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Contents Holiday 2009




MEALS OF THE SEASON Owner Ricardo Cazares of Los Portales and Tucson Tamale Company’s owner Todd Martin celebrate the holidays with fresh takes on traditional holiday dishes.


PROFILES Find your green thumb with a visit to Green Things, then treat yourself to fresh world cuisine. Healthy meal options abound at C.I. Chu’s Mongolian Barbeque, while Amber Restaurant & Gallery offers a variety of Polish and Eastern European dishes.


CHEFS SPEAK Chef Jun Arai of Ginza Sushi presents authentic Japanese cooking, Chef Maria Jose Mazon of Papagayo Mexican Restaurant carries on a family tradition, and Chef Brian Sorrell of BZ’s Pizza brings his passion for food to his east side neighborhood.








HOLIDAY EATS Find local restaurant specials this season with the help of our holiday dining guide.


FIT HAPPENS AT PLEXUS PILATES Jamie Scerbo of Plexus Pilates shares the benefits of pilates. Plexus Pilates gives participants a stronger core, better posture, and greater flexibility.


CREATING CHANGE WITH NEW COLORS Achieving a new look for your home is simple—just add new colors. Lori Carroll explains how to choose and apply colors to a room for the greatest effect.


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Start your holiday shopping off right with this budgetfriendly gift guide.







ON THE COVER: Tucson Tamale Company’s Naples tamal and Wisconsin Grilled Cheese tamal served with a tossed green salad. | Photo by Yvonne Manglona




Lee M. Oser, Jr. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Karrie Welborn SENIOR EDITOR Chris Bonney Carrie Bui Ellen Ranta ASSOCIATE EDITORS Jeanne Christie WINE EDITOR Valerie Wilson ART DIRECTOR Yasmine Brown GRAPHIC DESIGNER Yvonne Manglona CONTRIBUTOR Martín Ezrré ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Enrico Cecchi EUROPEAN ADVERTISING SALES Kim Forrester ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Tara Neal CIRCULATION MANAGER ARIZONA GOURMET LIVING is published four times a year by Oser Communications Group, Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Executive and editorial offices located at: 1877 N. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ 85715 T 520.721.1300, F 520.721.6300 European offices located at: Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 11 50125 Florence, Italy T 055.657.5629, F 055.657.5631 Subscriptions for one year (4 issues) are $21.95, two years (8 issues) are $33.95. Please allow 6–8 weeks for your subscription to begin. Checks, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express accepted.




NEWS & NOTES Zócalo: ‘Best South of the Border 2009’ From the moment you see their signature grand mesquite dining

Sylvan Learning of Tucson Programs Offer Academic Support to Community

tables with stately chairs, dressers, and exquisitely carved beds, it is apparent that Zócalo is unique. Their expansive showroom is filled

Sylvan Learning of Tucson is off to a great start for the school year!

with a vast array of quality furniture and home accessories.

Two major projects, both offering free academic support for

Authentic chandeliers of all sizes, sconces, and candelabras from

students, have been enthusiastically received by the community.

simple to grand make a significant design statement for any home.

The first of these, Sylvan Diagnostic Days, offers practice testing for

Mirrors used as art, and to open up spaces, are everywhere in gold

students planning on taking the SAT or ACT in the near future. There

and silver leaf, punched tin, carved wood, and iron. If you are

is no charge for the testing or for the analysis of the results. Future

looking for talavera and pottery, you will find a large selection of

practice test dates and locations are available by calling Sylvan at

both new and vintage. Zócalo is known to import one of the most


extensive collections of ceramic pineapples, from Michoacan, in the

The second free offering, to middle and high schools throughout

Southwest. Milagro covered hearts, crosses, candlesticks, nichos,

the community, is an online library of video mini-lessons and

and picture frames of all sizes invoke divine assistance or gratitude

practice sheets for math students from pre-algebra through high

for blessings received. The owners, Robert and Karri, spent three

school math. This can be made available online throughout the

weeks in Southern Mexico this August, in search of unique Mexican

school day to all students and can be used as make-up work,

treasures. They are appreciative of the recent recognition as the

additional explanation and practice, enrichment or for help with

“Best South of the Border” shopping destination bestowed upon their

homework. School administrators simply need to request the

store by Tucson’s American Society of Interior Designers, and are

program and access will be provided by Sylvan Learning Center. If

eager to maintain a level of excellence. They continue to import

your child’s school has not yet signed up for this community service,

upholstered furniture, of beautifully embroidered fabric from Oaxaca

ask about it at your school and let them know they can contact

and Guatemala that will colorfully accent any room. An unparalleled

Sylvan Learning Center for enrollment in this free program.

selection of intricate “Day of the Dead” Katrinas, some up to three feet tall, make for interesting gifts. Lacquer ware from Olinala,

520.531.0431 |

pewter, Amate paintings, and intricately painted plates from Guerrero are found throughout the store. They recently procured works from several artists found in the premier reference guide on Mexico’s finest artisans, “Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art.” Many beautiful carved saints, museum certified religious oil paintings

Discover Artwork for Your Floors at Karimi Rugs

dating from the 18th century, and folk art are amongst their varied collection. If you appreciate gallery quality inventory at direct import

Find just what you’re looking for at Karimi Rugs! With more than 25 years of interior design experience, owner

prices, visit Zócalo. This season Zócalo is happy to announce a special four-day

Amir Karimi has extensive expertise when it comes to adding the

showing of Ruby Firecat signature bags, from Nov. 27–30. These

perfect touches to any home. The expansive array of rugs includes

bags offer unique character, and the story continues to the interior

Persian, Turkish, Tibetan, and Navajo-style rugs, as well as antique

of the bag where Ruby’s exquisitely finished bags receive worldwide

rugs and Kilims. Serving not only Tucson, Ariz. customers, but customers

recognition for their workmanship.

throughout the country for nearly 20 years, Karimi Rugs offers free

Custom orders accommodated.

delivery of purchased rugs, service, and repair of rugs. They also 520.320.1236 |

provide free estimates to clean or restore your valuable rugs, preserving the beauty and value of your floor coverings. Let Karimi show you service and craftsmanship the way it once was! Be sure to ask about monthly specials as well. 520.319.8280 │




Broadway Village For a local shopping experience, visit Broadway Village, Tucson’s oldest shopping center outside of downtown. This outdoor complex features local shops, selling a variety of goods from imported Mexican home furnishings to a mystery bookstore. A weekly farmers market is hosted at the complex every Friday. The plaza was designed by famed architect Josias Joesler and developed by John W. Murphey in 1939. Broadway Village is located at the southwest corner of Broadway Boulevard and Country Club Road.




NEWS & NOTES Obsidian 128 New Contemporary Fine Art

My Big Fat Greek Restaurant Dishes Out Fun and Flavor

Obsidian 128, an expansion of Obsidian

OPA! For many years now, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant has

Gallery, is now open. Obsidian 128 features

provided its guests with one of the most unique dining experiences

contemporary paintings and sculpture by

in Arizona. From the moment customers enter the door, they are

both local artists and artists living outside of

greeted by an enthusiastic staff, upbeat Greek music, live dancing,

Tucson. Currently showing are works by

and of course, the sound of broken plates in the background. OPA!

local artists Joe Hatton, Brook Grucella, Dan

After all that, the food must be amazing.

Lehman, and Julie Sasse. Encaustics by New

Sitting down to have a drink, guests are offered a variety of

York artist Judith Hoyt and paintings by San

traditional Greek wines and beers, Ouzo, Metaxa, and more.

Francisco artists Jeffrey Palladini and Ryoko

They will need it to wash down one of our two flaming cheese

Tajiri complete the space.

appetizers, Flaming Saganaki and Flaming Feta. The flaming

Obsidian Gallery, which features fine

cheeses capture the eye of the dining room when they are lit.

contemporary craft, is offering a collection

The menu consists of all homemade Mediterranean-style dishes

of work by glass artists over the holidays.

prepared with virgin olive oil, fresh ingredients, selected herbs,

Works by Steve and Katia Pflipsen, Bengt

and just the right amount of spices—just like mom made it. Try

Hokanson, Michael Sosin, and Sam Stang

the Mousaka, Lamb Chops, and Stuffed Peppers and be blown

will be on display. And, as always, the

away by their flavorful tastes and huge portions.







My Big Fat Greek is definitely a place for family and friends

beautiful handmade jewelry, wool and silk

to come relax and escape the average everyday meal. With

scarves, ceramics, wood, and metal. Visit both galleries at St Philip’s Plaza

excellent service, entertaining atmosphere, and unbelievable Green Shpichka Steve and Katia Pflipsen

cooking, it’s a wonder the prices are still so affordable. Eat

at Campbell Avenue and River Road.

hearty, healthy, and wise. OPA!

520.577.3598 │

520.888.0428 │ 520.722.6000

Mina’s Thai: A Healthy Alternative

Award-Winning AliBaba Serves Up Excellent, Exotic Dishes

The holidays are a time of year when we all tend to indulge ourselves a bit. At Mina’s Thai, in Tucson, Ariz., Executive Chef Stephen Hingst

Experience the exotic and unique taste of authentic Persian, Middle

offers delicious, indulgent meals while still cooking healthily.

Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine all under the same roof. Our goal

Mina's Thai uses a great selection of filling, yet healthy ingredients to create innovative, delicious, lighter meals.

at AliBaba Restaurant is to provide great quality food and excellent service in a pleasant atmosphere.

“We use a lot of fresh vegetables and herbs in our food,” says

A team of professional management and staff will provide

Hingst. “Some herbs are lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, basil, mint,

you with a variety of mouthwatering appetizers (freshly made

ginger, cilantro, and garlic. I stir fry most of the dishes and use very

Tabbouli, Hummus, Baba Gunoosh, and more). Our kabobs

little oil. We also use lots of fresh vegetables and have brown rice for

(chicken, beef, lamb, and fish) are well marinated and put on

people who want to eat healthier.”

stainless steel skewers to be cooked slowly over a deep fire,

For a delicious and indulgent meal that will not leave you feeling weighed down, Mina’s Thai Restaurant is sure to please.

resulting in the hot skewers cooking the kabobs from inside out, producing the juiciest meat you have ever tasted. We also offer a variety of vegetarian (hot or cold) dishes and desserts. Enjoy


the experience! We cater all around Southern Arizona. We cook our juicy and delicious chicken, beef, and lamb kabobs right at your location on charcoal fire. In addition to our dining areas at our restaurant, we also have a private party room, the Shiraz Room, with the capacity of holding up to 100 people with an overhead projection system to show movies or connect to a laptop (all provided). The winner of the “Best of Tucson” for three consecutive years (2007, 2008, and 2009), as well as the winner of the Gold Madeleine from Tucson Lifestyle Magazine in 2008 and 2009. 520.319.2559 |




NEWS & NOTES Sunflower Farmers Markets Opens New Store Marana





opening of a Sunflower Farmers Market at Orange Grove and Thornydale Roads in the Marana Marketplace. Sunflower gives shoppers all natural and organic products at affordable prices, and features local produce, all natural meats and seafood, and bulk food options. “We are eager to expand our ‘Serious Food at Silly Prices’ grocery store concept into the growing town of Marana. We bring a quality, affordable grocery option to residents. Our produce, meats and seafood are delivered fresh daily, offering a superior way to grocery shop, especially during tough economic times,” says Sunflower founder and CEO Mike Gilliland. Sunflower also has three other stores in the Tucson area, 4282 N. First Ave., 4645 E. Speedway Blvd., and 7877 E. Broadway Blvd.

Best Taste of Tucson at New Underpass Celebration August 20th, 2009 Café 54’s entry into the Tucson Birthday Cake






signature C54 Green Tea Olive Oil Cake. A citrus-scented olive oil cake was layered with white chocolate ganache filling and topped with a green tea buttercream frosting. The cake was a collaboration between Chef Keith Martin and Program Manager/Pastry Chef Debbie Tingley. This cake is a perfect touch to any holiday table this year. Café 54 will be featuring holiday fare through their full-service catering. The café itself is available after hours as a unique artsy ambiance for your party venue. For more info, call Carrie Hudson, Catering Manager, at 520.622.1907 or email Café 54 is a unique restaurant and employment training program for individuals recovering from mental illness. 520.622.1907 │




NEWS & NOTES Listening to La Raza, Tucson’s Top Spanish Radio Station

La Madrina Satisfies Every Appetite with Pizza and Pasta Selections

KEVT La Raza 1210 AM is Southern Arizona’s only locally owned Spanish language radio station. The station officially began its first


broadcast on June 1st, 1999. It is Tucson’s top ranked Spanish radio



station, operating at 10,000 watts, and featuring a great variety of



regional Mexican music to its audience, advertisers, all of Southern


Arizona, and Northern Sonora Mexico. The station is the official radio


station for Tucson’s Cinco de Mayo and Fiestas Patrias (Mexican

some of the finest

Independence Day) events at Kennedy Park.


1985, been






KEVT La Raza offers excellent programming, featuring topics

pizza around. With

such as political issues, health, education, sports, and late-breaking

your choice of thick,

local, national, and international news. The station also delivers


music with hits for all age groups, from the ‘80s and ‘90s to the

crust, each pizza is

present, with such artists as Ramon Ayala, Los Tigres Del Norte, Los

made to order with

Huracanes Del Norte and including a blend of the Norteño, Cumbia,


Mariachi, Ranchero, Banda, Ballads, and Grupera styles.





With its diverse programming and variety of musical styles,



dough and in


KEVT La Raza reaches a bi-cultural audience. Tune in now to KEVT


La Raza 1210 AM.

oven. Choose from


one of the many 520.889.8904 |

specialty pizzas or

The Beverage House Has Wine for the Holidays




unique says








It’s A Grind Welcomes Coffee and Tea Lovers

Beverage we

huge dinner salad and a slice of garlic toast. Homemade alfredo,


Corporate Director of Fine Wines

Not only does La Madrina serve up the best pizza, but the value of its pasta meals can’t be beat. Every pasta dish is served with a

520.742.2111 |

Beverage House. selection,”


variety of toppings.

