Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where to Eat in Tucson

If you're ever in Tucson and wondering where to eat, you should make your way downtown to a place on East Pennington Street called Cafe Poca Cosa (http://www.cafepocacosatucson.com/).

Not only do they have very funky decor - check out this lamp and this painting - the food is absolutely fabulous. It's Mexican food but like nothing you have ever tasted before. The menu selections are written on a chalkboard which the wait staff brings to your table and uses to describe every item in detail. Of course, by the time you get to the bottom of the list, you've forgotten everything about the first few choices but that's okay, they'll repeat it if necessary. There is also one item that is a sampler place, a combination of 3 items off the menu - the trick is that you can't specify which three items you want, you have to leave it up to the chef to decide. If more than one person at a table picks the sampler plate, no two will be the same. The presentation of each meal is absolutely fabulous, as you can see from this photo. I was lucky enough to get to eat there twice during my week's stay in Tucson - we had dinner there on the evening of our first day of the workshop, with all of the students present, and we also went back there for lunch on my last day in Tucson, when it was just myself, Kate, Heather and 2 friends of Kate's, Ed and Cindy, who were in town visiting from St. Louis. Here's a picture of all of us together. (Bryan, if you're reading this, now you know you're not the only guy I've met who likes to wear these wild and crazy patterned shirts!)


Then again, you could also try In and Out Burger, a drive-through hamburger joint that I had read about in various American magazines but hadn't visited before. All week, we had driven by this place almost every day and finally Heather, Kate and I picked up food there on our last night in town. Kate turned us on to the special menu selections that apparently you have to read about on their website, because they don't mention it on the menu board at the drive-through window. Like, ordering your burger "animal style", which means your burger is cooked in mustard (sounds weird but trust me, it's delicious) and they add grilled onions. Here's the link to their website so you can get yourself up to speed (click on the folder called "not so secret menu"): http://www.in-n-out.com/secretmenu.asp.

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