While we’re happy for the restaurants that Guy Fieri recently visited, we fear the lines will be crazy once the show airs. Here’s what we recommend eating at each restaurant ASAP before you have to deal with crowds.
Know much about Bosnian food? Considering there are only a handful in all of the U.S., probably not. Chef Alisah can work magic with meats, transforming beef into little sausages called cevapi. Order the cevapi on their own or get them in a massive mixed grill feast, the Mješano Meso, which also includes steak, chicken breast, pljeskavica (a ground beef patty), rice, veggies, avjar sauce, tzatziki, cabbage salad, and fresh homemade bread. Although the plates aren’t elaborate with garnishes and spices, Chef Alisah’s decades of experience are immediately apparent within the first bite. Also, the portions are gargantuan — you won’t leave hungry.
For more information, call (520) 887-5305 or visit alisahrestaurant.com.
With such a wide range of cultures and biodiversity, Peru puts out world-class food. Their cuisine hasn’t caught fire in Tucson yet, but Guy Fieri knows what’s up. To start, order the Tiraditos Clasicos, which features red snapper marinated in a sauce of lime and ají amarillo, a fruity Peruvian yellow pepper. For a signature dish, get the Lomo Saltado, beef tenderloin stir-fried with tomatoes, onions, fries, and a peppery sauce. Wash it all down with a cocktail that features Peru’s brandy, the pisco sour.
For more information, visit incasperuviancuisine.com.
Renee’s features simple, wholesome, fun food for both picky eaters and discerning gourmands to appreciate. For an addictive starter, try the Meatballs in jalapeño cream sauce. The signature Thai Curry pizza features red curry sauce, spicy Mary’s chicken, mozzarella, red pepper, zucchini, onion, basil, and parmesan. If you have any leftovers from the Papas Con Queso pizza — which features organic potatoes, Sonoran cream, house roasted green chilies, broccoli, and chives — eat it for breakfast with an over-easy egg on top. Bonus: they have a great happy hour.
For more information, call (520) 886-0484 or visit reneesorganicoven.com.
Naturally, a Chicago-style stuffed pizza or deep-dish pizza is a must at Rocco’s. But people also make a trip for their crispy wings and fresh-baked cookies. Even the simple Caesar Salad is outstanding. Rocco’s recipes make these simple dishes one of a kind. Also, don’t forget to order a side of the Spicy Hot Sticks, which are twirls of bread intertwined with hot sauce. And some Savory Fried Ravioli while you’re at it.
For more information, call (520) 321-1860 or visit roccoslittlechicago.com.
With no permanent menu and only a chalkboard menu that changes daily, we can’t recommend a specific dish at Tumerico. And even though the menu is vegetarian and mostly vegan, you will leave extremely full and satisfied. The soup and cup of coffee included with each meal certainly helps. Favorite meal from the past include the Coconut Curry, Mushroom Enchiladas, Crispy Nopalitos Tacos, Sweet Potato Pancakes, and Mole French Toast with Mexican Hot Chocolate Syrup.
For more information, call (520) 270-2055 or visit tumerico.com.
Ethiopian cuisine is rich with spices, making it a popular favorite for both vegetarians and carnivores. With so many choices on the menu, we recommend the Mixed Veggie and Meat Sampler. While most of the vegetable dishes are stewed or simmered, the Cauliflower is roasted with a blend of peppers and garbanzo flour for a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. The original Zemam’s also has a BYOB policy, so bring a bottle of wine, beer, or tej, an Ethiopian honey wine.
For more information, call (520) 323-9928 or visit zemams.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...