La Madrina Pizzeria.




sandwiches, steak bombers, and salads. Satisfy your appetite at

every year. Spice up your new


Other specialties on the menu include a selection of calzones,

be the same wines you serve celebrations



marinara, or garlic-butter sauce provide a savory selection for all.

Holiday wines don’t have to




quality wines, at affordable prices


Located in Plaza Antigua, on River Road and Campbell Avenue, It’s

your celebration.” Bye will


A Grind Coffee House is now brewing! Owner and operator Stephen

personally assist you in your

Mulligan, has brought this California-based franchise to the Tucson

selection. In the center of the

desert. An eclectic atmosphere of modern jazz and comfortable

8660 E. Broadway Blvd. store,

seating awaits coffee and tea lovers. It’s A Grind brews


mouthwatering varietal coffees as well as rich espresso, blended







company’s selection of fine wines. Among these are great choices to

drinks, smoothies, flavored teas, and also serves delicious pastries.

pair with holiday meals.

Free Wi-Fi is available for all customers to enjoy! Once a week, local

Bye highly encourages wine lovers to attend the store’s

musical talents display their artistic abilities with an evening of live

weekly Friday Night Wine Tasting. Holiday tastings start with

music. It’s A Grind is an ideal spot for business meetings, studying,

sparkling wine, followed by four of Bye’s personally selected

chatting with friends, or relaxing with a delicious, fresh brewed cup

wines to pair with your celebrations. A quick visit to their Web

of joe! Stop in today, say hello to Steve, and relax in the comfort of

site will tell you what the Featured Wine is each Friday.

your new favorite coffee house!

520.296.9933 (Broadway Blvd. | Tucson)

520.326.1981 |

520.219.6424 (Oracle Road | Tucson)




NEWS & NOTES Tis The Season to Shop for Year-Round Gifts Tis The Season is a year-round gift and holiday store. Opened at Broadway Village in September 2003, Tis The Season moved to their new location at Swan and Sunrise in the Safeway Shopping Center in May 2008. Yearround items in-store include Meri Meri and Patience Brewster greeting cards, gifts









hostess, Mother’s day, and graduation; hard to find retired Fitz and Floyd pieces are available as well. Tis The Season has the largest variety of Mark Robert’s Fairies and Elves and Department 56 Krinkles in the state. During the holiday season, see their fabulous selection of unique Halloween decorations, their beautiful fall and winter wreaths, and their lovely,



trees. Tis The Season carries Larkspur Lane









“Katherine’s” Santa’s, as well as the largest




ornaments throughout the year. Stop by to see Tis The Season’s wonderful gifts! 520.326.6646

Holiday Décor from Silk Gardens Silk Gardens, beautiful at any season, is particularly lovely during the holidays. Beginning with arrangements for autumn in golds, burnished reds, and warm browns, the season’s arrangements will flow into the colors of the holidays. Special prices are available for the holidays. By Christmas, bold reds and greens will be prominent as we celebrate the season. Come to Silk Gardens for Christmas







ornaments and lights to decorate them. Custom arrangements, as always, are available upon request. 520.326.1644





NEWS & NOTES The Marketplace at Acacia Offers Gourmet Takeout For fabulous, affordable takeout, consider The Marketplace at Acacia, located north of the restaurant in St. Philip’s Plaza. Offering takeout items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, many of the items will be prepared by the kitchen staff at Acacia under the direction of Chef Albert Hall. The Marketplace features a retail store with gourmet and hard-to-find culinary items as well as some of the special seasonings and ingredients used at Acacia. An attending chef is always present to answer food preparation questions. Breakfast items include sandwiches, fresh baked pastries, fresh juice, and coffee. Lunch consists of a selection of healthy sandwiches, salads, and soups. For dinner, patrons can pick up ready-togrill prime steaks and seafood as well as complete prepared dinners that require minimal preparation. Vegan, vegetarian, and






available. The Marketplace at Acacia is located at 4340 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 107 and open daily from 7 A.M.–6 P.M. 520.232.0124 |

Let Them Eat Cupcakes With the arrival of Red Velvet Cupcakery, Tucsonans can now feast on gourmet cupcakes. In September, Central Arizona College professor Bonnie Gordon opened a branch of her son’s successful D.C. cupcakery at 943 E. University Blvd, Suite 165. Under the direction of Executive Pastry Chef David Guas, Red Velvet offers unique gourmet cupcakes. Guas was named Pastry Chef







Association of Washington and one of the country’s Dessert Stars by Bon Appetit. Red Velvet’s signature cupcakes include the Morning Call, a chocolate espresso cake with mocha buttercream and the Southern Belle, a red velvet cake with whipped cream cheese frosting. The cupcakery is open daily from 11 A.M.–8 P.M. 520.829.7780 │




NEWS & NOTES Jax Kitchen Serves Lunchtime Delights, Award-Winning Margarita It’s lunchtime again at Jax Kitchen with the return of their lunch hours and menu. Jax Kitchen strives to raise the bar on classic dishes by serving modern comfort food with a European twist. The lunch menu at Jax includes favorites such as the tomato soup with bleu cheese crostini and the Bibb and roasted chicken salad. Jax also recently won the 4th Annual Milagro World Margarita Championship at the Tucson Culinary Festival in October. Jax’s Summer Margarita featured Milagro’s Silver Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime and Meyer lemon juices, agave nectar, and a housemade orange-basil granita. The drink, created by Jax owner Brian Metzger, took home the judges’ award for World’s Best Margarita as well as the People’s Choice award. Jax is located at 7286 N. Oracle Road in the Cottonwood Plaza. Lunch is served Tuesday–Friday, 11:30 A.M.–2:30 P.M. Dinner is available Sunday–Thursday, 5:00 P.M.–9:00 P.M. and Friday and Saturday, 5:00 P.M.–10:00 P.M. 520.219.1235 │

Wildflower Unveils New Look Visit Wildflower to see the restaurant’s recent remodel and to try the restaurant’s new menu. The space has been upgraded with a chic new look featuring farmhousestyle furniture with deep walnut finishes. The remodel to the dining, patio, and lounge areas reflect Wildflower’s casually sophisticated atmosphere. Wildflower serves modern American cuisine with a French influence. Diners will be pleased to discover that the menu still includes Wildflower favorites such as the Crisp Calamari appetizer and Miso Glazed Black Cod with edamame dumplings. Wildflower is located in the Casas Adobes Plaza at 7037 N. Oracle Road. The restaurant is open Sunday–Thursday, 11 A.M.–9 P.M. and Friday and Saturday, 11 A.M.–10 P.M. 520.219.4230 │





Celebrating Creativity Tucson Tamale Company Creates Innovative Tamales with Diverse Flavors and Tastes BY CARRIE BUI | PHOTOS BY YVONNE MANGLONA

Perhaps you mark the arrival of the holiday season in Tucson by the

a modest space at Broadway and Tucson Boulevards, but he first

calendar, or by that barely there chill in the air, or by that wonderful

learned to make tamales 15 years ago at the home of his in-laws.

stuffed corn husk of sweet corn masa filled with shredded beef

He was greeted with the sight of five bushels of corn, 25 pounds of

marinated in a spicy red chili sauce and an olive. For many, the

green chilies, and five cases of beer.

holidays mean days with family and friends spent stuffing, wrapping,

With almost 20 people, they spent all day making 45 dozen tamales. On the restaurant’s website, Martin writes that he fell in

and steaming dozens of tamales. That’s why Arizona Gourmet Living is spotlighting the

love with making tamales that day.

tamales from Tucson Tamale Company for one of our holiday

When this former Intuit executive decided to open his own

Meals of the Season. Todd Martin, owner, presents the

business, he thought about what unique item he could bring to the

restaurant’s Wisconsin Grilled Cheese tamal, the Naples tamal,

marketplace. “I wanted something new and different, not overdone,”

and a green-chili-smothered Sonora tamal, all sided with a

he says. The answer arrived in the form of tamales. Done right, this

tossed green salad, chips, and homemade salsa. Tamal is the

dish can be filling, healthy, convenient, and diverse, Martin says. His

Spanish spelling for a single tamale.

restaurant aims to create innovative tamales made with high-quality

Martin opened Tucson Tamale Company in November 2008, in




ingredients. “One of my personal frustrations is people limit them to

tradition. We need to bring all these flavors into one place, with more


pizazz and more diversity of flavors. There’s no limit to creativity.”

For Filling

Indeed, creativity abounds within the bright orange walls of

1 pound cheddar cheese

Tucson Tamale Company. The Wisconsin Grilled Cheese features

1 pound Swiss cheese

plenty of Tucson Tamale Company’s special blend of cheddar, Swiss,

1 pound Gouda cheese

Gouda, and Jack cheeses. Italian squash, red peppers, and onions in

1 pound Jack cheese

a marinara sauce burst out of the Naples. A mild green chili sauce perfectly complements the hand-shredded rotisserie chicken in the


Sonora. “Almost any flavor can be adapted into a tamale from great

approximately 2 ounces per tamale.








food that’s already out there,” says Martin. Martin leads us through the kitchen as he explains how the

For Masa

tamales are prepared. A partially open kitchen gives patrons a

Purchase unprepared masa and prepare it as follows for a

glimpse of roasting jalapenos and the staff stuffing and wrapping

perfectly light, flavorful dough. You can purchase prepared

tamales. Every tamal starts the same way, with a layer of freshly

masa but it more than likely will be made with lard and will

ground corn masa. Tucson Tamale Company prepares its own masa

cause your tamales to be heavier and greasier.

using ground corn, a heart-healthy oil, vegetable broth, baking

5 pounds fresh masa dough (unprepared)

powder, and salt.

1 pound butter*

The husks are soaked in water to reduce their brittleness, then

2–3 cups vegetable stock

sorted into medium- and large-sized husks. In order to build the

2 Tbsp baking powder

tamales, the restaurant starts with a medium-sized husk. A scoop of

2 Tbsp (or less) of sea salt

masa is dropped into the center of the husk and then its corresponding filling. The restaurant’s tamales are three times the size of an average

*Margarine, olive, or vegetable oil can be substituted for

tamal. After the tamal is filled and wrapped, another, larger husk is

butter. If using oil, you should freeze it so it is thick and it will

wrapped around it. This ensures that the tamal is completely enclosed

whip better that way.

and the masa remains moist. Once the tamales are filled and wrapped,

Place the butter into a bowl and whip until fluffy, 2

they’re placed into large pots to steam for an hour. After they’re fully

minutes. Beat in the fresh masa alternately with the stock and

cooked, the tamales are taken out and placed onto racks to cool and

add the salt. Beat until well mixed and turn mixer to high and

then packaged into bags, two to a bag.

beat for approximately 3-5 minutes or until masa resembles

The ingredients at Tucson Tamale are fresh, and Martin

spackling paste.

purchases local and organic whenever possible. Martin says he

Take a small piece (½ teaspoon) and drop it into a cup

believes that society as a whole has moved too much toward

of cold water. If it floats it is ready, if it sinks, whip for

processed foods and the motto of his restaurant is to simplify,

another minute and test it again. Repeat this process until

sustain, celebrate. “The more we can bring, the better off we’re

the masa floats.

going to be. We should all be passionate about our food,” he says. All of the tamales from Tucson Tamale Company are paired with

If you have never rolled tamales before, you should find

one of the restaurant’s signature salsas—Sherry’s red, a mild tomato

tamale rolling videos on the Internet to see how they are done.

salsa; Colette’s green, a tomatillo-based salsa; or Todd’s fire, a tomato salsa spiced with jalapenos. Tucson Tamale also offers an array of side dishes to enjoy with your tamales, including a basmati

Have approximately 4 pounds of corn husks and soak in water for 60 minutes before rolling. Choose the larger corn husks. Feel both sides of the husk, one side is rough or ‘ribby,’ the other side is smooth. You want

rice salad and grilled corn on the cob. Every good meal should be finished off with a delicious dessert,

to put the masa on the smooth side of the husk. If you put the

and the restaurant doesn’t disappoint. Tucson Tamale Company

masa on the ribbed side, the masa will stick to it when your

offers a tasty dessert tamal stuffed with grilled pineapple. The corn

tamales are done. Put a husk in the palm of your hand and

masa is sweetened with just a hint of sugar, coconut, and mango.

evenly spread ½ cup (an ice cream scoop is a good tool for this

Grilling the pineapple caramelizes the natural sugars to make the

step) masa across the middle (width) of the husk with a

tropical fruit even sweeter, says Martin.

spatula or the back of a large spoon. In the center of the masa, the

place ½ cup prepared filling mix. Fold both sides, one over the

restaurant’s rapidly growing business proves that it is well worth the

other, of the husk tightly over the filling. Hold firmly in your

effort. The word has spread that the tamales from Tucson Tamale

hand and tie at both ends with the strips of the husk.








Company lift this favorite local dish to another level, and Martin

Place all the tamales in a large steamer pot with a

believes customers are realizing Tucson Tamales are a different

steamer basket with 3 to 4 inches of hot water on the

product. Tamales can be purchased in to go packages from the

bottom. Layer the tamales in a cross-cross pattern with the

restaurant, at local markets such as Rincon Market and Maynard’s

tied ends supporting the layer on top to allow them to

Market as well as at weekly farmer’s markets around town, including

steam uniformly and prevent crushing. Bring to a high boil

the Saturday Plaza Palomino Farmer’s Market and the Sunday St.

and start timing the steaming process when the steam is

Philips Plaza Farmer’s Market.

rising out of the pot. Cover the tamales with leftover corn husks or a clean damp kitchen towel and cover the pot.

Tucson Tamale Company

Reduce the heat to medium high and steam for one

2545 E. Broadway Blvd. │ Tucson

hour. Take the tamales out of the pot and let them sit for

520.305.4760 │

10 minutes before eating them. Enjoy!





