Where Local and Global Appetites Collide
Eating around Tucson with Circle of Food–Roma Imports

Eating around Tucson with Circle of Food–Roma Imports

Roma Imports Tucson
Bri-nini or bust

Today two friends (M.J. and Loren) and I went to Roma Imports for late lunch. As we zigged and zagged south of Broadway and west of Kino Parkway on a numbered street, both wondered where the heck we were going.

Roma Imports is like a mirage in the middle of an industrial area. Roma is part Italian grocer, takeout, catering and restaurant.

We all ordered panini. Theirs were laden with roasted vegetables and mine was a special of the day – the Bri-nini – a seductive combo of gooey melted brie with fig jam, thinly sliced cucumbers and fresh lettuce. Yes! I would order it again. I want to order it again.

About ten years ago, I brought my then neighbor Corinne, a former New Yorker with an Italian bent to Roma, where she practically wept upon seeing familiar products like fagioli cannellini, three kinds of cannoli shells, Illy espresso, homemade mozzarella, fresh ricotta, pizza dough, spumoni, lacy pizzelles and a pizzelle maker, anise oil and anchovy fillets reminding her of another time and place. Not much has changed except for a greater variety of products.

While I’m not Italian, I do get a bit of a rush whenever I walk into Roma’s. It’s a good feeling.

On Friday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Roma serves an all-you-can-eat pasta buffet with salad and bread for $10/pp. Mama Mia! Roma is located at 627 S. Vine Avenue, Tucson 85719.

Roma Imports Tucson
goat cheese medallions

After lunch, it’s difficult to leave without not buying a little nosh for the road or for dinner. A wall of frozen food includes a dazzling array of pastas and sauces, soups, Italian casseroles, lamb curry, turnovers and a rainbow of desserts. From the deli we all left with vegetable fritters, an assortment of olives, fig balls, fruity goat cheese medallions and sumptuous salads. It was difficult to rein ourselves in.

When I have guests and feel like serving quiche, I will make a mad dash to Roma and buy one of their frozen varieties like portobello mushroom or spinach. Nobody is every disappointed and real men do eat quiche and like it too.

Written by Karyn Zoldan, Day #16

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