Here are the best things the Tucson Foodie team tasted in July 2022

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Get a load of these local bites

The month of July was rich in edible treasures, to say the least.

From pizza to ramen to assorted vegan pastries, there have been plenty of tasty moments for the Foodie team. Not only are these reminders of the dishes we ate, but they can also be a guide for your own decisions on what to eat here in Tucson.

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite dining experiences.

Addie Ibarra

Steakhouse P.Y.

I did the “Chef’s Trust Me” menu at PY Steakhouse this month and it was damn good. The first (of five courses) was particularly ‘grammable – Kumomoto Oysters with prickly pear vinegar, freeze-dried prickly pear, cucumber and mint oil. If you ever have the opportunity to request this menu (be sure to note it when making your reservation), I highly recommend it.

Kumomoto Oysters at PY Steakhouse (Photo by Addie Ibarra)

Edie Jarolim

Sexy Grilled Cheese & Salad Co. Dante’s fire

My July favorite comes from the “Sexy Grilled Cheese” menu at Dante’s Fire. Talk about lily gilding — or carb overload. This is a grilled cheese sandwich filled with creamy mac and cheese and served with homemade dill chips. Rich and greedy.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Dante's Fire Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Dante’s Fire (Photo by Edie Jarolim)
Fiam Pizza

Nutella pizza? Yes please! If you love fresh strawberries, blueberries, powdered sugar and a drizzle of hazelnut and chocolate on a wood-fired dough (and who doesn’t?), Fiamme’s delicious dessert pizza is for you.

Nutella Pizza at Fiamme Pizza Nutella Pizza at Fiamme Pizza (Photo by Edie Jarolim)

Hannah Hernandez

Ensenada street food

Everything Ensenada serves makes my mouth water, but their Vegan Ramen Birria and Vegan Ceviche are my new favorites. Many vegan and non-vegan options are available.

Vegan Ramen Birria at Ensanada Street Food (Photo by Hannah Hernandez) Vegan Ramen Birria at Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)
Vegan ceviche at Ensanada Street Food Vegan Ceviche at Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)
Tohono Chul Garden Bistro

Tohono Chul’s seasonal brunch menu always features at least one nice vegan dish. I enjoyed their Vegan Blue Corn Tostadas with a hot, creamy coffee. My mom and I shopped at the Tohono Chul Plant Nursery after our delicious meal.

Vegan Blue Corn Tostadas at Tohono Chul Garden Bistro Vegan blue corn tostadas at Tohono Chul Garden Bistro (photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Jackie Tran

Houlden’s rise above

I did a photoshoot with Houlden’s Rise Above and ate a variety of their vegan pastries. My favorite was the Chocolate bread. I’m a butter fanatic, but I didn’t miss the milk fat with that vegan puff crust and rich vegan dark chocolate. I respect any technique used to make something so simple so special.

Houlden's rise above Assortment of pastries at Houlden’s Rise Above (Photo by Jackie Tran)
Houlden's rise above Assortment of pastries at Houlden’s Rise Above (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Kim Johnson

The delta

My July favorite is the Southern Seafood Boil mix of Gulf shrimp, snow crab, andouille sausage, yellow corn and red potatoes available at the Delta because it’s shrimp the best.

Boil the Southern Seafood at the Delta Boiling Southern Seafood at the Delta (Photo by Kim Johnston)

Mark Whittaker

Govinda’s Natural Foods

After a lot of meat dishes lately, I just wanted delicious vegan dishes. Luckily I live near Govinda and had their Sunday brunch buffet. They had these Lentil croquettes with curry which I have gone completely crazy about. Literally my new obsession with vegan treats. They were so tasty, so regal with curry and spices, that I’m going to call every once in a while and bug them to ask if they have any. When they do…damn!

Buffet lunch at Govinda’s natural food buffet. (Jackie Tran)
Chefita

La Chefita is a new food truck usually parked in Irvington and I-19 that serves something called Remolinos, which are fried spiral potatoes served on a skewer. Their namesake is topped with succulent smoked brisket, shredded cheese, nacho cheese, green onions, and tangy barbecue sauce or spicy chipotle sauce. I had the chipotle and, oh man, that potato tornado almost knocked me out but for all the right reasons. Absolutely delicious and easily shareable.

