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Looking for good Mexican near Hyatt Place Albuquerque/Uptown

Hey all,

I am going to be in ABQ for a meeting with collaborators. Only there for one night and I am lookiing for good food near the above hotel. I am willing to take a taxi but anything within walking distance is preferred. I used to live in Tucson, AZ (now live in MD) and I am craving some really good Mexican/Southwest food. Thanks to all for your input.

Feb 13, 2010
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Breakfast in Columbia, EC

My wife and I have just moved to the Columbia area and we are looking for a good breakfast place that is not a chain (which we have realized is hard to come by in the land of chain restaurants). Any suggestions?

Breakfast Columbia

Looking for a good breakfast place in the Columbia, Ellicott City, Clarksville area. Any suggestions?

Possible Move to Fort Wayne, IN

nofunlatte and Living4fun,

Thanks for your replies. I am headed up to Ft. Wayne tomorrow and I will definitely try to check some of your recs out!

Possible Move to Fort Wayne, IN

Can anyone please help me with suggestions for Fort Wayne!

Possible Move to Fort Wayne, IN

I am going to be interviewing at a company in Fort Wayne, with the possibility to relocate there. I am a big food and wine fan, and was wondering what the scene was like in Ft. Wayne. Mainly I am looking for info. on the availability of Farmer's markets, wine stores, good restaurants, specialty stores (i.e. bakeries, cheese monger, butchers), etc. I dabble in cooking so places where I can get good fresh produce, meats, cheeses are of special interest. Generally any information on the food seen in the Ft. Wayne area would be welcome!

Tucson birthday dinner for 17 year old

Assuming you have a car, the best place to take your son is Cafe Poca Cosa which is downtown. You'll never experience Mexican food like this. It will be a bit of a drive, ~20 minutes but it will be well worth it. The chef/owner changes her menu everyday. I highly recommend the Plato Poca Cosa, which gives you a sampling of 3 items off the menu. If you go with a group and all get the plato, you will get a good sampling of all the menu items.

If you are looking for something a little closer to where you are staying you have multiple options. For Italian I recommend Tavolino, great rustic Italian food. For American Bistro style you can go to Wildflower. There specials are usually really good, especially the fish special. You are also close to Terra Cotta, which specializes in southwest food, however since the fire they haven't been as good as they used to be.

When it come right down to it though, I can't say enough about Poca Cosa. It is a Tucson institution, and has been written about numerous times on this site. Like I said you will never have Mexican food like this anywhere else.

Apr 23, 2008
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Pizza recommendation in Tucson

I do know of one place in Tucson that is worth checking out. It is called Vero Amore. They adhere to the strict guidelines of the Verace Pizza Napoletana, which according to the following article is a very distinct set of guidelines that needs to be followed to be able to officially call your pizza neopolitan: http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Cho... I love their caprese salad and the cappriciosa(SP?) pizza. This place has some good stuff. I am not a big fan of chianti but I have a friend who is an distributor of Italian wine in town and he recommended a chianti they carry at Vero called Straccali. For the price, a very, very good wine. Of course this is not your local pizza parlor type of place, but the pizza is quite good. Being from the east coast I too have been disappointed with the pizza selection out here but these guys make a really good pie.

Feb 05, 2008
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Mochi in Tucson?

Hi Jess321,

I just so happened to spot some mochi at the Trader Joe's on Campbell and River. Also, I would think that the 17th Street Market would carry it, and the Asian Market at the corner of 1st Ave and Grant might carry it as well.

Jan 22, 2008
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Where to buy caviar in Tucson??

The 17th St. Market has caviar as well.

Dec 30, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Looking for interesting food-related things to do in Tucson

So I don't know of any pizza places in phoenix that is worth the drive up, this is not to say there aren't any. I do know of one place in Tucson that is worth checking out. It is called Vero Amore. They adhere to the strict guidelines of the Verace Pizza Napoletana, which according to the following article is a very distinct set of guidelines that needs to be followed to be able to officially call your pizza neopolitan: http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Cho.... I love their caprese salad and the cappriciosa(SP?) pizza. This place has some good stuff. I am not a big fan of chianti but I have a friend who is an distributor of Italian wine in town and he recommended a chianti they carry at Vero called Straccali. For the price, a very, very good wine.

Dec 21, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Looking for interesting food-related things to do in Tucson

Well unfortunately I think with NYC you have a bunch of competition to keep prices lower. Out here, I wouldn't say you can't find good food for cheap because you can, but the great places for a night away you are going to pay a little more. I would recommend The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol (http://www.haciendadelsol.com/grill/i...) over Janos. I have never been to the Ventana Room so I can't really comment.

