Tucson: My favorite foodie things 2012

(no particular order)

Best new restaurant – UMI-Star – Thank your lucky stars that UMI opened up; they have the best happy hours too with excellent sushi and Japanese street food.

Judge at the Tucson Taco Festival  – OMG – more tacos to taste and some were very cleverly executed presentations, washed down with tequila & beer

Going away party for one of my favorite people – Jen Duffy. Sat on the well-misted patio of Union Pub House and drank & laughed. Nobody cared that it was 110-degrees in the shade.

RA Sushi media dinner – always one of my most favorite things to do.

My second favorite best new restaurant – Reilly’s Pizza.

Wine tasting at CataVinos – now that I’m a “regular” I have my own glass!

Best new book for Tucson foodies would be by author Mary Paganelli Votto. Pick up a copy — Tucson Food Lovers Guide to Tucson, the title says it all. A handy book perfect for your glove compartment or book bag filled with where to eat, food markets, recipes, and culinary offerings. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a few new favorites?

Tucson Originals’ Master Chef cooking class at Tucson Home Appliances – The Vero Amore guys and their chef are lots of fun.

World Margarita Championship on the grounds of Tucson Museum of Art – always fun and I am still thinking about Kingfisher’s ginger & mint margarita and Lodge on the Desert’s pomegranate & lime margarita.

Pima County Courthouse, Tucson, Arizona (5)

Pima County Courthouse, Tucson, Arizona (5) (Photo credit: Ken Lund)

Speaking of tequila, you must go to Flying V’s tequila dinner. The food and tequila is paired  surprisingly well, the service is always top-notch, and you get a bit of agave education too.

Dinner at Azul in the Westin La Paloma with foodie friends.

In LA, a wonderful filling lunch with Mike & Annette at Open Sesame in Manhattan Beach. Hummus got high marks for going to the next level of roasted-ness.

Farm to table media dinner at Whole Foods Market

My favorite Cuban restaurant in Florida – Columbia – wish there was a franchise in Tucson

Happy hour which progressed to dinner at Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails with my Syn Twister Deni and then the next day to El Guero Canelo on 12th Avenue for a real Sonoran hot dog.

NoRTH media dinner. OMG! The sea salt caramel budino is beyond sublime. Move over panna cotta, the budino is here to stay.

Here are my 2011 favorites.

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