Editor’s Note: This summer, we are lucky to have a massively talented group of student interns on our staff. Over the next few days, we’ll be running introductory pieces written by each of the three student interns who help make the Edible Baja Arizona blog what it is – and to those interns, because I can’t say it enough: THANK YOU.
As a kid my introduction to food was a more language-centered experience than anything else. My parents are deaf and my first recollections of enjoyment through food was the enjoyment of perfectly smoked ribs entering my fat little belly as a chubby toddler. This was one of the few times where there wasn’t a language barrier between not only myself but friends I would invite over as we all knew the universal language of culinary satisfaction. This first experience along with many others is what intrigued me about Edible Baja Arizona.
My appetite for the next delicious meal came back with a vengeance during my time in the military. Countless chow hall meals with little to no flavor would send me screaming out of the dining facility in search of any decent meal. I was stationed by the panhandle of Florida, and on the weekends I would venture to nearby restaurants and enjoy shrimp po-boys, gumbo, and many different varieties of fresh fish. Perhaps the best food location I experienced before I came to Tucson was Denver, Colorado. This is where I fell in love with food forever. From craft brews to healthy eats and everything in between, Denver was a potpourri of tremendous food and flavor that I always enjoy going back to whenever I get a chance.
That being said, the single greatest bite of food I have had to this day was from a little hole in the wall barbecue joint in Kansas City, Mo. named LC’s. From the moment you step into LC’s you know it is about to go down! The smokers are inside the less-than-1000-square-foot restaurant and fill up the space with smoke with each opening of the black charred crusty doors – consider it a miracle if your eyes don’t water! Those crusty doors are layered in years of flavor that add a deliciousness to the food like I’ve never experienced. That single bite was a chunk of burnt-end brisket that was the perfect combination of savory crunchy sweetness that you could ever hope for in one taste of food.
I came to Tucson in hopes of achieving a lot of personal goals, but never did I think that this place would have the magnificent levels of food that it does. This internship is a great way to explore more of the culinary scene here in Tucson and the surrounding areas while writing about it, thus combining two great passions of mine. I am obsessed with the details of preparation, attention to detail, and service when it comes to experiencing food. I believe that food is a medium for communication and bonding, not for profit. I also think that the best restaurants don’t sell you food, they create an environment that enables a particular part of the menu to call out to you. An experience for all five senses is what I am after – of course taste being the one I judge with the most! Thanks to Edible Baja Arizona for allowing me to join the team and take in what Tucson is all about.
Some memorable meals from Saul: