If you love garlic,
head to Dragoon

Ask a cook and he or she will tell you garlic is the fruit of the Italian gods.

It’s also the centerpiece of more dishes than you can consider, from stand-alone roasted garlic that you spread liberally on toasted baguette to garlic sliced so paper thin it melts into the crispy skin of a roasted chicken. Some people also toss in a smidge with chocolate chip cookies or take it full force in homemade ice cream.

You can see how creative people can get at the fifth annual garlic harvest Saturday and Sunday at Triangle T Guest Ranch, 4790 Dragoon Road in Dragoon. It runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and events include live music, vendors and artisans, face-painting for the kids and a garlic cooking contest. Admission is $3 a carload and proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona. Details: Call 1-520-586-7533.

Downtown getting Fired Pie from Phoenix

Apparently Tucson’s reputation as a pizza-mad berg is spreading.

The city is set to get its third fast-casual pizza restaurant when Phoenix-based Fired Pie opens at Plaza Centro, 350 E. Congress St., in early September.

Fired, which specializes in pizzas and salads, will occupy 2,100 square feet at the plaza, home of the Cadence student housing complex, said Plaza Centro retail developer Jim Campbell.

Campbell said he approached several fast-casual pizza chains in California before discovering Fired Pie on a trip to Phoenix.

“The thing that amazed me about this place was that half the people were eating pizza and half were eating salads,” he said. Campbell said he was looking for a pizzeria that offered salads, something he said was missing from the mix at Plaza Centro.

Fired Pie will take up one of the final retail spaces at Plaza Centro; the only one remaining is a stand-alone space at 335. E. Congress St. Also coming soon: Cut Color Polish salon set to open in August and Planet Smoothies, coming in September. 

Fired Pie will have some company in the fast-casual pizza market, where customers can get a customized individual-sized pizza in minutes. Opening in early to mid-August:

  • Los Angeles-based Pizza Studio at 1031 N. Park Ave., in the cluster of student housing complexes near the University of Arizona.
  • Locally owned Pionic Pizza at 2643 N. Campbell Ave.
Three spots to sip: It’s National Tequila Day

In case you were looking for an excuse to sip tequila, today is National Tequila Day.

Here are three places where you can celebrate.

  • Siz Veza’s Taco Garage — 220 W. Wetmore Road at the Tucson Mall and 4699 E. Speedway. Pull up a chair on the patio and enjoy half-priced tequila shots.
  • Blanco Tacos & Tequila — 2905 E. Skyline Drive in La Encantada. There is no special deal beyond the regular happy hour special of half-priced margaritas from 4 to 6 p.m., but if you want to really embrace the agave, this is the place. It carries 50 different tequilas.
  • Tequila Factory — 5655 W. Valencia Road, in Casino del Sol. It pours 120 varieties of tequila so you are sure to find your favorite. Sip it as a shot, enjoy it in a margarita or taste it in one of the restaurant’s homemade soups or sauces. From 4 to 6 p.m. you can get half-off tequila with the exception of the limited edition varieties. 
Summer dining deal
  • Wildflower American Cuisine is hosting a summer-inspired wine-paired chef’s dinner curated by Executive Chef Omar Huerta. It begins at 6 p.m. Saturday and the set menu includes a duck breast or sea trout entrée, appetizers and a choice of cherry tart or chocolate curd-marzipan-toasted meringue for dessert.
  • The cost is $55 and reservations are encouraged. Wildflower is at 7037 N. Oracle Road, on the corner of North Ina Road. For reservations, call 219-4230. Details:

Cathalena E. Burch

Cathalena E. Burch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.