Remolinos at La Chefita food truck Remolinos at La Chefita food truck (Photo by Mark Whittaker)
Kim’s sweets

I wrote about Kim’s Confections a while ago because I needed to let everyone know that her treats are the The best. Kim’s Chocolate chip and salted pistachio cookies is something I always have in the pantry for the perfect snack of sweet, salty, gooey, yummy, delicate, and awesome. You can find Kim’s stuff in various marketplaces, in pop-ups, and on her website — I highly recommend you do. His ice cream is amazing too. But these cookies, anyway! And people wonder why I can’t lose weight…

Salted pistachio cookies with chocolate pieces at Kim's Confections Salted pistachio cookies with chocolate chunks at Kim’s Confections (photo by Mark Whittaker)

Matt Stener

Desta Cafe

This was my very first experience of eating Ethiopian food and, damn it, I’m glad I did (don’t know what took me so long). At Café Desta on Stone Avenue and 18th Street, I ordered the individual combo, which comes with your choice of three vegan or meat dishes and is then served with salad, injera, or rice. I chose the salad and combined it with Alicha Doro (chicken cooked with turmeric, kibe, onions, and flavored with various spices), Alicha Sega (beef cooked with turmeric, kibe, onions, and flavored with various spices), and Kaye-Asa (fish cooked in Berber, onions and flavored with various spices).

Desta Cafe Cafe Desta (Photo by Matt Sterner)

Plus it’s BYOB so head over to Roy’s Corner Liqueur found at 647 S. Sixth Ave. Grab a cold one from the fridge before entering Cafe Desta and have a great time.

Desta Cafe Cafe Desta (Photo by Sam Jump)

Rita Connelly

Roma imports

An evening at home with Roma Imports Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, a slice of Sourdough bread of Barrio bread, and a glass of wine Local liquors. Everything you could need without having to dress up.

Roma Imports Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Roma Imports Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (Photo by Rita Connelly)
Tooley’s Cafe

So glad Tooley’s is back. In the photo below, savory Turkey burros.

Tooley's Cafe Turkey burro at Tooley’s Cafe (photo by Rita Connelly)

Sam jumps

transplant pizza

The transplant has become my pizza night. Between their remarkable selection of build-it-yourself toppings, an impeccably balanced crust, providing both crunch and chewiness, and the fact that I can get a cheese-free pizza that isn’t dry or bland, I always walk away feeling nurtured in many ways. . Pictured below is a Buffalo Sauce Base, Roasted Corn, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Black Olives, and Green Goddess Tenderloin.

transplant pizza Build your own pizza at Transplant Pizza (Photo by Sam Jump)

Shane Reiser

El Rustic Taco

My pick of the month is Mahi Mahi Quesabirria at El Rustico. Chef Juan started making tacos at Tohono O’odham Swap Meeting and eventually opened El Rustico. A few years ago he jumped on the quesabirria and whaddayaknow bandwagon – now he sells over 100,000 a year. According to the cook Travis Peterschief executive at Parish and The delta, Rustico serves the best tacos in Tucson. I cannot disagree.

Mahi-mahi quesabirria tacos at El Taco Rustico (Photo by Shane Reiser) Mahi-mahi quesabirria tacos at El Taco Rustico (Photo by Shane Reiser)

Xochitl Gracia

Taqueria La Esquina

Vegan Quesabirria from Taqueria La Esquina. They use jackfruit and it’s so delicious!

Vegan quesabirria from Taqueria La Esquina Vegan Quesabirria from Taqueria La Esquina (Photo by Xochitl Gracia)
Ensenada street food

Vegan Ceviche of Ensenada street food!

Vegan ceviche from Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Xochitl Gracia) Vegan ceviche from Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Xochitl Gracia)

Do you have a favorite bite this month? Let us know in the comments.


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