Home for the Holidays At Los Portales Cocina Mexicana, Owner Ricardo Cazares treats each customer like a guest in his own home with his welcoming hospitality and soulful food. BY ELLEN RANTA | PHOTOS BY YVONNE MANGLONA

When Ricardo Cazares opened Los Portales Cocina Mexicana two

Making his way from the brightly-colored dining room

years ago, he created a familial atmosphere for customers and

decorated with metal sculptures and funky cowboy boots, back past

employees. From the warm welcome upon entering, to the quality

a small thatch hut and into the spotless kitchen, Cazares introduces

ingredients that go into each dish, it is clear that Cazares wants

his executive chef, Yaxkin Andrade, who has been at Los Portales

everyone to feel like a welcome guest.

since it opened in Nov. 2007. Andrade grew up cooking with his

“Since we opened our doors, we have been welcoming people

mother and attended culinary school in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He

in like they are guests in our house. We want them to leave the

worked as a chef in Puerto Vallarta and then at La Fuente Restaurant

house talking about how nice it was,” Cazares says.

in Tucson, Ariz. before joining Cazares’ team at Los Portales.

The décor is bright and lively, with blue and orange walls, adornments imported from Guadalajara, Mexico, and vivid wall

Andrade immediately delves into preparing the first dish, Pollo en Salsa Chipotle, or Chicken in Chipotle Sauce.

murals painted by local artist Luis Mena. In addition to a warm

After placing a breast of chicken on the grill, Andrade describes

atmosphere, Cazares prides himself on the cleanliness of his

the sauce, which is made fresh daily, and is comprised of smoked

restaurant, and goes so far as to invite customers back into the

jalapenos, also known as chipotles, onion, tomato, cilantro, canola

kitchen for a look around.

oil, salt, and pepper. After all the ingredients are blended together,




the sauce simmers for 30 minutes and is then kept in the walk-in

nights, and a live organ player on Tuesday, Wednesday, and

refrigerator for use throughout the day.

Sunday, adding to the lively, familial atmosphere.

“Everything is homemade and made fresh every day,” says Andrade, pointing to the Chipotle sauce that will eventually be the highlight of the dish. He removes the chicken breast from the grill and places it on a square, white plate with a modern, minimalist look to it. Turning

Cazares is pleased with the success of his newest business, but says that it isn't all about the money. “We don't see our customers as just another dollar sign coming in the store,” he says. “We really do treat them as a guest in our home.”

from the grill, Andrade ladles up the orange Chipotle sauce and

It is no surprise that Los Portales has gained a loyal following

carefully pours it on top of the chicken. Andrade then adds a scoop

with the warm hospitality, inviting décor, and fresh, homemade food

of Spanish rice that has peas and carrots mixed throughout, a

that are everyday staples at the restaurant.

spoonful of homemade refried beans and a little fresh lettuce and tomato for a colorful garnish. The chicken breast is topped with a

Los Portales Cocina Mexicana

sprinkle of Jack cheese to add a creamy texture to the dish.

2615 S. Sixth Ave. │ Tucson

After ensuring that the presentation is perfect, Andrade turns

520.889.1170 │

to his second signature dish, a traditional Mole Poblano, which is a grilled chicken breast served with a chocolate and chili sauce, or Mole. The chili pepper in the sauce gives the dish a nice subtle heat, while the chocolate lends a rich, slightly sweet flavor to the sauce. Andrade places a breast of chicken on the grill, paying close attention to make sure it is cooked to perfection. After removing the chicken from the grill, he plates it in a

CHICKEN BREAST IN CHIPOTLE SAUCE 4 boneless chicken breasts 6 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ½ yellow onion (medium size)

small, white bowl. The seared chicken is then finished with the

3 garlic stems

homemade Mole sauce, which is a deep chocolate color. The small

½ bunch of cilantro

bowl rests on top of a large white plate, giving the dish height

½ pound Monterey Jack cheese

and dimension. Andrade adorns the plate with Spanish rice that

¼ tsp salt

has peas, carrots, and corn mixed throughout, refried beans, and

¼ tsp pepper

the colorful lettuce and tomato.

32 ounces tomato sauce

The Mole is finished off with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and

3 ounces chicken base

the beans are adorned with “a fresh Mexican cheese,” says Andrade.

3 ounces vegetable oil

“Everything for the sauce is made by scratch,” says Andrade. “The recipe is a special recipe from my mother.”

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then grill. Mix

Mole is a favorite dish for special occasions, says Cazares,

chipotle peppers, yellow onion, garlic, and cilantro in blender,

and is usually incorporated around the winter holidays. The

add a dash of salt and pepper, and blend until liquified. Place

preparation is quite time-intensive, so it is a dish reserved for

vegetable oil in a skillet or pot and heat until hot, add the

deserving occasions, making it perfect for the month of

tomato sauce, and heat for about 10 minutes. Add the

November at Los Portales. Not only is the holiday season just

liquified salsa from the blender and heat for 15 minutes, or

kicking off, but the restaurant is celebrating its second

until desired, then remove from heat and let it cool. Place the

anniversary throughout the whole month.

seasoned chicken breasts on a plate and pour chipotle salsa

“We will be running promotions and great specials through the entire month to celebrate,” says Cazares. Cazares attributes his two years of success to the loyal

over them and top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, then place in oven for 2 minutes to melt the cheese. Add rice and beans and garnish. Serves 4.

customers that Los Portales has earned. “We already have loyal, repeat customers,” he says. “Lots of people are talking about us. We are doing something right.” People are talking about Los Portales—and they are saying great things. In a recent survey of Los Portales’ diners, customers were asked to describe their dining experiences in three words. Some of the most common words used were “great, enjoyable, refreshing, eclectic, delicious, and welcoming.” One customer wrote, “Worth the drive,” and explained on the back of the card. “We drive 45 minutes to get to Tucson, and we always plan our trip around eating at Los Portales,” writes Robin Rutz. “Best shrimp tacos I've ever had!” But Cazares is no stranger to the food-service world. All of the tortillas served at Los Portales are made fresh at Alejandro's Tortilla Factory in Tucson, which Cazares has owned since 1980, and which recently won Best Tortillas in Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson 2009. Beyond fresh Mexican cuisine, Los Portales also offers two private banquet rooms, a sports bar, and a full catering service. The restaurant features live mariachi music on Friday and Saturday




PROFILES Amber Restaurant and Gallery: Combining Fine Food with the Arts From traditional Native American cultures to the modern Mexican

the range of fine dishes from a host of European cultures.

American culture, a wide array of differences abounds in the desert

“We serve a wide variety of very fine Polish dishes,” he says.

southwest. About a year ago a new local restaurant opened, adding

“Our pierogi is very good as well as our stuffed cabbage. We are

yet another proud culture to the variety represented in Tucson.

proud of our entire menu because of the variety that we were able

Since opening its doors last fall, Amber Restaurant and Gallery

to include. There is something for everyone on our menu.”

has combined the works of local artists with an upscale Polish and

While dining at Amber, one can admire various works of art by

Eastern European cuisine in a laid-back, classy setting. Peter

local artists on display, and for sale. Witusik explains the decision to

Witusik, co-owner of Amber, said the decision to open Amber in its

combine the feel of an art gallery with fine upscale dining: “We

current location on Tanque Verde Road on Tucson's Northeast side

wanted to support the local artists. We like to give local artists the

was easy after doing a little research.

opportunity to show their art here at Amber. There are so many

“We loved this space,” remarks Witusik. “We did our research, and we wanted to be open to this side of town. With the views of the

talented artists just here in Tucson and we wanted to help them and put their art on display.”

mountains and the really nice courtyard, it was very hard to pass up.

When they named their new restaurant, Witusik and his

We have nice tables set up outside on our courtyard for people to be

partner wanted something simple that still would pay homage to

able to enjoy the outdoor experience.”

their Polish ancestry. The name Amber refers to the beautiful

Amber serves a traditional Polish menu but adds a variety of

gemstone. Poland is the world’s leading exporter of amber, a fact

other European dishes as well. Witusik explains that while the menu

that is proudly displayed in the restaurant with many forms of the

is mainly Polish, there is great variety from around Europe,

stone for public viewing.

particularly Eastern Europe.

“Back in Poland, you can walk on the beaches and just pick up

“We have many other things to choose from on our menu,”

the amber,” comments Witusik. “When we came up with the name

Witusik says. “We have Hungarian goulash and shrimp scampi and

for the restaurant, that was something that we liked. Poland is the

many different things from Europe. We also have many different

biggest exporter of amber and it was a good way for us to show

salads to choose from, so we are not just Polish food. We are proud

where we are from and amber is very beautiful.”

to offer a variety on our menu, and we are very proud to serve good Amber Restaurant and Gallery

Polish food.” Witusik went on to explain that Amber does not have what he would call a ‘signature dish.’ Instead, the restaurant prides itself on




7000 E. Tanque Verde Road │ Tucson 520.296.9613 │




PROFILES C.I. Chu’s Mongolian BBQ: Healthier Choices, Healthier Business Nine years after opening the doors on the first C.I. Chu’s Mongolian Barbeque, owner Calvin Chu has added a second location and changed the menu to accommodate a wider range of customers. At C.I. Chu’s Mongolian Barbeque, patrons select the vegetables and meats for their meal and Chu prepares the dish in front of them with the use of a large wok or grill. “We know that a lot of people are choosing to eat healthier now,” Chu says. “I took that and we have added more vegetables to our menu. We added things like spinach and Chinese cabbage, and chives and cauliflower, healthier and more all-natural vegetables because that's what people want. People are more health conscious.” Chu went on to explain how he interprets the feedback that he receives from his customers. Always looking for ways to improve not only his menu, but his restaurant, Chu uses information he receives directly from his customers, because he simply takes the time to talk to people. “I like going into the dining room and talking with people,” he says. “I like talking to people and getting their thoughts on my place. People are almost always very positive and are willing to give advice or ideas, and I am willing to listen.” One of the changes Chu made that is a direct result of feedback from customers is the updated lunch menu available at C.I. Chu’s. The information Chu received told him two things that needed to be done. “When I talked with some women customers they told me they were usually unable to finish their meal,” he explained. “Also, I have had many men, businessmen who have limited time to eat, tell me that they want more affordable, smaller portioned meals at lunch. It makes sense to listen to your customers, especially in this business. So far the people like the new lunch menu with lower prices and smaller portions. They have noticed the changes.”

Unfortunately, recent rough economic times have forced many restaurants to close their doors, but Chu insists that things will and are getting better. “I know the economy is bad right now,” Chu admits. “Lots of restaurants have been forced to close but we are doing OK; we are surviving. You have to listen to your customers, especially at times like this if you want them to keep coming back. I like to listen to the community and make decisions for my business based on what people want.” Even in rough times, Chu is always looking to add to his restaurant. Whether it be new menu items or expanding his current lunch menu to accommodate his customers, Chu takes the business side as serious as the food side of C.I. Chu’s. “I want people to be happy when they are here,” he says. “People want good food at a good price and we have that. People want healthier, we have that. We are making food for people, so why not listen to what the people want and give it to them? People like options, so we gave them options.” C.I. Chu’s Mongolian Barbeque is open seven days a week. Lunch is served from 11 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., and dinner is from 5 P.M. to 9 P.M. C.I. Chu’s Mongolian Barbeque (Two Locations | Tucson) 4540 E. Broadway Blvd. | 520.881.4798 7039 E. Tanque Verde Road | 520.886.8619




PROFILES Green Things—Acres of Growth The first thing you see when you drive in to the parking area at

vibrant and colorful plants.

Green Things is baby goats, baby sheep, and even baby peacocks!

In addition to the Farmer’s Markets, Green Things’ inventory

Then, behind this unexpected treat, you see acres of plants,

includes unique and hard-to-find houseplants. The nursery offers a

greenhouses, shrubs, pottery, and more.

large selection of trees, shrubs, and cacti as well as herbs,

Located in the historic Binghampton area of Tucson, Green

vegetables, roses, annuals, and vines. Seasonal crops are grown

Things is more than just a plant nursery, it is an adventure into

throughout the year in the nursery’s 25 greenhouses. There is also

community outreach as well as a flourishing business.

a huge selection of pottery available. Guided tours of the grounds

Five years ago, Jan Westenborg purchased Green Things, a

and greenhouses are available seven days a week throughout the

plant nursery in operation since the early ‘70s. “It was a fluke,” said

year. The real key, though, to the beauty of Green Things, is that all

Westenborg, “not a plan at all. I had no lifetime dream of opening a

of the plants are grown to withstand Tucson’s desert environment.

horticulture enterprise, it just happened.” A former software consultant for 27 years, she was looking for something to keep her busy after moving to Tucson. Green Things, although long-lived, was in disrepair and had lost a great deal of its customer base. She adds, “I went








factory/farm environment, and I had to learn everything from scratch. Luckily, I had great people helping me along the way.” What Westenborg calls a long and steep learning curve has leveled off into a continuing education in the industry. She passes this education on to the community through the business itself by sponsoring free, weekly lectures both at Green Things and at The Courtyard at La Encantada shopping center with the expert knowledge of Tucson naturalist and AM 1030 KVOI radio personality, Phil Seader. The Green Things & Plantsman Phil Seader series, in session Wednesdays at 10:30 A.M. from September 30th through December 15th in The Courtyard at La Encantada offers information and answers from Phil about Sonoran Desert plants and animals. If you have questions on how to deal with coyotes, bobcats, Gila monsters, or packrats, come to the lectures! Learn the geology, geography, and history of the Sonoran Desert. A Question and Answer session follows each lecture, and you can even bring your plants in for a free diagnosis. Seader will also be lecturing at 10 A.M. on Thursdays from October 1st through December 17th in the Atrium at

With its location on the Rillito River Path between Brandi Fenton

Green Things. Seader is the resident expert for Green Things. He is

Park and the Tucson Racquet Club Bridge, customers often ride in on

available for consultation outside of the scheduled lecture series

their bicycles and meander through the grounds, spending quality

through Green Things seven days a week.

time cooling off in the various greenhouses. Purchases made when

Lectures are not the only community offering initiated by Westernborg. By the end of 2009 Green Things will have hosted

biking or walking in from the park will be held for pick-up, or they can be delivered.

three Binghampton Art Bazaar & Farmer’s Markets. Each event

When driving to this rural getaway within the city, look for the

includes art, food, cooking demonstrations, music, artisans,

signs on River Road just north of the Rillito River and at the Alvernon

horticulture booths, pottery, jewelry, citrus tasting, gardening

Road intersection.

classes, face painting, flame throwers, jugglers, and of course, all the baby goats, sheep, and peacocks as well!

