Here are the best things the Tucson Foodie team tasted in July 2022

Get a load of these local bites

The month of July was full of edible treasures, to say the least.

From pizza to ramen and assorted vegan pastries, there were a lot of tasty moments for the Foodie team. Not only are these reminders of the dishes we ate, they can also be a guide for your own decisions on what to eat here in Tucson.

Without further ado, here are a few of our favorite food experiences.

Addie Ibarra

P.Y. Steakhouse

I did the “Chef’s Trust Me” menu at PY Steakhouse this month and it was stupidly good. The first (out of five courses) was particularly ‘grammable — Kumomoto Oysters with prickly pear vinegar, freeze-dried prickly pear, cucumber, and mint oil. If you ever have the opportunity to request this menu (make sure you note that when making your reservation) I highly, highly recommend it.

Kumomoto Oysters at PY Steakhouse (Photo by Addie Ibarra)

Edie Jarolim

Sexy Grilled Cheese & Salad Co. at Dante’s Fire

My July favorite comes from the “Sexy Grilled Cheese” menu at Dante’s Fire. Talk about gilding the lily — or carb overload. This is a grilled cheese sandwich filled with creamy mac ‘n’ cheese and sided with house-made dill potato chips. Rich and delicious.

Grilled cheese sandwich at Dante's Fire Grilled cheese sandwich at Dante’s Fire (Photo by Edie Jarolim)

Fiam pizza

Nutella pizza? Yes, please! If you like fresh strawberries, blueberries, powdered sugar, and a drizzling of hazelnut and chocolate on wood-fired dough (and who doesn’t?), Fiamme’s delicious dessert pizza is for you.

Nutella Pizza at Fiamme Pizza Nutella Pizza at Fiamme Pizza (Photo by Edie Jarolim)

Hannah Hernandez

Ensenada street food

Everything Ensenada serves makes my mouth water, but their Vegan Ramen Birria and Vegan Ceviche are my new favorites. Lots of vegan and non-vegan options are available.

Vegan Ramen Birria at Ensanada Street Food (Photo by Hannah Hernandez) Vegan Ramen Birria at Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)
Vegan Ceviche at Ensanada Street Food Vegan Ceviche at Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Tohono Chul Garden Bistro

Tohono Chul’s seasonal brunch menu always features at least one beautiful vegan dish. I enjoyed their Blue Corn Vegan Tostadas with a hot and creamy coffee. My mom and I shopped at Tohono Chul’s plant nursery after our delicious meal.

Blue Corn Vegan Tostadas at Tohono Chul Garden Bistro Blue Corn Vegan Tostadas at Tohono Chul Garden Bistro (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Jackie Tran

Houlden’s Rise Above

I did a photoshoot with Houlden’s Rise Above and ate a variety of their vegan pastries. My fave was the chocolate croissant. I’m a butter fiend but didn’t miss the milk fat with this vegan flaky crust and rich vegan dark chocolate. I respect the heck out of all the technique used to make something so simple so special.

Houlden's Rise Above Assorted pastries at Houlden’s Rise Above (Photo by Jackie Tran)
Houlden's Rise Above Assorted pastries at Houlden’s Rise Above (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Kim Johnston

The Delta

My July favorite is the Southern Seafood Boil medley of Gulf shrimp, snow crab, Andouille sausage, yellow corn, and red potatoes available at The Delta because it’s shrimply the best.

Southern Seafood Boil at The Delta Southern Seafood Boil at The Delta (Photo by Kim Johnston)

Mark Whittaker

Govinda’s Natural Foods

After a lot of meat-heavy dishes lately, I just wanted some delicious vegan fare. Luckily I live near Govinda’s and got their Sunday brunch buffet. They had these Curried Lentil Croquettes that I went absolutely mad over. Literally my new vegan treat obsession. They were so tasty, so regal with curry and spice, that I’m going to call now and then and bug ’em asking if they have them. When they do… boink!

