Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tucson restaurant news: Pita Jungle, HUB, Chuck Wagon, Festival of Books

caramel ice cream
Image by foonus via Flickr

Tucson restaurant news and food events

NEW: It’s a jungle out there  — a Pita Jungle
Last week I stopped by Pita Jungle at 5340 E. Broadway in the former 58 Degrees at Williams Center. You wouldn’t recognize the place. It has an industrial chic vibe. Even though I am so tired of describing anything as industrial chic, the description still fits. I looked online and ordered a grilled Portobello mushroom sandwich with roasted peppers. For $7.99, it was a filling meal and came with some yummy roasted potatoes which I like because enough with the fries and frites already.

Today I ate lunch at the HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery downtown. What a cool space, it has a hip urban sense. I tried the mushroom potato tart and my friend ate the tuna casserole, a modern rendition of the old comfort food favorite made with cream of mushroom sauce. HUB’s version had a grown up sauce and a big piece of Ahi tuna cooked just the way she liked it. We both ordered ice cream because they make a litany of flavors every day. My salted caramel had an original taste and creamy mouth feel while my friend’s bourbon almond brittle was spiked generously with bourbon. Good thing I was driving! I’ll be back…

Festival of Books – March 12 & 13
C’mon down to the UA Mall for nine acres of book sales, book signings, presentations, panels, stuff for kids, foodies, and more. Shameless self promotion: I’ll be a panelist for Food Writing 101 happening at the Integrated Learning Center (ILC) – Room 135 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.  I will also be at the Tucson Citizen booth (same day) from noon to 2 p.m. I write two blogs there – Food Markets and Tucson Tails. If neither interest you, the Science Channel’s Meteorite Man will be there too, so you have lots of schmoozing options.

Chuck Wagon Roundup Fundraiser  – March 12
This is not really food related but I suppose there will be lots of food for sale (burgers, fry bread, hot dogs, cookies) at this event. I’m giving it a plug here because my friend Susan Modisett needs more publicity for a fundraising event / carnival at Sam Hughes Elementary School in the Sam Hughes neighborhood, 700 N. Wilson.

We all know that there are not enough funds for extras so busy moms and working mothers have to add more activities to their already crazy lives to benefit their kids’ schools. Chuck Wagon is fun for the entire family as there are lots of games for the kids like a jumping castle, a maze, old-style carnival games, obstacle course; and silent auction items to bid on for the adults plus some other fun stuff  like a horse and carriage ride. Just show up, spend money, have fun from 2 to 6 p.m.

Last year Chuck Wagon raised $15,000. The money is used to fund OMA (opening of the minds through the arts, literacy night-where each child writes his or her own book, school supplies, a librarian, a PE teacher, and aides. Go Susan!

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