Walking through Green Things is an adventure into beauty. Stop by this delightful and expansive nursery and choose a

The third Bazaar & Farmer’s Market will take place on Saturday

poinsettia for the holiday season, take home a Tucson-hardy shrub,

and Sunday, December 5th and 6th alongside Green Things’ annual

have fun at the Farmer’s Markets, or increase your knowledge by

Poinsettia Festival and First Annual Poinsettia 5K and 10K Race along

attending a free lecture. Whatever brings you to Green Things, its

the Rillito River path. The race starts at Green Things. Green Things

wonderful atmosphere and healthy plants will bring you back.

is one of the last independent poinsettia growers in Arizona. Their four acres of poinsettias allow customers to purchase the traditional

Green Things

red poinsettia or choose from the additional white, burgundy, pink,

3235 E. Allen Road | Tucson

or novelty colors. In November, the grounds are filled with these

520.299.9471 |




CHEFS SPEAK Pizza with a Passion

club sandwich to the menu and named it Jimmy’s Favorite. Sorell takes the sandwich a little over the top, he says, with layers of turkey, ham, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes piled high. For dessert, he recommends

Family and world travel inspired a love for food and cooking

finishing a meal off with a cannoli stuffed with a homemade creamy

in Chef Brian Sorell, a love that he now brings to his kitchen

ricotta filling and dotted with chocolate chips.

at BZ’s Pizza.

For Sorell, cooking is not always an exact science. Instead, his methods










When Chef Brian Sorell graduated from Santa Rita High School, he

measurements are your hands. Once you feel it in your heart, you

thought he was going to be a doctor. Instead, Sorell found his way

can control your flavors with your hands. That’s when the passion

to the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, where he graduated in 1998.

starts to come out.”

Today, Sorell co-owns BZ’s Pizza, a neighborhood restaurant on

Sorell’s passion to share good food with others is just as strong as his passion for the food itself. BZ’s Pizza provides him with the

Tucson’s East side. Sorell opened BZ’s with his business partner and childhood

opportunity to share his food with the neighborhood where he grew

friend, Michael Davis, in February 2009. Davis and Sorell first

up, but also with young chefs. The majority of Sorell’s kitchen staff,

became friends in kindergarten when Sorell’s father was stationed at

which includes Sous Chefs Christopher Price and Johnny Rodriguez,

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. They renewed their friendship in high

have been with BZ’s since its opening. Together, they’ve refined

school when the Sorell family returned to Tucson. Opening the

their fundamental skills at running a kitchen, from the labeling and

restaurant was a profound lesson in business and the food industry

dating of food items to the science behind fermenting dough and

for this already experienced chef, allowing him to propel himself

knife skills. “Those are the first things you want anyone working in

toward greater success in the culinary industry.

a kitchen to understand,” he says.

Sorell traces his love of food back to his family and a childhood

Sorell hopes to one day expand the kitchen and menu at BZ’s

spent traveling the world as a military brat. “I’ve always loved

Pizza to feature more high-end Italian food in the evenings, but still

cooking. It’s the way I was raised. Everybody cooks at home, and

maintaining pizza as the restaurant’s cornerstone. “I always wanted

food is made from scratch.” This family value is why everything at

to be successful in this business,” he says. If Sorell’s history is any

BZ’s is homemade, all the way down to the whole wheat pizza dough.

indication, there’s no doubt that he will continue to prosper in the

A childhood spent tasting the different cuisines of the world

culinary world.

inspired a love of innovative and interesting food. Sorell enjoys experimenting with culinary concepts in order to create new dishes.

BZ’s Pizza

He says that he most enjoys creating a fusion of his individual food

9431 E. 22nd Street, #137 │ Tucson

concepts with the concepts of other chefs and seeing how that fusion can wow a diner. After graduating from Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Sorell returned to Tucson and began making his mark on the city’s dining scene. Prior to opening his own restaurant, Sorell worked his way up through the kitchens of Tucson restaurants such as Fiorito’s and the Gold Room at Westward Look Resort as well as assisted in the openings of the former LaFerlita’s Pizza Cafe and Benner’s Grill. Sorell’s most recent position before BZ’s was the role of Head Chef at Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant. He comments that Tucson’s culinary offerings have grown significantly. “It used to be steak and beans. Now it’s just more innovative and there’s a lot more available to the palate because of young chefs doing their thing. It’s exciting times.” Sorell’s passion for food and his extensive culinary background is evident in BZ’s menu. Despite a more traditional menu at BZ’s Pizza, Sorell still finds a way to create impressive and innovative dishes. “What I’ve done here is take it easy. I want to be a neighborhood shop with the best pizza.” His favorite pizza is the Good Fella, a meat lover’s feast with sausage, pepperoni, capicolla, ham, bacon, and chicken. He also recommends Da Veggie pizza— portabella mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, spinach, and black olives topped with feta cheese. Other signature dishes at BZ’s are the Roasted Garlic and Brie appetizer, the Raspberry Salad, and Jimmy’s Favorite sandwich. BZ’s Roasted Garlic and Brie features a roasted garlic pod and warm Brie served with crostini, fresh fruit, and roasted vegetables that Sorell recommends enjoying with a glass of white wine. Salads give Sorell the room to be creative, as demonstrated by his fresh Raspberry Salad— mixed greens, cashews, dried berries, and goat cheese drizzled with a homemade berry puree and a raspberry vinaigrette, then topped with fresh raspberries. In a nod to one of his best friends, the chef added a




520.546.1402 |




CHEFS SPEAK Shared Experience

with a spicy sauce. The Mango Roll features avocado, cucumber, and radish sprouts on the inside and mango on the outside sprinkled with shichimi, a Japanese seven-spice blend, and sea salt.

Chef Jun Arai of Ginza Sushi encourages diners to expand

Cultural blending can be interesting, but Jun’s favorite dish to

their taste buds, share their food, and experience authentic

prepare is sashimi, thinly sliced raw fish served by itself. “It’s more

Japanese cooking.

fresh, all the fish flavor and color,” he says. Sashimi brings out Jun’s artistic sensibilities as he figures out how to arrange and decorate a

When you’re placing your order at Ginza Sushi, Jun Arai is hoping

plate that complements the color and texture of the fish. He also

you’ll order the Chef’s Choice and if you do, he wants you to tell him

enjoys preparing tataki, a seared sashimi marinated in a ginger-

that when it comes to food, you like everything.

ponzu sauce. Ponzu sauce is a citrus-based Japanese soy sauce.

For Jun Arai, head chef and co-owner of Ginza Sushi, Chef’s

Ginza serves a variety of sushi fish choices, including more

Choice gives him the opportunity to introduce Ginza patrons to

unusual options such as sea urchin and Spanish mackerel. Patrons

unfamiliar foods and authentic Japanese cooking, an opportunity

can check the daily specials board for seasonal options. Sushi is

he relishes. Ginza Sushi, located in northeast Tucson, serves

served in rolls, sashimi-style or nigiri-style, which is sushi rice

sushi and izakaya-style dishes. Izakaya is described as small

topped with a slice of raw fish.

dishes, similar to tapas-style dining, with dishes meant to be

Jun’s talent goes beyond sushi. The restaurant offers a variety of salads, an extensive izakaya menu, and a few noodle dishes.

shared among the diners in the party. Originally from Japan, Jun moved to Tucson ten years ago with

Everything is homemade and closely adheres to a Japanese style of

his wife, Diana. The two met in Hermosillo, Mexico, Diana’s

cooking. Jun enjoys using plenty of traditional Japanese spices, lots

hometown. They opened Ginza Sushi in January 2008, fulfilling

of fresh ginger and prepares bonito and seaweed broths for

Jun’s lifelong dream of having his

the soup dishes. One of his

own restaurant. The two work the

signature dishes is the Teppan

restaurant as a team, with Jun

Jumbo Gyoza, handmade pork

behind the sushi bar and Diana


working the front of house. Diana

sizzling on a hot plate.




Jun’s favorite foods to

explains why the two of them chose izakaya-themed

eat are sashimi, soba noodles,

restaurant, “Everybody gets a taste

and Japanese eggplant. Soba

of a lot of different things. When we


go to Japan, those are the kinds of


restaurants we enjoy.”








are them











restaurants at the age of 16 while

Zarusoba. Japanese eggplant

living in Japan. He worked his way

stars in one of Jun’s signature

up, from dishwasher to waiter to

dishes, the Nasu Agedashi, a

prep cook, and then moved into

fried Japanese eggplant dish

sushi. The Arais moved to Tucson

served izakaya-style.

in 1999 and Jun worked at Sushi

After feasting on sushi and

Ten as a chef when it first opened.

the various small dishes, diners

After Sushi Ten, he spent a few


years working at Sachiko Sushi


and then opened Ginza. Diana

Dessert options include a green

explains that Jun always wanted


his own restaurant because it

banana tempura served a la

would offer him the freedom to

mode with caramel sauce.





delicious at




At Ginza Sushi, food is

create his own dishes and put his own spin on a recipe. “I like to eat



and cook. I like coming up with

adventure. Chef Jun Arai wants



to share his knowledge and

new things,” Jun adds. Diana and Jun’s different cultural backgrounds give him plenty of room to come up with new things. Diana is originally from Mexico

love of food with you—just remember to order the Chef’s Choice and tell him you like everything.

and she explains that Jun often looks for ways to blend Mexican and

Ginza Sushi is open for lunch from 11:30 A.M.–2:30 P.M.

Japanese culture into the food. The Ginza menu combines traditional

Tuesday through Saturday and daily for dinner from 5 P.M.–10 P.M.

Japanese dishes with innovative sushi roll options and a creative

Happy hour is from 5 P.M.–7 P.M.

dessert menu. Two examples of Jun’s successful blending of cultures can be found on Ginza’s list of special sushi rolls. The Ceviche Roll,

Ginza Sushi

Diana’s personal favorite, is stuffed with imitation crab and masago

5425 N. Kolb Road │ Tucson

and topped with white tuna, green and sweet onions and drizzled

520.529.8877 │







CHEFS SPEAK Family Heritage Carries On

other Sonoran cuisine. “I really love what you can do with food,” Maria says. “By using a little bit of your imagination, you can bring ordinary dishes to life. I love

Papagayo Mexican Restaurant continues a family tradition of

how I can be myself in the kitchen, cooking is that one thing that is just

serving great food.

mine, and I can do whatever I want with it.”

Our story begins with Alexander Levin. A Jewish pioneer born in Bahn,

finds joy in creating and crafting all sorts of dishes, “especially the stuff

Prussia, who made his way to America through Mexico where he met, fell

that I never cooked before,” she says, is “always fun to see the final

in love with, and married Zenona Molina of Sonora, Mexico. Their travels

work.” Dubbing tacos and pasta as an “odd combo,” Maria admits that

landed them in Tucson around 1865, where they were among the first

this is her favorite meal to put together—“it works!”

Turning on some music before going to work in the kitchen, Maria

families to settle here after the civil war. Levin, a brewer by trade,

But during the holidays, Maria says that she takes a break and lets

foresaw a demand for a good, cold lager in the arid climate and opened

her mom do all the cooking. “For me, a holiday meal is whatever you

Levin & Co.’s Pioneer Brewery in 1866 with J. Goldtree. The brewery

grew up eating with your family; for me, its turkey and crepes.”

expanded into Wheat’s Saloon, and a variety of other endeavors that

Finding presentation of the dishes she forms just as important as

included a dance hall, restaurant, and an opera house that seated 2,000

the actual practice of cooking it, Maria says, “You eat with your eyes and

people. Additionally a shooting gallery, archery range, an ice house, a

I think if the plate looks bad it can ruin a dish.”

bath house, riding stables, and a bowling alley completed the extensive

The opportunities in the kitchen at Papagayo also allows her, like many who marry into a new family, to observe the evolution of

line-up of businesses run by the family. Levin's daughter continued in the family tradition with La Contessa on Sixth Avenue and Rene A. Perez Sr., her son, also entered the restaurant business after a career in aviation. With the

a family history and leave their own mark on the future of their familial traditions and stories. “I think I bring to the restaurant new blood, because it’s been

help of his wife Martha, they opened

around for so long, with me

Papagayo Mexican Restaurant at 840 E.

walking into that kitchen brings

Fort Lowell in 1973.

new edge to the old traditions,”

Rene and Martha's business thrived

she says. “It’s nerve-wracking

over the years and in time they helped all

because there are huge shoes

three of their children open restaurants of


their own. First, they helped daughter

history is one that is so loved

Martha (Perez) Ayala and her husband,

here in town.”




Rudy Ayala, open a very successful





restaurant by the name of El Payaso on the

through her unique touch in the

northwest side of Tucson, which they later


sold to pursue other interests. Next was the

undergoing a renaissance of sorts

Sunrise location in the Catalina Foothills,

with unique weekend specials and

which daughter Alice was to run. The third

an expanding menu that embraces

was a Tanque Verde Location which was

more modern Mexican fare.




