The month of August was full of monsoon storms and a lot of restaurants were creating some thunder as well with brand new dishes and old classics.
From corn ribs to dim sum and some gooey Culichi Camarones Mixto, there were a lot of tasty moments for the Tucson Foodie team. Not only are these reminders of the dishes we ate, they can also be a guide for your own decisions on what to eat here in Tucson.
Vino Stache Winery
I had the opportunity to finally check out Vino Stache Winery in Elgin and immediately proceeded to sign up for their wine club. Though they operate on a reservation-only basis, they’re absolutely worth checking out. Their GSM (bottled that morning) was a crowd favourite.
Tea Pan Dulce Conchas at Cal’s Bakeshop are now vegan-friendly. The creamy chocolate-dipped was my favorite.
Go Dim Sum
Go Dim Sum’s crispy Salt and Pepper Fried Tofu and squishy Sesame Balls were amazing. The tofu was perfect with or without chili oil and sweet and spicy sauce poured all over.
This might have been the tastiest food I’ve had in the last two months. Tea Shrimp Ceviche Tostada was my ideal balance of umami and acidity. The fish taco had a warm crunchy griddles tortilla with crunchier juicy fried fish and a chopped coleslaw. Tea Culichi Camarones Mixto had a pair of two lush, creamy, spicy sauces with gooey cheese on top.
Divine Bovine Burgers
Tea corn ribs dish from Divine Bovine Burgers is one of those foods that parents tell their kids is “spicy” so they don’t have to share.
Tea Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice at The Monica.
If I had a dollar for every time I ordered the Crispy Cauliflower at Noble Hops, I’d have just enough money to order another one.
Taqueria La Esquina
All of the food at this south Sixth taqueria is extraordinary but when I bit into their churro I had to take a moment and reflect. After said reflection, my next necessary move was announcing to chef and co-owner Alejandro Bohon and to my followers on social media that this was the best churro I have eaten in Tucson. Easily. It’s that perfect balance of light, crispy, chewy, sweet, and delicate yet hefty. It had me grab the table and say some well-intended expletives under my breath as I ate. I am so hooked on these things now. Yeah, thanks a lot Taqueria La Esquina.
As a food writer that mainly covers trucks, bars, and diners, I tend to eat a lot of plant-based dishes when I am not working. Thanks to Foodie vegan match Hannah, she informed me that the Wildcat Burger at Lovin’ Spoonfuls was one of her favorites. So, one day I just had to give it a go. Yep, it was freakin’ awesome. I’m not into vegan “burgers” that have a list of ingredients as long as a Tolstoy novel, and Spoonfuls does this correct with a simple, well-seasoned soy patty. Topped with caramelized onions, tempeh bacon, vegan blue cheese, and Sriracha mayo, I immediately texted Hannah and thanked her after I ate it. So good.
I’ve been a fan of India Oven for over a decade and when they reinstated their lunch buffet after nearly two years of not doing so I couldn’t have been happier. The food is always fresh, flavorful, spicy, and delicious. I love sitting and watching the Bollywood musical numbers projected on the wall. Sometimes I don’t have time to eat there so I get the buffet to go. Owner Raksha Bhatti doesn’t even ask what I want, she just starts filling boxes with her food and piles on samosas and naan. I absolutely love that and have never been led astray by her choices for me. Plus, she doesn’t mind that I fill up at least four or five ramekins of her mint sauce before leaving. You could put that stuff on an old flip-flop left behind at Coachella and I’d still eat it.
Tea Huevos Rancheros at Tooley’s sure hit the spot on an early Saturday morning. The dish was simple and reminded me of my days living in New Mexico.
The Barnyard Crafthouse & Eatery
Tea Ahi BLT (hold the bacon) at The Barnyard Crafthouse & Eatery was an adventure of both flavor and texture. Served open face and featuring perfectly seared Ahi, house-made pickles, avocado, and both Sriracha and wasabi aioli, it would’ve been easy and enjoyable to eat in a deconstructed manner. I’m glad I went for it as a sandwich (though it was definitely necessary to cut it in half). I look forward to going back for other offerings, too. Everything looked great as it rolled out from the kitchen, and the outdoor setup alone is worth the drive to take in.
The Estrella Bakery
Behold, the plain glazed donut from La Estrella Bakery. I eat six every day to help keep me strong.
The Omar at Sausage Deli is ridiculously good. I have a lifelong addiction.
Tea Prickly Pear BBQ Sandwich from Charro Vida is delicious and a new addition to their menu.
Penca’s Chile Relleno is delicious and traditional, yet elegant.
For more suggestions, here are a few things we devoured in July 2022.