Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tucson Restaurant News: Food Fight–Tucson vs. Phoenix/Scottsdale

taken at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Image via Wikipedia

Tucson Restaurant News: Food Fight – Tucson vs. Phoenix/Scottsdale

My good friend and fellow food writer Edie Jarolim who is the contributing editor for Tucson Guide magazine and Tucson Zagat editor went to bat for Tucson in the July issue of Sunset magazine.

Hanging out with a food writer of her caliber can be quite fun and filling. One night for this assignment we went to taste competing Sonoran hot dogs. We started at Ruiz, a hot dog cart on the corner of 6th Avenue @ 22nd Street. This little cart has gotten raves in the New York Times so someone is paying attention. Then we went to El Guero Canelo on South 12th Avenue. So which hot dog won our little competition? El Guero Canelo. Sorry to BK fans, it wasn’t in the running this time. However, if I was blindfolded and tasted EGC and BK, I don’t think I could tell the difference, they’re both that good. Ruiz had a tad too much mustard for me.

After the hot dogs we needed some liquid refreshment so to the Hotel Congress we went. I ordered the award winning margarita that won first place during the Margarita Championship 2011. This margarita won on the basis of suitably tart (don’t you hate a sweet margarita?) then topped off with blood orange foam.

Masterful mixologist Aaron DeFeo told us of the Hotel’s  innovations of house made squeezed juices, liquid infusions of his own invention, and the accoutrements for today’s cocktails. Then he offered us samples of bacanora. At first and second sip, I found this rare spirit antiseptic but then it subtly grew on me.

While sitting in the Hotel Congress’ lobby, a stunning couple entered; the woman was attired in a dress from the 1920s. I didn’t think much of it at first because retro attire is so popular. They snuggled together on one of the couches drinking martinis. Then another couple came in and the woman took my breath away. She was attired in a long roaring 20s outfit dripping in soft beige elegance. She looked like a young Elizabeth Taylor. Her fellow was attired in a 1920s tuxedo. Soon a few more people came in dressed in that 20’s period including a guy in gangster attire.

Okay, I am not shy and went to inquire. The young Elizabeth Taylor lookalike said they were part of a masquerade meet-up. What a fun idea! It made me wish I was 20-something again when I was taller, thinner, and a clothes horse. They were off to Scott & Company for their “speakeasy” atmosphere.

But back to the Food Fight…does size matter? Is it fair to pit Tucson against Pho/Sco?

When I moved to Tucson from L.A., I could’ve just as easily moved to Phoenix. But because it’s hotter, smoggier, more congested, and an LA wannabe without the beach – I opted for Tucson and I would do it again.

What makes Tucson special to you?

  1. So this is what Edie’s up to after she’s posted her dog blog:) Sounds like you had fun! Thanks for a look at food writers from the “inside.”

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