“Papagayo has its signature

owned and operated by son, Rene A. Perez

dishes, and they are long-time

Jr., until the time of his death.

favorites,” Maria says. “But we are

For the last eighteen years, Alice has


won many awards and continued the




charitable nature of her father. She is now handing over the helm to the

Mexican food is so much more than what Tucson has labeled as

fifth generation, son Bryan Mazon, thus making the family the oldest

traditional Mexican food. Don't be scared to try something new. “Mexican food is not just tacos and chimichangas,” Maria says—

restaurant family in Arizona. Today, the head chef at Papagayo is Brian’s wife, Maria Jose Mazon. Maria became a chef by accident. She says, “It was one of those

though we love those as well! Coming soon to 828 E. Speedway Blvd. (the old Greasy Tony’s) is BOCA, ‘Taking tacos to the next level,’ another venture by Mazon.

things that is in front of you and you just go for it. “I always loved to cook, but being a chef never crossed my mind

Boca is a place where you can choose from a wide variety of

and now that I am one it is great,” she adds. “I’m a chef because I know

authentic Sonoran tacos, along with 10 types of freshly prepared salsas.

and love what I do, and I also think I look pretty in a chef’s coat!”

Boca will only use the freshest and finest products in all of their dishes

Though Maria hasn’t had formal training, she says, “I got all my

while keeping prices for any and all budgets, including our nearby college

techniques by watching other chefs, reading and trying, and trying again

students. Boca will also be serving more than 50 top shelf tequilas, a

until I got the dishes just right.”

variety of Mexican beers as well as a few domestic brands. Although Boca

Growing up, Maria watched her mom cooking, which added to her

is located close to the University of Arizona, the atmosphere will be inviting to individual diners and groups alike. You can consider Boca, a

non-traditional training practices and techniques. “My mom is great in the kitchen,” she says. “If I think a dish is just not there or missing something, I know I can call her and she can say try

Modern Day Taqueria, for a dining experience that combines old Mexico style with new world America.

this or that, and of course—mom is always right.” Through learning her own family dish traditions, Maria continues this pattern at Papagayo—increasing its deep roots, adding to the quality of their dishes, and setting Papagayo apart from Tucson’s




Papagayo Mexican Restaurant & Cantina 4717 E. Sunrise Dr. | Tucson 520.577.6055




BODY BEAUTIFUL Norb Peil Therapies Offers Massage Therapy to Aid Muscle Movement

Hairspraz Celebrates One-Year Anniversary On behalf of the girls at Hairspraz, we would like to thank Tucson, Ariz., for letting us be of service to you. We are celebrating our first

Quite often during the holidays we decide that we need to exercise

year anniversary in November and it has been a very successful year

more and thus resolve to follow a healthier lifestyle for the next year.

so far. Thank you!

As we all know too well, it’s much easier to make these resolutions

Hairspraz offers everything needed to get you ready for the

than it is to keep them in the days and months of the year that

holidays such as hair coloring, highlighting, perms, cutting, and

follows. I’d like to encourage you in your resolutions, and suggest

styling, as well as manicures, pedicures, and full body waxing.

that if you include regularly scheduled bodywork into your plan, it

Please call 520.290.8112 for an appointment. Annabelle, Debbie,

will help you achieve your goals.

Erika, and Ginnie are here to serve you with a smile.

I know from personal experience that beginning a new fitness program usually means experiencing some pain. The pain may range


from general stiffness and aching, to cramping, to more severe soreness. It is in the area of pain relief that bodywork, especially massage therapy, can offer tremendous benefits. Muscle soreness or pain is often the result of stresses caused by imbalances between muscles or groups of muscles. A massage therapist can work out inflammation and help release contracted muscles and relieve stretched muscles so that body balance can be restored. Studies conducted with dancers showed that not only did massage therapy relieve pain; it also improved their balance, posture, and performance. Typically, muscles that have not been exercised suffer from poor cellular circulation. Over time, waste products and acids build up in the cells. You may have felt the results of this buildup when you rub a muscle and it feels lumpy or crunchy.

Release Stress, Free Your Mind, Find Focus with Shanti Power Yoga

Massage therapy breaks up these deposits and moves them out of the muscle cells so that they can be eliminated from the body. Once this has occurred, the muscles are able to move more freely and efficiently. Muscles that can move freely and efficiently are less likely to be injured. Not only that, but as our ability to exercise improves, our motivation to exercise also picks up. When we feel better and see positive results in the mirror, it becomes much easier to continue the regimen that we have chosen.

As Charles Dickens said in his classic book A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” I think this is fairly fitting for the holiday season. The holidays bring so much happiness and goodwill within our own families and society at large, yet on the other hand they can

Regular massage therapy or other bodywork has many other positive benefits. Massage reduces stress levels and increases alertness as well as strengthening our immune systems. The Touch Research Institute of the School of Medicine at the University of Miami has conducted more than 100 studies on the positive effects of regular massage therapy. According to TRI, these effects include a relief from pain and soreness, a decrease in anxiety and stress, an increase in flexibility, balance, and posture as well as improving alertness and enhancing immunological function in the body. The one common key in all the studies was the regularity of the massages. Timing ranged from several times a week to once a month. The therapeutic value of the massages seemed to peak at about three weeks between massages and dropped off significantly from then on.

contribute tremendous stress and




holidays we must all balance work and home more effectively, deal with financial pressures, and see what limited free time we have increasingly consumed. At Shanti Power Yoga we understand the pressures we all face. Our purpose is to help everyone achieve better levels of fitness and relaxation through a very challenging practice of power yoga. By working your body hard you are able to release stress, free your mind, and find greater levels of focus, concentration, and balance. To take care of others during the holidays it is important to take care of ourselves first. At Shanti Power Yoga we are here to help you find greater fitness and peace of mind especially as we enter the holiday season.

I hope that you have found the information in this article helpful and wish you wellness in the coming year.

520.544.0763 │








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Bubbles, Bubbles...


“I only drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad.

long walks in the clean, crisp autumn air. There is plenty of time

Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I

during those walks to reflect on days gone by, think about

consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink

friends you haven’t seen for awhile, and family and friends who

it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”

are no longer with us. I love to walk in the early morning, with

(Lily Bollinger)

the cool, crisp air wrapping itself around me as I get whiffs from

And what better time to indulge ourselves with Bubbles

fireplaces proudly displaying their seasonal charm. However, on

than the holidays! My favorite time of year is here again—time

the weekends, I love to walk in the afternoon. Especially on

for holiday shopping ‘til you drop; holiday get-togethers every

Sundays. Then, the aromas in the air shift to wonderful scents of

other night; holiday home entertaining; holiday work parties;

roasts in the ovens and apple and pumpkin pies cooling on the

and for the big days—holiday family dinners. Whew! I don’t know

kitchen counters of my neighbors’ houses. It brings to mind that

about you, but just thinking about all of this makes me want to

one thing works well with any or all of the food associated with

open a bottle of Bubbles and get into a warm bath or maybe

these aromas—Sparkling Wine. When I return from my long

relax with a glass by lighting up the fireplace or chiminea, put

walks, nothing is more refreshing to me than a glass of Bubbles.

my feet up, and sink into a comfy chair.

Sparkling Wine. It is the answer not only to what to serve

What a great time of year. I just love the days between

during the holiday season but also how to get through these most

Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. We’re past the heat of the

stressful days. Pinotphile that I am, Bubbles are the only

summer (many, many thanks after this last long, hot summer),

substitute I will consider when in need of a stress buster. As

sunsets are phenomenally gorgeous, and the time is right for

we all know, with a major recession going on around us, this is




ON THE VINE holiday

country. Four of our close friends from Tucson were visiting. We

season. With the added

were so excited to see them, and the evening they arrived we

stress, both financially

did what old friends who have missed each other do when they



get together—a wee bit of partying. On second thought it may

holidays, we need to

not have been a wee bit, it was more like a whoo-whoo bit of


partying. After all, we were living in the land of wine!



that a




ourselves, to kick back,

The next morning, we had an appointment at Roederer

take a deep breath and

Estate winery. Our friends had rented a big Cadillac, so that


there would be plenty of room for everyone when we visited


wonderful And


wineries. Well, the road to Anderson Valley is a very beautiful



ride on a hilly and curvy road. We were going up and down and

surely should be paying

back and forth and up and down. Did I mention up and



down...and...back and forth? By the time we reached Roederer,

Sparkling Wine made

we were all a touch green. Well, maybe a bit more than a touch.



Fortunately for us, the great hospitality at the winery included a

keeping our financial

glass of Sparkling Wine upon arrival. Within minutes we were all

support here, to those

as fresh as a daisy in spring. So if you do a tad too much holiday

struggling wineries and

partying one night, we have another good use for Champagne.

Bubbles. holiday


to America

the folks who still have

Besides its curative properties, the Roederer Estate “Brut”

jobs because of those

is a fresh and crisp wine that has wonderful pear and hazelnut


flavors and great finesse. The “Brut” is a truly yummy wine and

There was a time

a great bargain; you can find it for around $19. For those who

when I believed the

want to give or serve a really special bottle, there is the


Roederer Estate “l’Ermitage” which is their Tête de Cuvée (i.e.


Sparkling from

very best wine). The “l’Ermitage” is a bit too heavy for me; my

France. OK, I was a bit of a wine snob. But I was fortunate

preference is the Roederer Estate “Brut.” But for those who like

enough to have had an epiphany while visiting Northern

a big Krug style Champagne, the “l’Ermitage” is something you



should consider. It’s available at about $50 a bottle. Roederer

Schramsberg “Blanc de Noir.” I believe my exclamation

Estate is located in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County,

was…“Aha! This is what I am talking about.” Champagne,

has a very hospitable Tasting Room, and is a beautiful winery to

Sparkling Wine, Bubbles—whatever the name, I have discovered

visit—on a very curvy road.









there are many good ones out there, and they come from California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and New Mexico as well as France. Feeling the holiday spirit brings up many fond memories involving Sparkling Wine. I’ve had some truly great experiences with Schramsberg, but one of the most memorable was at “The Wonderful World of Food and Wine.” This is an annual event held by the Ritz-Carlton at Laguna Nigel in California. As Public Relations Manager for a Sonoma County Winery, I had the honor of pouring our wine at this event for several years. One year, I had the great luck of being sandwiched between the Schramsberg table, who was pouring the top of their line “J. Schram” sparkler, and the Ritz-Carlton table that was serving Sevruga caviar. What a Christmas present! Talk about a Merry Christmas, I was in my glory; what a fantastic evening. It was like a fantasy. Champagne seems to have that affect on memories, making them oh! so bright and sparkling. If you are able and looking to have a top of the line caviar and Sparkling Wine New Year’s Eve, “J. Schram” is luscious and available at $90. Since the recession is dictating many choices we make, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention excellent Sparkling Wines that won’t break the bank. One of them is Schramsberg “Mirabelle Brut.” This lovely wine has a pale straw color with a toasty almond nose that follows through with a crisp nutty body hinting of citrus and cinnamon. “Mirabelle Brut” sells for between $15 to $20 and is a great bargain for holiday parties or gifts. Another great memory involving Sparkling Wine goes back to the time my husband and I were living in Sonoma County wine



ON THE VINE The holidays are

Year’s Eve, and we celebrated his wedding with the Iron Horse

such a great time to

“Wedding Cuvée.” It is also an outstanding sparkler to bring in

reminisce with family

the New Year. Since it is 87 percent Pinot Noir, it is almost a



Blanc de Noir. The “Wedding Cuvée” has a rich yeasty nose with

always bring back fond

citrus and wild strawberries on the palate and a crisp lingering



finish. If you want something special for close friends, this is it.



The “Wedding Cuvée” runs around $39. I’ve had the pleasure to



attend many affairs at Iron Horse Winery and have only the

loved to take beach

fondest memories of Joy, her family, and their wonderful wines.


When Sonoma



days and would make

We know that wine is now made in every state; however,

the drive from Santa

New Mexico is not a state I would normally associate with

Rosa to the coast. Our

Sparkling Wine. Guess again. A Sparkling Wine from New



Mexico? Isn’t that like a salsa from New York City? Gruet—this is

Goat Rock Beach; we

the real thing! Founded in 1983 by Gilbert Gruet, a French

would always use River

Champagne winemaker, this winery makes some renowned,

Road, a breathtaking

award-winning Bubbles. You can find Gruet Winery in North

view along the Russian

Albuquerque, with vineyards at 4,300 feet above sea level, one



of the highest vineyards in the U.S. My personal favorite is the

vineyards and redwood

Gruet “Blanc de Noir,” which is rich and creamy with notes of

forests to the coast.

apple and raspberry. Gruet is a wine that works great for any

About two thirds of the way there would be Korbel Winery and

holiday gathering or the beginning of a scrumptious holiday

Champagne Cellars. To the best of my knowledge, Korbel is one

dinner; it is a keeper and is available at $14 a bottle.



of a handful of California wineries permitted by France to use the

Another Sparkling Wine house founded by the French is

word Champagne. It was grandfathered in when the U.S.

Domaine Chandon in Napa Valley. Chandon is owned and was

accepted France’s decision not to allow the name Champagne to

established by Moët-Hennessy in 1973. While they make quite a

be used by anyone but that region in France. Since the founders

few Sparkling Wines, my favorites are “Blanc

of Korbel established the winery as Champagne Cellars so very

de Noir” and “Rose.” The “Blanc de Noir,”

long ago, they were permitted to still use the word Champagne.

made up of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is a


lovely shade of salmon in color. Strawberry









and dark cherry aromas carry through to the

Champagne-styled wines. I remember that before my first visit to Korbel I was quite

flavor, along with hints of blackberry and

skeptical about their champagnes, thinking that they were

cassis. It is available at $22 a bottle and

merely a supermarket brand. A pleasant surprise awaited me

worth every penny. Chandon’s “Rose” is quite

when I tried the Korbel “Natural” and the Korbel “Blanc de Blanc”

interesting as its color is pink, yet it is

(the “Blanc de Blanc” is now called Korbel “Chardonnay

predominately Chardonnay. The color of

California Champagne”). The Korbel “Natural” is a crisp, dry,

wine comes from the grape skins, yet

delicate Sparkling Wine made from 75 percent Pinot Noir and 25

Chardonnay skins are green. This wine’s

percent Chardonnay. The Korbel “Chardonnay” is a soft, easy-

color comes from adding still Pinot Noir

drinking bubbly with hints of pear and peach. The “Natural” is

during the triage stage of winemaking.

my favorite and has always been a nice pairing with bagels and

It too is available at $22 but also comes

lox on lazy Sunday afternoons. The $12 price is a steal and helps


save some money for Santa!










these pair

If you are considering a holiday visit to Northern California

incredibly well with a wide range of

wine country, you should check out Mumm Napa. Mumm Napa is

food; they are perfect for holiday

a Sparkling Wine house that more than repays your time to visit

dinners with many flavor variants.

with their fine art photography museum. Mumm has a great

When I lived in Sonoma County,

Ansel Adams exhibit, donated by Ansel Adams’ son. By the way,

one of the wineries I worked for was

there are also tasty wines to enjoy. The Mumm Napa “Brut

Simi, then owned by Moët-Hennessy.

