Hotel Congress hosts the Agave Fest on May 3. Above, bartender Dave Clark of Hotel Congress competed last year.


Falora teams up with Sleeping Frog Farms

Ari Shapiro is adding fresh produce from Benson's Sleeping Frog Farms to the menu of his upstart Falora Pizza & Espresso restaurant.

Falora will feature a rotating pizza and salad using Sleeping Frog's produce, Shapiro said.

Sleeping Frog, a 75-acre farm tucked into the Cascabel corridor of the San Pedro River Valley, specializes in heirloom fruits and vegetables. The farm was founded on permaculture design and biodynamic growing principles, according to its website (

Shapiro, who also owns Xoom Juice and Sparkroot, opened Falora in late February in Broadway Village, 3000 E. Broadway.

Falora is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Details: 325-9988 or at

Food truck chef opens sticks and bricks spot

After three years of driving his mobile restaurant around Tucson, Jamaican-born chef Duwayne Hall has a restaurant without wheels.

Hall opened D's Island Grill JA in the Winterhaven Shopping Center space that housed Milagros Cafe Mexican restaurant, 3156 E. Fort Lowell Road. Hall said he is serving the same menu he prepared from his truck with a few extras. He pays homage to the former tenant with jerk chicken tacos and quesadillas. He also joins the burger race with a jerk burger, available with fries and a drink for $6.99.

D's Island Grill JA is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Hall has not retired his Jamaican black, green and red food truck. You can find it from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays at his old stomping grounds in the dirt lot at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Grant Road.

A tequila throwdown with no margaritas?

This is going to sound outlandish: a mixology contest with the main ingredient being tequila, yet you cannot make a margarita.

Crazy, huh?

That's the one rule in the fifth annual Agave Fest at the Hotel Congress, kicking off May 3 - just in time for Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Some of Tucson's finest bartenders will compete to unseat defending champion Ally Baron, who works at La Cocina.

Also competing in the Hotel Congress Plaza on May 3: Aaron DeFeo of Casino del Sol; Luke Anable from Penca; Cameron Fisher from Hotel Congress; 47 Scott's David Kwon; Andrew Record from Playground; Jon Herrera from Elliott's on Congress; and Sky Bar's Daniel Cole.

The competition begins at 7 p.m. and Latin Funk Project will perform. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door, which includes tacos, salsa/guacamole bar, cocktails and tequila sampling. Details and reservations: 622-8848.

American Legion hosts rib feast for VA patients

The McCulloch-Wagner American Legion Post 109 Family, 15921 S. Houghton Road, is hosting a rib dinner to benefit patients in Tucson's Veterans Affairs hospital.

For $9, you can get mesquite-grilled ribs, a baked potato, salad, dessert and a beverage from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. Details: 762-5652.