There are a few other places that are going to be a bit cheaper like Vivace (Italian), Tavolino my favorite Italian and can get a decent meal for $12-18 per plate, Wildflower (American w/European and Asian influence), and Acacia which may be on the high side again.

But for Tucson you really can't beat Hacienda. It is set in this beutiful desert environment. Great views and good food. I recommend the buffalo, if you are into meat. It is just great.

As for lunch specials I don't know of any off of the top of my head. I know that Hacienda had a Sunday brunch but I am not sure if they are still doing it.

Dec 18, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Looking for interesting food-related things to do in Tucson

So I would also say pass on AJ's, it is more of a hoity toity supermarket than the specialty store you have in mind. Rumrunner, a cheese/wine shop has a bunch of really good cheeses and a good wine selection, but all of the cheeses are imported and I am sure that you can find many, if not all, of them in NYC. Although the bistro The Dish which is attached to Rumrunner is very good, not necessarily child friendly.

Cafe Poca Cosa is a must!!!! You will never experience anything like it. Her menu changes daily, and I recommend to you that you get the Plato Poca Cosa. It is a generous sampling of three of the menu items. So if two of you get the Plato you get to try a good portion of the menu, because usually they make sure not to repeat an item at the same table. If you have never had mole before, hers is spectacular and her tamales are to die for. I have never been for lunch but I would assume lunch time is a better time for bringing children, although I don't see a problem with them going to dinner either. Make sure you make a reservation because they are always busy.

A great place that nobody has mentioned is St. Mary's Tortilla Factory or the name may have changed to St. Mary's Mexican Food. Best Tortillas in Tucson!!! Here is a link to a fellow chowhounder post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/93454, their assement pretty much says it all. I think that this place is more in line of what you are looking for.

As for the markets, I frequent the St. Phillips Plaza market. There is a guy selling goat cheese that is ok, although there is a producer out of the Phoenix area, called Black Mesa Ranch, that I think is much better, unfortunately he only sells to the Tucson CSA program: www.tucsoncsa.org. There is a tortilla/salsa lady at this market but St. Mary's Tortillas are way better. There is one purveyor here that has a very good chipotle salsa, which is not the salsa lady. Also there is a baker that sells some pretty good pastries, and bread. Atlhough I think Beyond Bread, http://www.beyondbread.com/, is the best bread bakery in Tucson, and they have very good lunch items as well, perfect place to take children.

I hope this helps.

Dec 18, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Tavolino or Vivace in Tuscon

Ok so I will say that I am a fan of Tavolino. So that doesn't help you much. I agree with lawyerbriefs in that Vivace is a bit splashier. But that is probably why I like Tavolino better. The food is a little more rustic. The rack of lamb is simply done with some rosemary salt and pepper. I am a big fan of rustic food. Massimo's, the chef/owner, food just seems more authentic to me. Vivace is more upscale I guess. The food is a little more dressed up, it has some rusticness to it, but it is kicked up a bit. This in not to say that it is not good. I have never had a bad meal at either place. So I guess it is more of what you like: simple or a little flashy.

Dec 13, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Tucson Recommendations

I forgot! If you like Japanese you need to go to Yoshimatsu. Wonderfully good bento boxes and excellent sushi.

Dec 11, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Tucson's Winners

Where do I begin.

So I think people have already mentioned Cafe Poca Cosa so I will second and third that recommendation. I will tell you that you will never have Mexican food like this anywhere else. It is by far the one of the best restaurants in Tucson. You need to make a reservation and I would do it soon because they are always busy, especially during the holidays.

Any of the Fox Concepts restaurants are a good meal, Blanco, North, Wildflower. Of them I like Wildflower the best.

If you like greek food I recommend Athen's of Fourth. I love there saganaki(SP?)!!

For Southwestern food there is no place better then The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol: http://www.haciendadelsol.com/grill/i.... Wonderful atmosphere and fantastic food. If you like meat then get the buffalo, it is so lean, it basically melts in your mouth. This is my favorite restaurant in Tucson. It is tucked into this desert environment, just spectacular.

If you like Japanese food then you need to go to Yoshimatsu. Really good bento boxes and their sushi is fantastic as well.

For Italian look no further than Tavolino.

I could go on and on, I hope this helps.

