Don’t Worry Be Happy Hour, Tucson

Happy Hour is my favorite meal of the day…especially in the summer. By 5ish pm I’ve been awake almost a dozen hours and I am hungry and tired. Happy hour is my dinner. I recently tried the happy hour at North Italia Restaurant* in La Encantada and then was so happy we meandered over to Blanco Tacos + Tequila for more happiness. Sort of like a double scoop of ice cream but only better with a buzz. One of my top favorite restaurants is North Italia so why not start here and begin with white sangria, certainly most refreshing on
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Tucson: July 4th Dining, Prep & Pastry Opens July 5th

Happy July 4th Not everyone is fortunate enough to be at the beach or invited to a barbecue. No worries, there are some dining specials around Tucson. Some restaurants like Downtown Kitchen, Kingfisher and Renee’s Organic Oven are closed so best to call first. All of Fox Restaurant Concepts here in Tucson – Blanco, North, Wildflower, and Zinburger – will be offering a 25% off discount to its “eBites” members on Monday, July 4. The discount is good for both food and adult beverages. But there’s a catch – you have to a signed up to their eBites email so
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Beads, Bracelets, Booze, Greyhounds, Tea

June 25 is a very important date in Tucson – greyhound racing ends! That means a celebration hosted by Beading Divas to the Rescue, a 501c3 who has raised more than $150,000 for animal charities by selling one handcrafted beaded bracelet at a time. That is a whole lot of beads, maybe millions of beads (all donated). When: Saturday June 25 from 4 to 7 PM We are asking party attendees to bring beads and/or old jewelry that can be reused. When you bring beads to the party, your favorite 501c3 animal charity will be entered into a drawing and
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Tucson Culinary Road Trips, Passports, Cupcakes

Summertime and the living is easy…if you live by an ocean. Summertime in Tucson just sucks the life out of me but the food scene is still robust because a person has got to eat. Road Trips and Passports You don’t have to leave Tucson to take a culinary road trip for your mouth or visit another international World City of Gastronomy No passport needed to eat and drink your way through Kingfisher’s road trip. Some of the menu items are smoked salmon candy, venison carpaccio, Sun Valley potato bomb, cedar plank Artic char,  grilled porter soaked flank steak and
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Sauce Pizza & Wine Opens Near Costco, Tucson

East Grant Road between Wilmot and Tanque Verde Road is becoming a mini restaurant row. ZinBurger (Fox Restaurant Concepts) has grown roots and just to the east is the new Sauce Pizza & Wine (a former Fox Restaurant Concepts) and next to it will be Prep & Pastry. With this added address 6450 E. Grant Road, Sauce now has four locations in Tucson.  Sauce first opened in 2003 and has become a staple in the local dining scene. One of the first of its kind, Sauce became a leader in the trend of fast-casual restaurants catering to the greater movement
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Lost Restaurants of Tucson Dinner at the Carriage House

While some authors option their books for movies, author Rita Connelly’s book, Lost Restaurants of Tucson, will have its own dinner benefiting the Tucson Museum of Art Historic Block Restoration Fund. The one-of-a-kind event will showcase five “lost” or previous iconic restaurants long gone but not forgotten. The dinner is Friday June 10 at 6 pm at the Carriage House. The event will benefit the Tucson Museum of Art Historic Block Restoration Fund which was once the home of Janos’ first restaurant. The culinary trip down memory lane will feature chef/owners Donna Nordin and Don Luria from Café Terra Cotta,
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ZinfullMoment at Zinburger Tucson

May is National Burger Month. Who doesn’t love a good burger? The meat of the matter matters as long as it’s beef (marbled with fat for flavor and grilled to perfection), lamb, turkey or veggie. Now for the most zealous of burger fans, Zinburger is hosting a contest where you have a chance at winning a $600 gift card to Zinburger. Feed the family. Feed your entire neighborhood, fraternity or little league. Just think of how popular you might become! Just take and post a photograph of your #ZinfullMoment (using that hashtag) and you will be entered into the contest
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Three Wells Distilling Gin, Desert Rain in a Bottle

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.” (Casablanca, 1942, Humphrey Bogart). Oh, how I’ve always wanted to use that line. Circle of Food (Karyn Zoldan) was invited to a gin joint of sorts, a Tucson distillery, to taste desert-inspired gin at Three Wells Distilling Company. For the record, I don’t even like gin but this gin I could savor and sip neat or over ice with a lemon twist and all would be right with the world…at least for the time being. Gin Made from Scratch So, what’s gin? Gin
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Holy Guacamole, Agave and Cinco de Mayo Tucson

What is it about May 5th that makes us want to go out there and celebrate? Do you even know what you’re celebrating? Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, that’s September 16. Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Mexican army won the battle despite being smaller and ill-equipped. In Mexico Cinco de Mayo is observed with battle reenactments and political speeches but in the U.S. where political speeches and battle reenactments between the Reds and the Blues happen daily, we don’t need no
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With Relish: Chef Ryan Jones, Blanco, Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th for you gringos), our favorite fiesta of the year is quickly approaching so that’s why Circle of Food asked Chef Ryan Jones, Blanco Tacos + Tequila executive chef, five easy questions. Chef Ryan Jones has been a prominent fixture on Tucson’s culinary scene ever since he began his career at Tucson landmark Cafe Terra Cotta in 2004. Jones came to Fox Restaurant Concepts in 2015 and it wasn’t long before he began running the kitchen at Blanco Tacos + Tequila as executive chef. Chef Jones is inspired by his Sonoran Desert roots, and enjoys working with
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