what my full meal looked like one day, with some Jamaica (hibiscus) drink:

gallery_19804_437_31969.jpg

A close-up of two carne asada tacos with chopped cabbage:

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Two of the perfect hot dogs:

gallery_19804_437_50403.jpg

Each time our family left talking about how every detail, every aspect is remarkably well done. Though I prefer actually eating there, I'm happy just knowing El Guero Canelo exists.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Some years back - about twenty or so - there was an Italian restaurant called O Sole Mio. They had an absolutely wonderful Cream of Spinach soup.

Does anyone know when they closed, and whether or not the owners are still in the restaurant business somewhere in Tucson?

And some way I might be able to get the recipe for that fabulous soup?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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