Dec 11, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Tucson Recommendations

If you want great Italian food you need to go to Tavolino. I say it time and time again on this board but it is the best Italian in Tucson. The owner/chef has pictures of his family at a dinner table in Italy. Just a wonderful restaurant, I recommend the penne pasta dish, it is so simple but soo good. Another good place is Trattoria della Famiglia. They have a wonderful carbanora!!! As for Asian, I like Neo of Malaka which is pretty upscale and may be a bit over priced but the food is good. They also own another restaurant in town called Sri Malaka, but I haven't been there so I can't comment. I also like Pacific Cafe. It is this hole in the wall place but very good food. Not much for ambiance but hole in the wall places never are.

As for something special, with a wonderful view, I recommend The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol: http://www.haciendadelsol.com/grill/i.... Their food is always amazingly tasty and you can't beat the wine list. If you like meat I recommend the buffalo, it just melts in your mouth. Usually I have the sommelier choose our wine because the list is pretty large and for the most part he usually goes off list and gives us something wonderful. Not sure what they are doing for New Year's but I would call soon because most places fill up pretty quickly.

Dec 11, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Romantic Dinner in Tucson?

Nothing is more romantic then The Grill at Hacienda Dell Sol. The location is beautiful and the food is downright tasty. And well the wine list is huge. They bring out this leather covered book that is massive. I recommend using one of the sommeliers on staff, they are great and have turned my wife and I onto some really wonderful wines. This is probably one of my favorite places to eat in Tucson. It isn't cheap but in my opinion it is all worth it. Here is a link to their website: http://haciendadelsol.com/grill/index....

PS-They won the gold award for most romantic dining from Tucson Lifestyle magazine

Nov 07, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Recs for Flagstaff, AZ

I am going to be traveling up to Flagstaff this weekend for a conference. Need some recs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks.

Oct 16, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Has anyone tried Cuvee in Tucson?

I have eaten there on several occasions and each time I go in with an open mind, but each time I was disappointed. I think there are much better restaurants in Tucson in the same price range. I will agree they have a fairly decent wine list but I really have not liked the food.

Oct 12, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Tucson: butcher needed

Sorry this might be too late but here is my rec. There is a place on the west side of town called the Sausage Shop (not the Sausage Deli). They usually have a bunch of different cuts. Can't guarantee that they will have what you are looking for but it is worth a shot. They can usually special order as well but it seems like you are on a time crunch. Here are the details for the Sausage Shop:

1015 W Prince Rd # 141
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 888-1701

Sep 11, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

4 days in Tucson, AZ from L.A.: Recs?

I think all that have been mentioned are good recs, especially Poca Cosa, but I would recommend Tavolino for Italian over Vivace. Vivace is good but I think Tavolino is better. I kind of sound like a broken record sometimes about this place but it really is very good.

Somewhere else to try is Soleil. I am not sure why it doesn't get more pub. on this board. To me it is one of the best restaurants in Tucson. Plus it has a wonderful view of the vallley from its dinning room, probably one of the best dining room views in Tucson. It will be right at your $30 per person limit, but to me it is well worth it. On their website (www.soleiltucson.com) they say their food is modern american, I just call it yummy!!!

Aug 29, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Blanco/Tucson

I would say it is your classic Fox Concepts Restaurant. Good affordable food, with a chic interior, and great service. My only knock was the margs, but I am pretty picky about them. I asked the server if they use mix and she said no just lime juice, which is what I like, tequila, cointreau, lime, and maybe a small amount of simple syrup. However, it was clear they use a sour mix, to their defense they make there own sour mix with fresh lime juice but I still was not a fan. The next time I went they were more than happy to oblige me with the ingredients I like, in fact the bartender sent out the tequila in a glass with shots of cointreau, simple syrup and the sour mix so that I could mix it myself. Now that is service!!! I am not one to make people at a restaurant go out of their way and all I had asked for was a little less sour mix nothing more and they went a step further. I thought that was pretty nice of them. In the end I think it is definitely worth a try especially if you like Fox's other restaurants.

Aug 03, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Le Rendezvous - 1 August 07

I second this review. My wife and I went there for my birthday and we were very disappointed with the food, service and even the win knowledge. All our server wanted to do was push a really expensive bourdeaux on us and he got visiblely upset when we declined. My fish was way overcooked and my wife's dish had veggies that were lifeless from being steamed for way longer than the should have been. There are so many good restaurants in Tucson but this is not one of them!!!!

Aug 03, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Dinner in Tucson

I second the rec for Cafe Poca Cosa unfortunately they aren't open on Sunday. I haven't been to the Barrio in a while but last time I was there the food was very uneven. I think a very good place downtown is Casa Vicente. They have wonderful Spanish cuisine, including a pretty extensive tapas menu. I just checked their website and it says they are open on Sunday for special events, not really sure what that means. May want to give them a call (520) 884-5253 to see if shows at the TCC qualify as special events or that just means for parties.