Prestige” is a great value with its melon and spicy vanilla flavors

It was a great time to be at Simi, as

and its firm, crisp finish. The price tag on this lovely wine is not

Moët allowed Simi to run as its own,

too hard on the wallet at about $18. For a very special stocking

independent winery with Zelma Long

stuffer, pick up a bottle of the Mumm Napa “DVX” with its toasty,


yeasty aromas that blend into strawberry and pear notes with a

independently, we still had a close

hint of vanilla and toffee. The “DVX” is a very complex wine that

relationship with Domaine Chandon

runs around $45.

over in Napa. Chandon had opened a

Another of my favorite holiday Bubbles is from Iron Horse Winery, located in Green Valley, the coolest region of the





fine dining restaurant in 1977; it was and still is a Mobil Guide 4 Star restaurant and is the only fine

Russian River Valley. Iron Horse is run by Joy Sterling who is

dining room in a winery. Named étoile, it has been the location

quite effervescent herself. Normally, weddings and the holidays

of many fine evenings for us. We became friends with the

are not combined, however, my brother was married on New

Director of Wine/Sommelier of étoile, Daniel Shanks. One day I




ON THE VINE received a phone call from Daniel, he had been offered the position of Sommelier at the White House. That’s right—the White House in Washington, D.C. What a coup! We were all so thrilled and proud of Daniel. Then one day I was in my office and received another phone call from Daniel. He said he just had to call me to let me know he had opened and served a Simi Reserve Chardonnay for then President Clinton and Hillary, in a private moment, on their private balcony. Daniel wanted me to know that President Clinton loved that wine. Well, needless to say, I was both thrilled and speechless at the same time. Daniel has been there now for three presidential administrations, choosing and serving wine at all the state dinners and to countless world dignitaries—and it all started with Bubbles! There are 58 million bubbles in a single bottle of Champagne. My holiday wish to you is that you have many, many Bubbles and very few troubles. Enjoy them all and happy holidays! Again, many special thanks to my co-conspirator Dan McCoog. Jeanne Christie has been a wine professional for most of her adult life, including wine writing, winery public relations and marketing, wine education, wine buying, and wine sales. Jeanne is a professional Wine Judge as well and is currently a Wine Consultant for Wine-ovations. She can be reached at





HOLIDAYEATS Local restaurants offer up deals and delights for dining out around town this holiday season

Café 54

Hotel are committed to providing each guest with a memorable and

Café 54, a unique restaurant and employment training program in

valuable experience, ensuring that you get the best value for your

downtown Tucson, Ariz. that helps individuals recovering from mental

dollar this holiday season.

illness, is featuring a variety of holiday fare through their full service

In November, the buffets at the casinos will be offering a

catering this season. Executive Chef Mike McCord can help each client

Thanksgiving feast for the whole family with all the traditional,

create a personalized holiday party menu. The Café itself is available

delicious food and desserts. The buffets will be open from 11 A.M. to

for rent after hours as a unique and artsy party venue. The combination

8 P.M. on Nov. 26. The menu price will be $15.95 per guest.

of creative food and urban ambiance provides an ideal setting for

The Agave restaurant at the I-19 location will feature a menu

holiday get-togethers. For more information, call Carrie Hudson,

with all of the season’s favorites, including Roasted Tom Turkey and

catering manager at 520.622.1907 or email

Honeyed Ham Leg with Applesauce, Cornbread Stuffing, Yams, a Delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Sweet Potato Pie. The price will

54 E. Pennington St. │ Tucson

be $26.95 per guest for a four-course meal.

520.622.1907 |

The Steak House, located at the new Casino-Hotel on Old

Desert Diamond Casinos and Hotel

Nogales Highway, will feature a seasonal menu added to the regular Steak House fare. The price will be $21.95 per guest.

With two great locations, Desert Diamond Casinos are offering an

There will be special menu pricing for children during the

array of options for holiday celebrations this year. In addition to a

holidays and great added discounts for Desert Diamond’s Casino’s

festive atmosphere, the staff at the Desert Diamond Casinos and

Players Club card holders.




On Dec. 25 and Dec. 31, all of the casino’s venues will be

contemporary design with delicious, authentic Indian fare. To

offering spectacular special menus for you and your guests;

celebrate the holiday season and the restaurant's first-year

please make sure to mark your calender and call for reservations

anniversary, they are offering a $5 discount on all bottles of

or menu information.

wine and a $5 discount on the house specialty, Tandoori Seared

Agave Restaurant, I-19 Location: 520.342.2328

Lamb Chops. Saffron offers a varying menu, with options that

Steak House, Nogales Hwy. Location: 520.342.1328

are sure to please any guest. For a truly unique dining

Buffet, I-19 Location: 520.342.2327

experience, opt for an evening at Saffron Indian Bistro.

Buffet, Nogales Hwy. Location: 520.342.1327 Additionally, the chefs at the Desert Diamond Casinos are working on brand new menus for the Steak House and Agave Restaurant, to launch at the end of November.

7607 N. Oracle Road │ Oro Valley 520.742.9100 |

Sushi King

Season’s greetings!

Thinking of dining out this holiday season? For a light, refreshing 520.294.7777 (1100 W. Pima Mine Road │ Sahuarita)

meal, try the authentic sushi at Sushi King in Tucson, Ariz. Sushi

520.294.7777 (7350 S. Nogales Hwy. │ Tucson)

King can accommodate up to 25 parties for festive get-togethers

and guests will be impressed by the Japanese cooking skills on display. The restaurant will have a special selection of fish for

Fusion Wasabi

the holiday season, and as always, it is the freshest in town. The

For years now, regulars throughout Tucson could easily identify the

sushi chef at Sushi King was born and raised in Japan and

best sushi in town: Fusion Wasabi, just south of Broadway Boulevard

trained under chefs in Tokyo for seven years. The homemade,

on Craycroft Road. Featuring classics from California rolls to tuna

made-from-scratch dishes will impress beginners as well as

tataki, along with an entire menu of Japanese and Korean cooked

connoisseurs. Sushi King will be closed Thanksgiving and

entrees, there was never any doubt that Fusion provided its clientele

Christmas day, but is ready to delight you with amazing sushi

with delicious, filling meals. These days, however, Fusion Wasabi is

any other day of the week.

more than just a restaurant. Featuring well drink specials every day of the week, along with a Happy Hour (Mon.–Thu., 5–6 P.M.) that includes sake

1800 E. Ft. Lowell Road │ Tucson 520.321.4000

bombs, appetizers, and select rolls, Fusion has just started a number of new promotions designed to keep people happy and

Vero Amore

full without emptying their wallets. At the forefront, 30 percent

Casual dining in an upscale setting, Vero Amore is Arizona’s only

off the entire bill on Mondays between 6 and 10 P.M. with a dining

certified Neapolitan pizzeria. Vero Amore makes all dressings,

receipt from the prior week. And, Monday isn’t the only special

sauces, dough, and cheese fresh everyday. Besides great pizza, they

day. Tuesdays are Ladies Night, and on Thursday, there’s a

are known for their fresh salads, pastas, and paninis. Opened in 2006, they’ve quickly become one of Tucson’s

second Happy Hour from 8–10 P.M. So check out what’s new at Fusion Wasabi, and we can certainly

favorite dining destinations and have received rave reviews for

promise one thing—you won’t leave hungry.

having the most authentic Italian pizza in town.

250 S. Craycroft Road, Ste. 100 │ Tucson

is a place for people who truly love food. Open daily from 11 A.M.

Offering a unique selection of Italian small vineyard wines, this 520.747.0228

Both restaurants will be open on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve with specials. A perfect place for families or couples who want a

Kazoku Sushi

lovely atmosphere at an affordable price!

Located on Speedway Boulevard in Tucson, Ariz., Kazoku Sushi provides an authentic Japanese dining experience with a friendly

520.325.4122 (3305 N. Swan Rd. Suite #105 (Basha’s shopping center) │ Tucson)

staff and fresh, delicious food. The inviting atmosphere makes

520.579.2292 (12130 N. Dove Mountain Blvd. #104 │ Marana)

every guest feel welcome, as do the caring staff. The spacious

restaurant can accommodate large parties, making it an ideal place for a holiday fete. After being in business for only one

Ginza Sushi

month, Kazoku already has a base of regular customers that

For a different holiday experience, try izakaya! Japanese

keep coming back for favorites like the Fire Ball roll, which

izakayas are casual taverns where patrons can relax, have a

features spicy tuna, cream cheese, cucumber, and avocado,

drink, and a variety of tapas-style food. Since customers usually

topped with tempura flakes and a sweet and spicy sauce. Come

share dishes with one another instead of ordering individually,

in once and you’ll be a regular too!

it’s a great place for a holiday celebration. The restaurant offers lunch specials and full sushi bar. Shabu-shabu/sukiyaki dinner

4210 E. Speedway Blvd. │ Tucson

available by reservation only. Pair your meal with any of Ginza’s


hot sake specials or an award-winning Coredo beer, a Japanese premium beer.

Saffron Indian Bistro For a departure from the boring and mundane, head to Saffron

5425 N. Kolb Rd. │ Tucson


520.529.8877 |












FIT HAPPENS AT Plexus Delivers Core Strength, Posture, and

and yoga practices. With this foundation, he recommended

Flexibility More Times Per Day in More Locations

controlled movements that improved a soldier’s health by stretching,

Men and women of all ages searching for effective and safe core

strengthening, and stabilizing each area in the body, with special

strength, better posture, and overall flexibility have found the

emphasis on the core and spine.

answer in pilates. From a 22-year-old professional male cyclist to a

Since the early 1900s, Joseph Pilates’ method has increased in

30-year-old female soccer player, from a busy architect whose work

popularity and benefitted many by concentrating on the six

keeps him seated for long hours, to a mother of four who needs core

principles: strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, control, and

strength and lean muscle workouts with child care service, Plexus

endurance. At Plexus Pilates, we take an athletic approach to a

Pilates delivers the six benefits of pilates in a convenient format with

proven method to make you feel younger, taller, and more flexible. Today, many sports stars practice the pilates method including

an eye to effectiveness and safety. Plexus Pilates is changing the pilates industry. For too long the

former Arizona Diamondbacks star pitcher Curt Schilling “…I started

pilates industry has remained stuck, only available to those with

to understand the Pilates terminology, the idea of working from your

ample luxury time and high discretionary income. Studios have been

center. By the third month I was more powerful and flexible than

unwilling to commit the resources to deliver the full value of pilates.

ever before. And, I'd lost 15 pounds.”

As a result, the industry has remained small and exclusive with the

Curt Schilling is not the only professional athlete experiencing

misperception that pilates is for women. In fact, pilates originally

the benefits of pilates. Tiger Woods, Butch Harmon, and Camilo

was developed for men. Plexus delivers pilates instruction to men

Villegas all practice pilates to improve their golf swing. Pilates is

and women of all ages for a great price with a focus on active

helpful in golf because it increases flexibility in the core area.

lifestyles and athleticism. Plexus Pilates opened in Tucson in the fall

Flexibility is what increases the amount of rotation in a golf swing

of 2008 and has expanded to three convenient locations: Plexus

generating a faster club head speed and longer yardage in each

Central, Plexus East, and Plexus Dove Mountain.

drive. For many golfers who are tight, stretching is not an enjoyable

At Plexus you receive equipment-based pilates instruction in semi-

exercise. However, in pilates, stretching is incorporated into

private or private formats with a well-trained instructor in a fun, energetic

movement which eliminates much of the pain that comes from

environment. At Plexus, our clients are men and women, younger and

holding a stretch. Many new students are surprised after their

older, working and retired, business owners, professionals, athletes, and

session at how “stretched” they feel afterwards. This is because

parents. One thing they all have in common is the realization that life is

pilates enables you to lengthen and stretch the body while

improved with better posture, balanced muscles that are strong and

simultaneously strengthening your core and other muscles.

flexible, and more energy. We have 8–12 semi-private classes per day so your pilates practice slides easily into a busy schedule.

Pilates Equipment Make Workouts Fun, Safe, and Effective At Plexus Pilates we offer equipment-based pilates using the reformer,

Pilates Is For Men and Women: History and the Six Principles

chair, and cadillac. Sessions can be private or semi-private, ranging

Joseph Pilates created the pilates method for soldiers, boxers, and

from one to six students per instructor. Our instructors are dedicated

athletes. Pilates drew from Greco-Roman gymnasia, martial arts,

to knowing each client personally, to understanding their overall health,





E a s t

P l e x u s

C e n t r a l

P l e x u s

D o v e

M o u n t a i n


and to assisting clients in achieving fitness goals. Our semi-private

low cost of pilates it would be Value = Benefits/Price, so that value

class format concentrates on the fundamental patterns of movement

increases when either benefits go up or price goes down. At Plexus

(we teach beginners in a special complimentary session) and links

we deliver higher benefits in the form of the six benefits and five

fundamentals to effective exercises so clients understand how their

spinal directions, with more semi-private classes at more locations.

body moves. With the fundamentals, pilates is not intimidating or

We also deliver health at a lower price with our packages and

complex—but it is challenging and gentle at the same time!

specials. In addition, in the price of other training methods are

The instructors at Plexus design programs in which the goal of

hidden costs like joint pain and painful recovery from weight

each session is to move the spine in five directions: forward bending

training. Therefore, the value our Plexus Pilates clients receive is a

(flexion), backward bending (extension), side-bending (lateral

multiple of the value of personal training or pilates at any other

flexion), rotation, and sequencing. This is key to spinal health and

studio. In short, pilates is a no-brainer!

posture because modern men and women spend 90 percent or more

Because we believe more people benefit with pilates and we are

of their time in just one direction, flexion. We work deliberately to

willing to commit the resources to deliver this high-value service, we

undo that bias and free your spine to have mobility in all directions.

are introducing our new 40/20 Special at all of our locations. The

Most clients reduce or eliminate lower back pain.