Lunch buffet at Govinda’s Natural Foods Buffet (Credit: Jackie Tran)

La Chefita

La Chefita is a new food truck usually parked at Irvington and I-19 that serves up something called Remolinos, which are deep-fried spiralized potatoes served on a skewer. Their namesake is topped with succulent smoked brisket, shredded cheese, nacho cheese, green onions, and either tangy barbecue or spicy chipotle sauce. I got the chipotle and, oh man, this potato tornado nearly did me in but for all the right reasons. Absolutely delicious and easily shareable.

Remolinos at La Chefita food truck Remolinos at La Chefita food truck (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

Kim’s Confections

I wrote about Kim’s Confections a while ago because I had to let everyone know that her goodies are the good-est. Kim’s Chocolate Chunk with Salted Pistachios Cookies is something I always have in the pantry for the perfect nibble of sweet, salty, gooey, yummy, dainty, and awesome. You can find Kim’s stuff in various markets, pop-ups, and through her website — I highly advise you to do so. Her ice cream is amazing, too. But those cookies, though! And people wonder why I can’t lose weight…

Chocolate Chunk Salted Pistachio Cookies at Kim's Confections Chocolate Chunk Salted Pistachio Cookies at Kim’s Confections (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

Matt Sterner

Cafe Desta

This was my very first experience eating Ethiopian food and, by golly, I’m glad I did (I’m not sure what took me so long). Over at Cafe Desta on Stone Avenue and 18th Street, I ordered the Individual Combo, which comes with your choice of three vegan or meat dishes and is then served with salad, injera, or rice. I chose the salad and combined it with Alicha Doro (chicken cooked in turmeric, kibe, onions, and flavored with various spices), Alicha Sega (beef cooked in turmeric, kibe, onions, and flavored with various spices), and Kaye Asa ( fish cooked in berbere, onions and flavored with various spices).

Cafe Desta Cafe Desta (Photo by Matt Sterner)

Plus, it’s BYOB so make your way over to Roy’s Corner Liquor found at 647 S. Sixth Ave. Grab yourself a cold one from the fridge before walking into Cafe Desta and have a great time.

Cafe Desta Cafe Desta (Photo by Sam Jump)

Rita Connelly

Roma imports

An evening at home with Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken from Roma Imports, a slice of Pain au Levain from Barrio Bread, and a glass of vino from Plaza Liquors. Everything you might need without having to get all dressed up.

Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken from Roma Imports Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken from Roma Imports (Photo by Rita Connelly)

Tooley’s Cafe

So happy that Tooley’s is back. Pictured below is the savory Turkey Burro.

Tooley's Cafe Turkey Burro at Tooley’s Cafe (Photo by Rita Connelly)

Sam Jump

Transplant Pizza

Transplant has become my pizza night go-to. Between their noteworthy selection of build-your-own toppings, impeccably balanced crust, bringing both crunch and fluff, and the fact that I can get a cheese-free pizza that isn’t dry or bland, I always leave feeling fed in multiple ways . Pictured below has a Buffalo sauce base, roasted corn, zucchini, mushroom, black olives, and Green Goddess drizzle.

Transplant Pizza Build-your-own pizza at Transplant Pizza (Photo by Sam Jump)

Shane Reiser

El Taco Rustic

My pick of the month is the Mahi Mahi Quesabirria at El Rustico. Chef Juan started slinging tacos at the Tohono O’odham Swap Meet and eventually opened up El Rustico. A few years ago he jumped on the quesabirria bandwagon and whaddayaknow — now he sells over 100,000/year. According to boss Travis Petersexecutive boss at The Parish other The Delta, Rustico serves the best tacos in Tucson. I can’t disagree.

Mahi-mahi quesabirria tacos at El Taco Rustico (Photo by Shane Reiser) Mahi-mahi quesabirria tacos at El Taco Rustico (Photo by Shane Reiser)

Xochitl Grace

Taqueria La Esquina

Vegan Quesabirria from Taqueria La Esquina. They use jackfruit and it’s so delicious!

Vegan Quesabirria from Taqueria La Esquina Vegan Quesabirria from Taqueria La Esquina (Photo by Xochitl Gracia)

Ensenada street food

Vegan Ceviche from Ensenada Street Food!

Vegan ceviche from Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Xochitl Gracia) Vegan ceviche from Ensenada Street Food (Photo by Xochitl Gracia)

Have a favorite please this month? Let us know in the comments.

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