I would not reccomend The Grill but a lot people like it. It is a diner at best in my opinion, great for late night grub after being out at the bars but wouldn't really think of it for dinner.

If you like greek food I would recommend Athens on 4th Ave. It they have really good food.

There is an Italian restaurant on Congress that the name is alluding me right now but it is very near the Fox Theater, also pretty good.

Hope this helps

PS-The summer in Tucson is hard for restaurants so many of the close for a while, especially in July, so I recommend calling places before going.

Jul 20, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Tucson mid-range restaurants?

Well there are a bunch of options....

If they like Pizza then Zona '78 and Sauce are great, but that is if you like thin crust pizzas, if you like deep dish then Rocco's is your place. Sauce and Zona '78 aren't your typical pizza joints they are a little 'upscale' but aren't expensive.

If they like Italian then Tavolino is the place to go. They have a very awesome pasta selection, especially the penne with sausage and there gelato is oh so tasty. If this sounds good be sure to make a reservation because they are always packed.

I am not sure about the prices of Feast but another good restaurant is Wildflower. Kind of new american cuisine. Very tasty, probably a little more expensive then the above list but always a treat.

If they like burgers than Shari's is your place. It is this old school burger joint on 1st Ave. It isn't much for scenery but the food is good, especially there chocolate malt shakes. Won Tucson's best burger joint. Wouldn't say this is on par with something like Feast but it is an option.

This one is a shot in the dark but there is a really good Greek restaurant on 4th Ave called Athens on 4th. Great gyros and various other things.

Hopefully this helps a little.

Jun 22, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Tucson - CSA vs. St Philip's Farmers' Market

So this is a tough question to answer. I personally use both and probably recommend that you do as well. I guess the better question to answer is, do you like to be creative or do you like to have a set menu? With the CSA you never really know what produce you are going to get weekly. This makes for some interesting dinners because sometimes you get produce that you have never heard of. They also have recipes for these interesting items. I also really like the goat cheese you get from the CSA.

That being said I have a really good relationship with the meat/poultry/egg farmer at the St. Phillip's Market. His eggs are very tastey! There is also a local coffee roaster at the market whose blends and varieties of coffee are amazing. Plus there is the herb guy who sells potted herbs that I really love to use. The produce people here aren't too shabby either. There is a fruit producer out of Wilcox, whose apples and peaches are awesome. So as you can see both have really good benefits.

I use both because I tend to like to spread my money around to various local people and don't mind going to several different places for my food. To be honest you can't really go wrong with either. The one drawback to the CSA is if the farmer has problems with his crops sometimes you get stuck eating bumper crops week after week. This past spring he had a run on carrots and beets, which were very, very good but after 8 weeks of eating beets and carrots you do get a little tired of it. It is the price you pay for living off of the land, which some people don't mind and others do.

Not really sure if this helps but maybe it is a start.

Jun 20, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Sassi or Mosaic?

I haven't been to Sassi, but I have been to Mosaic and I must say it was amazing. The food, service and atmosphere were all fantastic. We went for out anniversary and had such a wonderful time. I don't think you could go wrong with Mosaic.

Jun 14, 2007
bluedevil33 in Phoenix

Tucson help - where to take 16 - 18 for dinner

Barry,

That is quite a number of people so I could imagine it being a bit difficult to find a reservation. There are two restaurants that are within a five minute drive from La Paloma. The first is Terra Cotta (http://www.dineterracotta.com). They deal mainly in Southwestern fare. I haven't been there in a long time for dinner but they are usually pretty good. They have two pretty large sized porches that they could probably accommodate your group on. Plus these porches have pretty great views of both the city and the Catalina Mtns. The other restaurant is Soleil (http://www.soleiltucson.com/). This is one of my favorite restaurants in Tucson. Their scallops are always amazing. Again the views of the city and the mountains are spectacular. On there website they say they can accommodate large groups. I have never had a bad meal here. It is hard to describe the food because I think it is wide ranging in style. They say it is contemporary French/Mediterranean, but I had a scallop dish there that was very Asian. I hope this helps.

BTW-Dining is Tucson is always pretty casual. You can go to one of the fanciest restaurants in town and see someone wearing shorts. That is what I love about the Southwest, it is all pretty laid back!!!!

May 09, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest

Trattoria della Famiglia, Tucson AZ

Has anyone eaten at Trattoria della Famiglia in Tucson. I am a big fan of Tavolino and was wondering how they compare?

May 09, 2007
bluedevil33 in Southwest