18 January, 2022, 00:53

Best Things We Tasted This Month: February 2019

The best bites ranged from vegan burgers to Sichuan specialties.

Although we’re always working hard to bring you the latest in food news, we also have meals outside of what you read about or see on Instagram.

With that in mind, here are our picks for the best things we tasted this month. For more information on each restaurant, click on the restaurant name.

Adam Lehrman, Founder

Vegan Burger at Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Vegan Burger at Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar (Credit: Jackie Tran)

  • Paupia Soad at Senae Thai Bistro – “Simple, clean, healthy and delicious. They’re essentially well-executed vegetable spring rolls. The subtle touch of mint is just right.”
  • Vegan Burger at Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar – “Strong contender for one of the best vegan burgers ever. The unique base of beets means it visually looks like you’re eating a rare ground beef burger.”

Jennifer Teufel Schoenberger, Catalyst

Sweet Cream Honeycomb Ice Cream at Screamery (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Sweet Cream Honeycomb Ice Cream at Screamery (Credit: Jackie Tran)

  • Paupia Soad at Senae Thai Bistro – “I needed something bright and fresh. You know that feeling. So, when you get that feeling, eat this. Perfect fresh bite with the sweet and spicy sauce wrapped in a delicious rice noodle and fresh mint. Lunch!”
  • Belgian Fries at Ten55 Brewing and Sausage House – “And then there are those moments when I need a perfect fry in a perfect dipping sauce. The Belgian Fries at Ten55 with their creamy dill sauce hits the spot for crunchy, creamy and salty. Thank you!”
  • Pickles at Ten55 Brewing and Sausage House – “Alright, I know I’m all about downtown so far this month, it’s just coincidence. And here was a crazy perfect moment for me. I’m very specific about pickles. I like them crunchy, almost fresh and vinegary. I found a new favorite, also at Ten55. I’m usually only thinking about that great griddled bun from Viro’s Real Italian Bakery, but this moment was all about the pickled cucumber. CRUNCH!”
  • A5 Wagyu from Forbes Meat Company – “On a totally other note (meaning very a carnivorous note) if you save your gold coins up, go visit Ben Forbes Meat Company at 5 Points Farmers Market. Ask him when he’s getting some A5 Wagyu in and beg him to save you a few ounces. Sear it gently (is that an oxymoron?), just enough to start the melt of the marbling. Then hide in your closet, savoring it and sharing it with NO ONE!”
  • Sweet Cream Honeycomb Ice Cream at the Screamery – “And finally, I have to talk about the dessert, ‘cause you know I have a sweet tooth that controls most of my daily decision-making processes. Let’s talk ice cream. Adam and I were lucky enough to sit down with Gilbert Gottfried at the Screamery. Sweet Cream and Honeycomb. Yes, please. That kinda butterfat mixed with the crunchy house-made candy made this eater forget who else was at the table. Yum and yum.”

Kate Severino, Editor

Le Buzz Cookie at Le Buzz Cafe (Credit: Kate Severino)

Le Buzz Cookie at Le Buzz Cafe (Credit: Kate Severino)

  • Azteca Tacos from Tumerico — “I might see cacti daily but I hadn’t eaten one until this month. Now don’t picture me gnawing on a Saguaro, I’m talking freshly prepared prickly pear paddles, diced and cooked with mushrooms, stuffed into two fried-to-order hard shell tacos from Tumerico. Was it vegan? Yes. Topped with all the delicious plant-based fixin’s you’d want on a plate? Also, yes. Will I go back hoping the dish makes another appearance on their daily-changing menu? YES! Ding, ding, ding we have ourselves a winner.”
  • Le Buzz Cookie at Le Buzz Café — “I like the casual vibe at Le Buzz. I like that you seat yourself amidst cyclists, families with their furry friends and that you can hear the birds on the patio while eating breakfast. And I like their cookies – the house cookie to be exact. I wasn’t even a ‘cookie person’ before now but clearly make exceptions for baked goods that stay crisp on the outside with a chewy center. Anyone would make an exception for a perfectly balanced bite with just the right amount of chocolate chips, pecans, oatmeal, and Heath bar wrapped up in a baked treat that is inhaled rather than nibbled. Toss one my way and we’ll be instant friends, just like that.”

Matt Sterner, Events Writer

  • Bacon-Wrapped Dates at Barrio Brewing Company – “It was featured on one of their beer pairing dinners. I don’t even enjoy eating dates or drinking a date shake in Dateland, AZ, but these were an exception because they were so delicious (the beer was great, too).”
  • Wings at ATL Wings – “Another nice surprise for me this month. I had two dry rubs, the ATL Special and Lemon Pepper, and both were great. I also liked the option to grab a cup of Kool-Aid in addition to soda.”

Jackie Tran, Lead Writer & Photographer

Takoyaki from Takoyaki Balls (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Takoyaki from Takoyaki Balls (Credit: Jackie Tran)

  • Porchetta at Ten55 Brewing and Sausage House – “Even though this was the first beer dinner at Ten55’s new space, they knocked it out of the park. The Porchetta featured pork that was fed walnuts and olives and the flavor came through. It was juicy and tender with a shatteringly-crisp skin — the closest thing I’ve had to pork perfection.”
  • Rattan Pepper Lamb at China Bamboo – “Rather than the common red Sichuan pepper, this soupy dish uses the green version with an overall grassier flavor profile for the dish. Beware, it still packs quite the numbing punch.”
  • Curated Cheese Board from Duffy at Rincon Market – “Whether you have a romantic picnic or you’re working on your night cheese alone in a Snuggie on your couch, Duffy will have the right cheese for you. For an indulgent treat, seek out the Green Chartreuse-bathed cheddar The MoonRabbit wrapped in green foil. Side shout out to the schmaltzy potatoes on the lunch menu.”
  • Takoyaki from Takoyaki Balls – “These spherical octopus fritters feature a satisfying crunch and a custard-like center with a refreshing hint of pickled ginger, crunchy tempura scraps, sliced green onion, and tender chunks of octopus. Top them with Japanese mayonnaise, slightly-sweet Worcestershire-like takoyaki sauce, crushed seaweed, and delicate ‘bacon of the sea’ bonito flakes for an explosive blend of umami worth daydreaming about.”
  • Churro French Toast from Tito & Pep – “While ‘churro’ and ‘horchata’ as adjectives often end up just being cinnamon sugar, this French toast actually has a satisfying churro crunch to it as well. The roasted mango adds just enough sweetness without overpowering the dish.”

What was the best thing you tasted in Tucson this month? Let us know in the comments.

Wile E Coyote Yes GIF by Looney Tunes - Find & Share on GIPHY

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.