Start saving your calories: Tucson Meet Yourself will once again fill downtown with local and international culture this Oct. 10 – 12. Known for presenting a wide variety of traditions to Tucson, the weekend-long festival has earned the unofficial title of Tucson Eat Yourself for the variety and plethora of edible options offered. Indeed, this year 47 food vendors will fill the courtyard behind the historic courthouse on Church and Alameda.
47 Scott’s Travis Reese and Nicole Flowers have relaunched Saint House Rum Bar as Saint House Island Bistro & Rum Bar with a new happy hour, new menu, and an interior makeover. New menu item highlights include ceviche, street tacos, catfish and shrimp, citrus-cured conch chowder, seared ahi tuna salad, and passion fruit chicken. About the change, Reese said, “We wanted to create something a little more exotic and a lot more fun.” 245 E. Congress St.
Metzger Family Restaurants, the restaurant group behind Gio Taco, Poppy Kitchen, the former Jax Kitchen, and The Abbey (of which ownership was recently transferred) will open Jackson Tavern in the fall. Located in the former Red Sky Cafe at 2900 N. Swan Road, in the recently renovated Plaza Palomino (just across the parking lot from Vero Amore), Jackson Tavern will feature New England-inspired cuisine consisting of classic tavern fare and modern interpretations. Metzger Family Restaurants also plans to open an outdoor Thrifty ice cream station called JT Shack adjacent to the restaurant.
Goodness Juice Bar & Fresh Food has added an array of new menu items, including the standout Pink Dragon smoothie with dragonfruit, mango, banana, pineapple, coconut milk, kiwi, almonds, apricots, dates, coconut, mint, and agave. They’re also planning to open a second location on the ground floor of the new high rise student complex on Tyndall Avenue, just south of Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ. 2502 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson’s beloved Greek Festival will return after a fire at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church scrapped last year’s plans. Classic Greek dishes such as souvlaki, spanakopita, baklava, and many more will be available along with music, dancing, and other festivities. Check out TucsonGreekFest.com for more information.
Poco & Mom’s, the beloved New Mexico-style Mexican restaurant on S. Kolb Road will open a second location in early September inside the Santa Fe Square at 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road. If you’ve ever paid a visit to the Kolb Road location, the new Poco & Mom’s will be quite an improvement with a full bar, private banquet room, and spacious patio. While no menu changes are planned for location number two, business hours will be extended to 10 p.m.
The paper backed windows stamped Proper Meatery on Congress Street next door to Proper will come down as Proper owner Paul Moir (and also of Flagstaff’s Criollo and Brix) opens the doors to Proper Meats + Provisions in the fall. Fresh artisan meats, charcuterie, local cheeses, soups, and sandwiches will be available from the new butcher shop that promises, “a return to the artfulness of butchery and carefully curated products not commonly found on big-box grocery store shelves.”
Northside tamale lovers, unite. Tucson Tamale will open a third location—their second location opened earlier this year—at 7286 N. Oracle near Ina in the former Jax Kitchen. Guests can watch tamale magic being made through a window opening the kitchen to the dining room.
Tucson food truck Cheesy Rider will set up a permanent location at the Tucson Mall inside the food court. With plans to open on Sept. 8, the new location will add soups, salads, and Sonoran hot dogs. 4500 N. Oracle Road. ✜
Since 2009, Adam Lehrman as Tucson Foodie has provided options and information on a wide variety of topics pertaining to food in Tucson. Find him on the web at TucsonFoodie.com.