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Ellen Shapiro

Tucson Dining: Where Should I Eat?

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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?

Wish I could help. I don't remember the place, but I'll do a little detective work.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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

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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:

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

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

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Two of the perfect hot dogs:

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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.

Great photos. You really captured the vibe. the only thing missing is the tejano music blaring overhead.

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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?

Wish I could help. I don't remember the place, but I'll do a little detective work.

Boy, I'd really appreciate it.

It started out as a very small, family-run place in a strip mall on the far east side. It was wildly successful and after a year or so, they built a large stand-alone building, also far east. The last time my son drove through Tucson (a couple of years ago), he went to eat at O Sole Mio, but said that the restaurant now in that building was Macayo's.


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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Sundays they have a live mariachi band, supposedly, but they weren't there the one time we visited.

There are 2 Guero's now. The original on South 12th and the newer one on Oracle Road. Not really sure but I can see the Oracle site be more amenable to mariachi on Sunday. It's bigger and brighter.


Edited by rconnelly (log)

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