More Morsels: Tidbits of Tucson restaurant news

2013-10-24T00:00:00Z More Morsels: Tidbits of Tucson restaurant newsGerald M. Gay Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tucson Tamale Co. to open second location

East-side residents will soon have far less to travel for their Tucson Tamale Company fix.

Owners Todd and Sherry Martin are opening a second location at 7159 E. Tanque Verde Road in  vacant space that once was home to a Magpies Gourmet Pizza.

Todd said business has been good at its original location, 2545 E. Broadway, which is why they are opening another one.

“We feel that we are well- established now,” he said. “We have a good reputation around town and have had a lot of requests to open on the east side.”

At 2,100 square feet, the new spot will share the northeast corner of North Sabino Canyon and East Tanque Verde roads with a variety of businesses, including a Safeway, Jamba Juice, Vantage West Credit Union and the Gusto Osteria Italian restaurant.

“There is so much traffic there,” he said. “It is the access point to the northeast foothills and a lot of the east side.”

Todd said the menu and look will stay the same, with the exception of an additional small display tortilla machine, which will be used to make organic tortillas.

The Tucson Tamale Company received national press this week, with praise from Ann Pittman of Cooking Light magazine.

“When we tried them in our test kitchen, we were blown away at the quality: Simply put, these tamales are really good,” Pittman said.

The Martins hope to open the new location by late January.

New bakery serves gluten-free everything

A new gluten-free bakery and cafe has opened its doors at 402 E. Fourth St.

CakeLab offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches, desserts such as pecan bars and fudge balls, as well as a variety of different breads five days a week.

Owner Daphna Ron started the business out of necessity. A cake decorator by trade, she was diagnosed with celiac disease a decade ago while living in Boston.

“My doctor recommended I wear masks while I work or change professions altogether,” she said. “I couldn’t do that. But nothing helped me from getting sick once in a while.”

After moving to Tucson from Boston to be closer to her mother, she took a job working at Whole Foods on East Speedway, where she was allowed to experiment with gluten-free baking.

“It was wonderful, like free practice,” she said. “It helped Whole Foods and helped me a the same time.”

She opened CakeLab with her brother, Eyal Ron, on the corner of North Fourth Avenue and East Fourth Street, to appeal to those whose options were limited.

The only other completely gluten-free restaurant in the Tucson area is the Gourmet Girls bakery and bistro at 5845 N. Oracle Road.

“Fourth Avenue was a prime location for us,” Daphna said. “We wanted to target a completely different audience.”

CakeLab is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.

Follow the bakery at online.

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