40/20 Special allows clients to receive semi-private pilates sessions

“At Plexus Pilates, I am able to establish a relationship with an

on the equipment from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. for just $12.50 per

experienced instructor who works with me to achieve my goals. As

50-minute session with a well-trained pilates professional. In

a beginner, it is such a pleasure to be encouraged, challenged, and

addition, we are continuing our 30/20 Special on the equipment at

appreciated. Pilates has improved my strength and flexibility without

all of our locations; this special brings the price down to $16.67 per

building bulk. I have seen a difference in my energy level,

50-minute session any time of the day. Both specials are $500 for

endurance, and muscle definition,” said client Heidi Iversen. “Plexus

40 or 30 sessions, respectively, lasting 2½–5 months. The market

Pilates is exceptional!”

rate for pilates semi-private sessions on the reformer ranges from $25–$35 depending on frequency discounts.

Assessing the Price, Risk, and Value of Pilates

Come into Plexus for a complimentary session and experience

Equipment-based pilates instruction is not expensive, and research

the benefits and value of equipment-based pilates risk-free. Call

shows it is highly effective. Consider a personal trainer who charges

520.PILATES or 520.745.2837 to schedule an appointment or visit

$50–$60 per session; at Plexus, you get semi-private sessions for today for more information.

$12–$25 per session. Your average pilates instructor has many more hours of textbook and practical training than the average personal trainer. Moreover, the pilates method is a 90-year-old approach focused on delivering a balanced body (strength AND flexibility). Pilates is not a fad that tends to overemphasize one muscle group over others, usually at the expense of flexibility and days of painful recovery. If we were to construct an equation to demonstrate the






The temperatures may still be soaring in the desert, but “tis the season”

reserved or unusually daring. Keep in mind—color can affect a

to start thinking about getting the house ready for the holidays.

person’s mood and sense of well-being. If you decide to paint walls

Decorating with the traditional cornucopia centerpieces or evergreen

a fresh new color, cover floors with multicolored area rugs, fill nooks

boughs and twinkling lights will bring that predictable joyfulness to the

and crannies with dazzling accessories, choose colors that will

air. Making guests feel at home, however, might take some planning

provide a cozy retreat for you and your family while welcoming

and ingenuity that can ultimately last throughout the year.

company with timeless comfort. Personalizing your environment

From an interior design perspective, decking the halls can take on a whole new meaning. With family, friends, and out-of-town visitors stopping by at a moment’s notice, creative touches can be

using splashes of color is certain to leave guests admiring such hospitable surroundings. When working with color, take into account that it is easier to

blended into the existing décor, adding a bit of merriment to your


house. Introducing more color to enhance the overall look is a simple

complementing tones that will brighten and enhance existing








way to rejuvenate a dreary interior, leaving a special ambiance

elements without overwhelming them. Warm, harmonizing colors

certain to delight everyone. Whether you are hosting an intimate

with similar tones tend to be cozy and inviting, while bold,

holiday cocktail party or accommodating overnight guests,

complementary colors generate a sense of liveliness and excitement.

embracing the true spirit of the season begins at home.

Carefully mixed, extreme contrasts can actually set off one another

The holidays are flooded with color from shimmering ornaments

without clashing and make a huge statement where you need some

to elaborately embossed wrapping paper and ribbons. When deciding

drama. When envisioning a setting of peacefulness and serenity,

how to best translate those festive colors throughout your home,

neutral or muted tones articulate a relaxing environment.

carefully contemplate whether you want changes to be predictably




Paint is the most versatile medium when decorating with color.

Within a few hours the entire dynamic of a

dimension to a space. Whether your style

translucent glaze, can be applied with a

room can change. Consider a palette that

is traditional, modern, or a combination of

variety of techniques, adding intensity to

reflects your individuality as well as the

both, unique painting techniques are the

otherwise plain walls. Color washing is a

architectural style of your home for the

perfect solution for an attention-grabbing


greatest success. At the same time, you

update. There are many methods from

plaster creates a three-dimensional, aged

can still be adventurous. In the Southwest,

glazes, washes, Venetian plaster, and

look that is rich with character.

differing shades of red and yellow, warm

commercially marketed products such as

The holidays are the perfect time to add

colors inspired by the earth and sun, add

LusterStone that can totally change the

a little pizazz to your home. While everyone

intensity and an uplifting expression to a



wants their home to be the ultimate private

space. Where you choose to use warmer

trademarked trowel-on wall coating. Its

sanctuary, creating a comfortable, friendly

colors can be a determining factor in what

natural qualities and unique range of

atmosphere for guests is equally important.

hue is appropriate. Chipotle red or saffron

colors, whether applied with a matte or

No matter what time of year, color is the

yellow might be intimidating on walls if you

glossy sheen, are beautiful in any setting.

ideal decorating tool for a reasonably simple

don’t have an adventurous side. Select a

Glazing, a mixture of tinted pigment and

yet celebratory transformation.










few tasteful accessories—a beautiful glass vase or silky throw pillows—until you feel confident enough to experiment on a larger scale. Softer tones, like ginger or topaz, can be used as an accompanying color in pieces like a plush, hand-loomed rug or original artwork. On the opposite side of the spectrum, cooler greens and blues, reflections of sky and water, bring both a crisp sparkle and a soothing






sentiments these colors call to mind vary from serene relaxation to energetically refreshing.





considered cool colors, there are sharp, “citrusy” variations of green that can be just as dramatic as any warm tone. Sage and moss, more natural shades, are calming and great transition colors that blend flawlessly with many others. Deeper pigments like emerald or forest make great accents. The wide range of blues, cobalt to sky, can be exhilarating, relaxing, tranquil, and invigorating all at the same time. When used with warm woods or natural stone, cool shades create a clean, modern look. Keeping with the earthy influences of the desert, neutral tones project that cozy yet refined atmosphere visitors can truly appreciate. Color used in its purest form also establishes a naturalistic harmony, making guest areas especially restful. As an example, having variations of sandstone, winter gray, or bisque for the basics gives a designer or homeowner





perceptible changes elsewhere. Transforming an ordinary space into something more transitional, rustic, or eclectic means you can indulge your passion for brighter colors, zealous patterns, and interesting textures when choosing furniture and accessories, without saturating everything with garish detail.






monochromatic, a contemporary, urban style is more distinguishable. Specialty





another way of adding color and textural





within your

BUDGET Under $50 Holiday Gift Guide

TASTE OF ORIGIN GIFT SETS VINTAGE 2006 PU-ERH Taste of Origin seeks to elevate tea to the same level of sophistication currently enjoyed by vintage wine and single-origin coffee. Each Taste of Origin tea will include complete details describing where it was grown, the varietal, climate conditions, processing methods and the date it was harvested. The three gift sets feature Organic Fair


Trade tea from the Mannong Manmai area in Yunnan, China. The gift

Mud Pie, established in 1988, is an award-winning international

sets include: the Vintage 2006 Pu-erh Set, the 2009 1st Flush Green

gift company that offers products reflecting current trends and

& White Tea Set, and the Mannong Manmai Tea Sample Set.

popular design. Mud Pie products are showcased in three

Presented in hand-woven bamboo boxes made in Hà Tây, Vietnam.

collections: Mud Pie Baby, Mud Pie Pet and Mud Pie Gift/Home.

Suggested Retail Price starts at $25

The 42-ounce Initial Glass Pitcher is a perfect addition to any barware collection. Available in 20 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G,

414.747.4001 |

H, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, V, W. $30







800.998.1633 |


enjoyable glass of wine using the new


Vinturi White Wine Aerator, exclusively

Flirty Aprons has brought the apron

designed for white wine. Built on the

back to the forefront of high fashion

same patented design principles as the

while successfully appealing to the

Vinturi Red Wine Aerator, the new White

modern woman. Each of Flirty Aprons'



products has been designed to fit all

aeration engine specifically calibrated to

body types. Extra long waist ties,

enhance white wine. Just pour wine

scooped sides, and a perfectly sized

through the aerator and into the glass

bib make Flirty Aprons a wonderful fit

for a better wine experience. Vinturi

for every woman. Flirty Aprons is

mixes just the right amount of air into

committed to having the highest-

the wine for a better bouquet, enhanced

quality aprons on the market, with a

flavors, and a smoother finish, reducing

perfect soft cotton feel. It uses strong

or eliminating any bitterness or bad

fabrics, precise stitching, and quality




aftertaste. An attractive stand and

dyes that won't fade with use. The

travel pouch are included. The Aerator

company backs all of its products with a one-year consumer



warranty. Flirty Aprons is leading the charge in helping women

offering peak enjoyment of white wine

to rediscover what it means to look and feel cute, fun, and sexy

from the very first sip. $39.95

in the home. Prices starting at $19.95

877.846.8874 |

888.283.8154 |





COSMODA’S MARIO BATALI TOTE BAG The Bucatini Market Tote is covered in a Mario collage graphic (MA14COG) that combines everything to do with Mario – restaurants, food, cookbooks, and crocs. The 14" x 5" x 15" bag has a fully insulated interior with two large exterior insulated pockets. The drawstring closure, shoulder strap, and easy to wipe lining makes this bag a perfect market tote. Lunch bags in various styles are also available. Prices starting at $45 416-633-6303 |

PRODYNE’S FRUIT INFUSION NATURAL FRUIT FLAVOR PITCHER Enjoy refreshing lemon water, raspberry iced tea, and more in Prodyne’s Fruit Infusion Natural Fruit Flavor Pitcher. This crystal clear acrylic pitcher has a removable fruit infusion rod that screws into the lid. Open slots in the rod allow liquid and fruit to mix naturally. Fill the rod with cut lemons, limes, raspberries, etc. Pitcher may be continually refilled without having to replace the fruit. $24.99 800.822.4776 |




The Wine Lover’s Chocolate Party Kit pairs different

The new 2-Stage Electric Knife

percentages of gourmet dark chocolate with Port,



Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel

coated sharpening wheels for quick

varietals. Open up a tray and find the best pairing of wine

and precise sharpening of straight

and chocolate for your palate. $20.00


edge blades. The dual sharpening slots allow sharpening on both

888.732.4626 |

sides of the blade using blade guides that hold the knife at the correct sharpening angle. $39.99 at 800.221.4156 |

OLD DUTCH’S - WINE BOTTLE BUDDIES™ Old Dutch introduces Wine Bottle Buddies™, a collection of lighthearted, handcrafted bottle holders. Each buddy is designed to accommodate a 750-ml wine bottle, but can also hold a 22-ounce beer bottle and other similarly sized containers. The Wine Bottle Buddy “Chef” could hold a gourmet bottle of olive oil. Each buddy is handcrafted of metallic finished steel, accented with matte black. For easy display they ship with a handsomely labeled bottle of Old Dutch “Faux Merlot,” which can be replaced with your own bottle of wine. There are 12 styles available, including Happy Fisherman, Ship’s Captain, Male & Female Golfers, Downhill Skier, Cowboy, Carpenter, Sitting Cat, Chef, Elvis Impersonator, Waiter, and Frustrated Golfer. Available for immediate shipment. $50 888.826.7737 |




Restaurant Reviews

Editor’s Note: Arizona Gourmet Living knows that finding the right place to dine can be a challenge. To solve this problem we asked real diners to rate their dining experience. Diners rated each restaurant’s food, service, atmosphere, and décor on a scale of 1–5, with 5 being the highest. Restaurants that received an average total score between 15 and 20 recevied AZGL’s 5-star rating. *Nicknames were used to attribute the reviews.

Excellence and Elegance at Miguel’s at La Posada When it comes to excellent food and drinks, beautiful mountain views, and superior service, Miguel’s at La Posada has it all. Participants in Arizona Gourmet Living’s Restaurant Survey raved about Miguel’s, with several mentions of the delicious margaritas, the excellent food, the friendly staff, and the restaurant’s great patio. Located off of North Oracle Road, the gorgeous city and mountain views add a relaxing note to Miguel’s elegant atmosphere. Fawn* wrote that the restaurant is a “nice place to relax and the patio is beautiful!” Diners raved about Miguel’s daily happy hour. Kelly* wrote, “I have been going to Miguel’s for years. It is my favorite place to go after work. The food is always good and the service is excellent. I always send my clients to Miguel’s and they love it!” An extensive menu offers New Latin American dishes, but Andy V.* recommends the “bacon wrapped prawns.” The restaurant is open Monday through Friday, 3 P.M. to 10 P.M. and Saturday and Sunday, 12 P.M. to 11 P.M. Happy hour is offered everyday from open to 7 P.M. Discover for yourself why diners call Miguel’s at La Posada one of their favorite Tucson restaurants.

Diners Enjoy Greek Authenticity at Fronimos Fronimos Greek Cafe, located on the south side of Speedway Boulevard between Country Club Road and Alvernon Way (east of the University of Arizona), received extensive rave reviews on AZGL’s recent Restaurant Survey Card. Out of 34 responses, 19 customers marked “5” for all categories (Food, Service, Atmosphere, Décor). When asked to describe the restaurant in three words Carol* wrote “Our favorite Place!” Other words ranged from “fantastic,” and “authentic” to “amazing,” “reliable,” “awesome!” John* wrote “Simply the Best.” The accolades continued on the back of the cards as well. Andy* wrote, “I’ve always had good dining experiences at Fronimos. The staff is friendly and efficient. The food is good, particularly the Athenian chicken. The atmosphere is pleasant, good music, nice paint colors & nice photographs. The prices are very reasonable for the quality & quantity of food.” Across the board, the adjectives were expansive, the exclamation points frequent, and the diners enthusiastic. Terry* described the atmosphere as “old world yet contemporary” while the restaurant’s service was considered “super” or “the best” by a number of customers. Lin* wrote, “My weekly spot for good food and friends.” Fronimos is open everyday from 10 A.M. to 9 P.M. The word is out! Check out Fronimos for great ambiance, excellent service, and of course, fantastic food.

