Delicious dishes off the beaten path need some love.
Tucson has signature dishes that friends will casually recommend; Eegee’s fries or Sonoran hot dogs, for example.
But what about other dishes found elsewhere that are straight-up delicious? Or the ones off the beaten path? You should order these anyway because they need love, too.
Here are five of the best dishes you’ve probably never tried in Tucson.
Commoner & Co., 6960 E. Sunrise Dr.
Commoner & Co.’s Bacon Carbonara off the brunch menu is hardly traditional, but it’s filled with love.
House-made fettuccine, bacon, and a soft poached egg are boosted by the deep umami of parmesan, a cured egg yolk, and a healthy kick of black pepper. The intensely rich dish requires a nap afterwards.
For more information, visit commonertucson.com.
The Coronet, 402 E. Ninth St.
Cauliflower lovers can’t miss out on the Roast Cauliflower at the Coronet.
The nutty, carefully charred roast half head of cauliflower sits on a bed of spinach dressed with cashew freekeh, Roquefort, and date molasses. Though this is the dish’s second seasonal appearance in a row, you’ll want to get it ASAP in case it disappears from the menu released in spring.
For more information, visit cafecoronet.com.
Mama Louisa’s, 2041 S. Craycroft Rd.
You might have already had the Joe’s Special at Mama Louisa’s, but don’t neglect their Third Generation Menu.
Of the new dishes, the Italian Ramen might be the one to grow a cult following. The intense beefy stock and house-made alkaline noodles are topped with a soft-boiled egg, 10-hour braised beef cheek, herb salad, and assorted pickled vegetables.
Chef Michael Elefante has been continually tweaking this recipe over the past several months, so some elements may vary by the time you visit.
For more information, visit mamalouisas.com.
Mom’s Glazed Meatloaf
Nook, 1 E. Congress St.
While Nook has a reputation for breakfast and brunch, they recently launched dinner 5 – 10 p.m. Thursday – Saturday. For a beautiful modern interpretation of a home classic, order Mom’s Glazed Meatloaf with potato puree, a red onion flower, and a delicately oniony soubise sauce.
For more information, visit nookdowntown.com.
The Tasteful Kitchen, 722 N. Stone Ave.
While the Tasteful Kitchen updates their menu regularly, one item has made repeat appearances: the Miso Eggplant. Medallions of eggplant are served with a savory miso glaze, coconut black rice, green curry sauce, and Asian greens for a burst of textures and savory flavors.
For more information, call (520) 250-9600 or visit thetastefulkitchen.com.