Thursday, January 12, 2012

Have fork, will travel....

The holidays are over.  Decorations packed up - extra pounds packed on.  And for me, time to head home to see the family. 

I'm excited to head home to Tucson for a few days.  I'm looking forward to visiting family and friends, the familiarity of my hometown, and freeways with no traffic on them.  But no matter how many friends I plan to visit or how much I miss my family, the closer my travel date gets, the more I realize there's one thing on my mind. 


Seriously.  I can name a handful of people I'll have time to see - but about 2 dozen restaurants my stomach will make room for before my flight out.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't book my flight home with the intention of eating my way through the weekend.  But inevitably my mental itinerary starts to include more and more restaurants or bars that we simply "must go to" before the trip is over. 

For example:

Our flight arrives around 11am-ish.  Just in time for lunch.  And what better way to kick off vacation than with a kick-ass BLT.  So a trip to Daggwoods is totally in order.  They have this incredible peppered bacon.  It's so crunchy and spicy on the tongue - but then immediately cooled by the fresh crunch of lettuce and succulent tomato.  I can't find anything else like it anywhere - so you know this place is on the list.

The grumbling in my stomach temporarily abated, I'm afraid I'm going to find myself a little parched.  This means a trip to Eegee's for an Eegee's frozen drink.  Mmmmm...frozen, fruity cups of pure tasty.  And, like Daggwood's bacon - these aren't like anything you can find just anywhere.  Eegee's have just the right consistency and the perfect balance of ice to flavor.  This month's Flavor Of The Month is Pomegranate Blast.  May have to mix that one in with some original Lemon.  Whooo!  Bring on the Brain Freeze!

What's that, stomach?  Hungry again....already?  Well what would a trip to Tucson be without Mexican food?  Now I know that some of you out there think that Mi Nidito has the best Mexican food - and I would have to say that it is indeed pretty tasty.  But for the best Carne Colorado burrito - second only to Grandma's, of course - I have to make a stop at El Charro.  And it's not just the slow, red-chili sauce braised beef, but they also have killer picante salsa (that I have to be careful to not fill up completely on before the entree arrives), and Mmmmmmargaritas that are muchos delicioso (hello - Yellow Cab?  Got a pick-up for ya...). 

OK, stepping away food for a moment - and because there are so many great bars unique to Tucson - now it's time to hit the old stompin' grounds.  The Buffet, The Golden Nugget, and The Shelter. Gotta swing by Old Chicago to make sure my nameplate is still up on the wall.  Nimbus for some "home brew." And since by now our cabbie has fallen in love with how high we've run up the fare, we might as well let him bring us back around to wrap up our evening at the illustrious Kon Tiki for a Scorpion.

(With a nod to literary license, let's just pretend I have the liver of a 21 year old and the tolerance of, well...I'm not sure if anyone has this type of tolerance....)

By this time, we've all had quite a blast, and spent quite a bit of money.  And yes, there are all sorts of fabulous restaurants in the Old Pueblo, but after all of this faux booze in the system, it's time for late night munchies.  That means tacos.  And THAT means.....Nico's.   Crunchy shredded beef tacos slathered in lettuce, cheese and help yourself taco sauce.  If that's not the icing on the evening's festivities, then I'm not quite sure what else is (except, maybe Jack in the Box tacos and fries; but I can get that outside of Tucson, so we'll keep that off the list for now).

Wow!  What a day.  And that's just Day One!  I still have 3 more days to fill up and stretchy pants to fill out.  Now I realize that there are probably a few new places that have been added to Tucson that you may think warrant a visit - so please feel free to drop me a line and let me know what's worth checking out.

After all, I really should spend some time with my family.

So........who wants brunch?!?