Attention to Ingredients and Service Earns Eclectic Pizza Top Ratings For fresh ingredients, a conscientious restaurant, and attentive service, diners agree that Eclectic Pizza fits the bill. Located on Tucson’s East side, this local restaurant serves up an extensive menu of appetizers, salads, and pizzas, using organic and local ingredients. The restaurant also offers a gluten-free menu and organic wines and beers. Reviewers noticed Eclectic’s attention to ingredients and customer needs. Kari* wrote, “Great gluten-free menu!!” on her AZGL Restaurant Survey Card and Bernie* wrote that she especially likes how the “wonderful food” is organic and local. Jim* described it as “The best pizza in Tucson. Excellent ingredients. The (Thai curry pizza) is to die for!” In addition to great food, Eclectic Pizza prides itself on offering great service, and diners recognized Eclectic’s efforts. The restaurant received an overwhelming majority of 5’s in the category of service, the highest rating possible. Rebecca* wrote, “The staff are friendly and the owners are highly visible, accommodating, and constantly trying to improve their already amazing product.” Eclectic Pizza is open everyday from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. When it comes to pizza, don’t be afraid to be a little eclectic.




BEST BETS HOLIDAY GIFTS AND DÉCOR FROM EMBELLISH The holidays are just around the corner, and with that come thoughts of the perfect gift and creating a warm and welcoming home. Let Embellish be your first stop for all your holiday shopping needs. We offer a large selection of gift items priced to suit everyone on your list. We carry a unique selection of home furnishings and accessories to create a one-of-a-kind home that makes the perfect backdrop for holiday entertaining. If you find yourself needing a little help in pulling your home together in time for the holidays, the staff from Embellish would be happy to come by for a free consultation. We specialize in “one-day makeovers.” We also carry a full line of custom fabrics for your window treatment needs. Our holiday gift registry will ensure that you get the perfect gift this season. Call Embellish today or visit us at 6761 E. Tanque Verde Road. Embellish is open Mondays, 12 P.M.–5 P.M. and Tuesday–Saturday, 10 A.M.–5 P.M. 520.512.5200 |

EXHIBIT OPENING AT JANE HAMILTON FINE ART Pat Parkinson, whose lovely oil painting captures the essential colors and dramatic land forms surrounding Sedona, is going to be featured in a new exhibit of landscapes titled “Ghost Ranch Revisited” from November 18–30th at Jane Hamilton Fine Art. A reception will be held on Friday, November 20th from 5 P.M.–7 P.M. This great fall showing will also display works by other well-known New Mexican artists. Taos Pueblo artist John Suazo, whose figurative abstract alabaster sculptures have been honored in retrospective showings of his work at both The Harwood Foundation and the Millicent Rogers Museum of Taos, N.M., will present new life-size sculptures. Also, De Haven Solomin Chaffins of Laguna Pueblo, N.M. will also display her intriguing and mystical oil paintings, painted boxes, and a cradleboard. Jane Hamilton Fine Art is newly located is 2890 E. Skyline Drive, Ste 180 in the Plaza Colonial, on the southwest corner of Skyline and Campbell. 520.529.4886 │ Sedona by Pat Parkinson

LET’S TALK ABOUT WATER! Water should not impact the taste of food that you prepare! Chlorine and other chemicals/impurities or unbalanced minerals will affect the taste of food you cook and eat. At Culligan Water of Tucson our business is better water: pure and simple. That means whether it’s our steam distilled bottled water or water produced through our whole house treatment system, it is the best for drinking or cooking. When you drink or cook with our water it enhances the flavor of the beverage or food you’re preparing. Our Culligan Drinking Water System produces crystal clear, great tasting water and dispenses crystal clear ice from your refrigerator. It is great to steam vegetables, boil pasta, and brew tea or coffee. Our whole house treatment system is very convenient, no heavy bottles to lift, and requires a minimum amount of space. Furthermore, it protects your plumbing and appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, faucets, sinks, and makes your dishes look crystal clear. Our H2Zero Portable Exchange Unit (pictured) needs no salt or electricity; it is exchanged every two, four, or eight weeks and is available for rental only. To create gourmet quality foods, don’t forget the basic ingredient…water from Culligan! Call us at 520.792.9700 for a complimentary water evaluation. CulliganTM. better water. Pure and simpleTM. 520.792.9700 |




BEST BETS EUROPEAN HAIR BY VASILÉ Treat your hair and support the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition with the purchase of PureOlogy’s Break the Silence gift set. Available at European Hair by Vasilé, the gift set includes a bottle of PureOlogy’s Pure Volume Shampoo and Pure Volume Hair Condition, both with antifade complex, as well as a complimentary tortoiseshell-style brush. In collaboration with the promotional gift set, PureOlogy pledges to make a $25,000 donation to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. The coalition raises awareness of ovarian cancer and advocates for patients and their families. PureOlogy products are naturally-based from organic botanicals and are 100 percent vegan. The gift set is available for $52.95. 520.298.4247 |

TREAT YOUR FLOOR TO A NEW RUG Rug Resource is celebrating its 30th year buying and selling Oriental rugs. Discover a full spectrum of Oriental area rugs in the Rug Resource showroom. From machine made to hand-tufted, handwoven, and hand-knotted, these one-of-a-kind rugs are carefully chosen for harmony of their color palette as well as proportionality and beauty of their design. Rug Resource offers rugs in many, varied designs with a range of colors, from floral to geometric in contemporary, tribal, and Southwestern. They also offer a number of a reversible rugs. Rug Resource is leaving Broadway Village and to mark the move, a select supply of rugs will be sold at cost. During this promotion, Rug Resource will extend their hours of operation. The store will be open Monday through Saturday 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Sunday from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. 520.321.4272 │






(Pronounced rah-fah-gah, Spanish word for burst, or flash of light).

By Chef Keith Martin and Pastry Chef Debbie Tingley

By Mixologist Arturo Duarte, Jr. | Dos Lunas Spirits

Café 54 │ Tucson

½ ounce Dos Lunas Reposado Tequila

For Cake

½ ounce Green Mint-Flavored Liqueur

2½ cups granulated sugar

½ ounce Italian Anise-Flavored Liqueur

1½ cups skim milk (or soy milk) ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

The traditional Mexican way to serve this drink is to pour the

¼ cup fresh orange juice

ingredients into a snifter, in any order.

3 large eggs

Rub the palm of your

hand with ice, bartender lights the drink on fire, place the iced

2¼ cups all purpose flour

hand over the mouth of the glass to seal and snuff out the flame.

1 tsp baking powder

The alcohol will burn off quickly, leaving the contents of the glass

1 tsp salt

slightly warm. The glass should suction onto your hand, allowing

½ tsp baking soda

you to shake up the drink. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and STEAMED CHILEAN SEA BASS IN SAKE AND SOY By Executive Chef Allen Yap Neo of Melaka | Tucson

dust with flour. Set aside. Combine sugar, milk, oil, juice, and eggs together in medium bowl and whisk to combine. In separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients.

10 ounce fillet of fresh Chilean sea bass

Combine wet and dry ingredients into mixing bowl and

3 ounces premium Sake

whisk together until smooth and homogeneous. Split batter

3 Tbsp soy sauce

between prepared 9-inch round cake pans. Tap filled pans on

1 ounce Chinese rock sugar (substitute with 2 tsp granulated sugar)

counter top to remove any air bubbles. Bake in 350 degree oven

2 tsp pure sesame oil

25–30 minutes until golden brown. Cake should pull away from

1 cup ginger, julienne

the sides of the pan and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the

½ cup cilantro

center should come out clean. Cool cakes completely on rack.

¼ cup scallions, julienne

When completely cool, loosen edges of cakes with rubber spatula

Crisp ginger julienne (garnish)

and invert onto plate or cardboard rounds.

Fry 1¾ cups of ginger julienne in 2 cups of hot oil until crisp

For Green Tea Buttercream

and golden brown. Strain crisp ginger and place on paper

½ cup sugar

towel to cool.

1 Tbsp matcha (green tea) powder 2 large egg whites

Place Chilean sea bass in a steamer. Add ¼ cup ginger

¾ cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)

julienne and Chinese rock sugar. Pour sake, soy sauce, and sesame oil over fish. Steam for 10 minutes, or until the fish

Mix sugar, matcha, and egg whites together in bowl set over a

is fully cooked. Garnish with scallions, crisp ginger julienne,

simmering pan of water. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved,

and cilantro. Suggested Pairing: Premium Sake, Chardonnay,

mixture is just hot and has taken on a shiny gloss. Transfer mixture

or Jasmine Tea. Serves 2 to 4.

to bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment. Beat the egg white mixture until cool and then beat in softened butter a bit at a time until completely combined. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. For White Chocolate Ganache 7 ounces white chocolate (chopped) 2 Tbsp heavy cream ½ cup heavy cream Whip ½ cup of cream until it holds a soft peak. Melt the white chocolate and 2 Tbsp cream together over double boiler until smooth, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Fold whipped cream into melted white chocolate mixture until combined. Set ganache aside in refrigerator. Trim tops from both cakes to make flat, if desired. Place first round of cake onto cake stand. Spread a ¼-inch thick layer of white chocolate ganache on top of round. Place second cake on top. Frost outside of cake with green tea buttercream and decorate with berries, kiwi or kumquat slices, or sprinkle lightly with matcha powder.






By Owner Dominic Moreno

By Chef Jim Murphy

On A Roll │ Tucson

Bluefin and Kingfisher │ Tucson

½ pound of jumbo crab meat (canned is fine)

5 pounds New Jersey red “sweets” potatoes

1½ pound of cream cheese

½ cup basil pesto

1 bunch green onion

½ cup Asiago cheese

¼ cup of minced garlic

salt and pepper, 1 tsp, more or less

2 Tbsp minced ginger

2 ounces extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt pinch of pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place potatoes on a baking

3 cups peanut oil or vegetable oil

sheet lightly coated with oil and salt and pepper. Bake for

small square wonton wraps

40–50 minutes, remove, split, and slightly cool. Scoop out

1 egg

into a mixer, salt and pepper, add extra virgin olive oil, and mix to incorporate. Place in appropriate sized baking dish,

Combine first seven ingredients into large bowl and mix well.

and smooth out the top, coat with pesto and sprinkle cheese

Beat the egg in a small bowl. With a spoon, add ½ Tbsp of the

evenly over the top. Bake covered at 325 degrees for 30–40

mixture to the middle of the wonton square. Brush the egg

minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 12.

around the edges of the wrap and bring in all corners to the middle. Then with your fingers, close all open spaces by pinching

For Basil Pesto

together. Heat oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Fry each

2 cups picked, washed basil

piece until golden brown and set on paper towel to dry. Be careful

½ cup pine nuts

not to add too many to the pot, which will bring the temperature

½ cup Parmesan, grated (Asiago would suffice)

of the oil down and will take the wonton longer to brown. Serve

salt and pepper

warm and add any sauce you prefer for dipping. On A Roll likes

1 cup olive oil

to serve their crab puffs with a plum sauce. Yields 25.

½ ounce lemon juice


Place all in food processor, pulse until basil is finely chopped and

By Chef/Owner Jack Ahern

all mixed together.

Ric’s Cafe │ Tucson 2 red onions 2 red bell peppers, roasted and seeded


2 Anaheim peppers, roasted and seeded

By Chef/Owner Jonathan Landeen

2 green bell peppers, roasted and seeded

Jonathan’s Cork │ Tucson

4 medium chicken breasts, fat removed 6 cups chicken stock

10 12-ounce bone-in pork chops

2 cups heavy cream or 2% milk

6 cups wheat and sourdough bread, diced

2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped

2 cups onions, chopped

½ pound butter

2 cups celery, chopped

½ cup all purpose flour

¼ pound of butter 1 cup pecan pieces

On a BBQ grill, place the Anaheim peppers and bell peppers.

1 cup dried cranberries, chopped

You want to turn the skin black on all sides. Place peppers in

½ cup chicken stock

a brown paper bag and seal. Let peppers cool 20 minutes.

2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper

Season cleaned chicken with salt and pepper. Spray

½ cup apple juice

chicken with non-stick spray. Cook chickens on a grill until

½ cup white wine

cooked through. Place chicken in refrigerator to cool.

¼ cup canola oil

Clean peppers in running water and peel off charred skin. When clean, pull seed pod out and shake extra seeds

Sauté onion and celery in butter. Add chicken stock and fold into

out. Carefully dice peppers and onions. Place in pot with ½

diced bread. Add pecan pieces, cranberries, salt, and pepper.

pound of butter. Sauté until tender.

Toss and set aside. Cut a pocket in each pork chop with a

While peppers are cooking, cut chicken into bite-sized

sharp knife the length of the chop, with about a 1-inch opening.

squares. When vegetables are tender, sprinkle ½ cup of all

With a spoon, fill each chop with the stuffing. (Can keep in the

purpose flour, a little at a time, so you do not have any lumps

refrigerator for two days.)

develop. When all flour has been added, pour chicken stock

Sauté pork chops in oil till golden brown. Turn and splash

and cream or milk in, and bring to a boil. When soup boils,

with white wine and apple juice. Simmer 5 minutes and put in

turn heat down to a simmer, continue to stir until soup is

350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Pair with your favorite

slightly thickened. Add diced chicken. Add salt and pepper to

homemade or store-bought applesauce.

taste. Serves 8–10.






FALL 2008

Arizona Gourmet Living • Holiday 2009  

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