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Last modified on July 27th, 2016 at 10:47 am
Simple food can be absolutely stunning with quality ingredients. At Time Market, even a simple baguette can be revelatory.
Just east of Fourth Avenue and west of Main Gate Square, Time Market is barely out of plain sight. The standalone building has no flashy signage, looking like a simple neighborhood market.
Step inside and you’ll immediately sense how special Time Market really is. The north-facing glass walls bring an abundance of soft natural light and provide a perfect spot for people-watching.
The counter facing the entrance greets you with some of the best bread in Tucson. The rustic loaves of Tartine-inspired pain au levain, walnut breads, and baguettes sit in paper sleeves, begging to be taken home with one of Time’s impressive selection of artisanal cheeses a few steps away. If you arrive at 10:30 a.m., the bread will be fresh out of the oven with an aroma that’s impossible to resist.
To the left is the small but varied selection of exclusively organic produce, some of which is used in Time Market’s kitchen. You’ll find carrots with their bright green tops still attached, arugula from Sleeping Frog Farms, and bundles of vibrant radishes.
Or, head straight towards the rear of the store to find a curated selection of groceries along the way such as Bianco DiNapoli canned tomatoes and world-class chocolates, before reaching the refrigerated specialty beverages along the back wall.
However, if you’re at Time Market to grab a bite to eat, steer right to the bar counter. Even the simple house coffee is outstanding. The iced green tea has a refreshing mild lime zest flavor, making it easy to enjoy by either chugging or sipping.
For happy hour, pints of beer and wine glasses are $1 off. The following food items are only available during happy hour:
The beer selection features a wide range of regions, with at least one rotating local tap.
For a summer classic, try the Oberon Wheat Ale ($5) by Bell’s Brewery in Michigan. The wheat malt provides a smooth mouthfeel, while the light citrus aroma helps brighten the beer and complements the fruity olive oil used in some of the dishes.
For wine, Rosé Coteaux d’Aix en Provence ($8) from Commanderie de la Bargemone is an elegant summer alternative.
The rosé’s floral aromas and berry flavor pair well with the Perrito Calladito ($5), which literally translates to hush puppy. The perritos are masa-based hush puppies plated with tangy hot salsa and cilantro-lime crema and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. The kernels of corn add texture and subtle sweetness. Both sauces are worth licking off the plate.
The other irresistible fried ball food on the happy hour menu is the arancini ($4). The breaded shallot and white wine risotto balls are stuffed with mozzarella, plated with basil and lemon oil, and topped with a light grating of cheese. This Italian snack food hasn’t gained popularity yet in America, but it is one of the most addictive morsels in existence. It’s marvelously crunchy, while the risotto is a creamy, comforting change from the doughiness of many fried foods. Stuffing anything with cheese is always a welcome augmentation.
Stuffing cheese with cheese results in burrata ($5), which Xzibit invented after finding inspiration in a sabbatical to Murgia in south Italy during the early 1900s. Maybe that was a fib, but it’s a tasty invention regardless. Burrata at Time Market is house-made mozzarella stuffed with house ricotta, drizzled with olive oil, topped with hand-torn basil, and served with brioche crackers. The delicate, creamy bundle of cheese is worth dreaming about.
Lastly, the bar nuts ($3) feature Spanish peanuts, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, thyme, rosemary, Tellicherry peppercorn, and salt. The Spanish peanuts have a higher oil content, providing a nuttier flavor. The pepitas and sunflower seeds add crunch and a bounty of nutrients, while the herbs and Tellicherry peppercorn add an intoxicating aroma.
If happy hour isn’t enough to fill you up, order from the main menu. The daily specials are posted daily on Time Market’s website. The $4 slice of pizza is a college student favorite. The sandwiches feature their fantastic house-made bread, so naturally the sandwiches are exemplary as well. The kale salad and beet pistachio salad are both raving about.
Hurry up and check it out before summer ends and it’s flooded with college students.
Time Market is located at 444 E. University Blvd. and is open daily. Happy hour runs 3 – 6 p.m. daily. For more information, visit timemarket.xyz. To keep up with specials, visit Time Market on Facebook. For a list of other hot happy hour picks, click here.