Zemam's Too now open in Garland Bistro space

Zemam's Ethiopian Cuisine opened its second location last week in the East Speedway building that long housed the vegetarian-inclined Garland Bistro.

The menu mirrors the menu at chef-owner Amanuel Gebremariam's original Zemam's, which he opened 1996 at 2731 E. Broadway.

Hours at Zemam's Too are from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and from 4:30 to 9 p.m. for dinner on Tuesdays through Sundays. It is closed Mondays.

Cathalena E. Burch

The B Line closes for remodeling, new patio

The B Line restaurant on North Fourth Avenue closed today for a two-week summer break/renovation project, according to a posting on Facebook.

The owners could not be reached for comment, but on Facebook they said they will reopen Aug. 13 with a new patio and new menu.

The B Line, 621 N. Fourth Ave., has been a magnet for Tucson hipsters since it opened in 2002. In addition to having more than a dozen brews on tap, the restaurant's menu includes Southwestern fare, pastas, sandwiches and salads and a drool-inducing dessert list that runs the gamut from cheesecakes to cream pies.

Cathalena E. Burch

La Cocina taking two-week summer break

La Cocina, Tucson's "venue with a menu," has started its summer hiatus and will be closed through Aug. 11, with a few exceptions.

It will open its doors Saturday for its regular dance night with DJ Herm, starting at 10 p.m.

The restaurant, at 201 N. Court Ave., will also be open Aug. 10-11, from 4-10 p.m. for its inaugural rummage sale.

The shops surrounding La Cocina are staying open.

Visit facebook.com/lacocinatucson for more information.

Gerald M. Gay

New Food truck will put focus on grilled cheese

A new food truck set to hit the streets next month has plans to please with cheese.

Dubbed Cheesy Rider, the truck will offer a variety of grilled cheese options and other gourmet sandwiches.

Why grilled cheese?

"It's comfort food," said owner Sean Scott. "It's familiar. Everyone can relate to it."

Scott has no formal background in the food service industry.

He came to Tucson from Southern California for college and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Arizona in 1999.

He moved into radio after graduating, doing promotions and on-air work at The Point (104.1-FM), Mix-FM, KFMA and KLPX.

For the last 10 years, he has made a living as a real estate appraiser, but has always loved cooking.

"I was making my own food four to five times a week," he said. "I thought, 'Why not follow my passion and be happy?' "

Scott bought the truck from a South Tucson vendor and will be working with local chef Robert Bruce.

Among its special offerings: a secret menu and a "Man vs. Food"-style eating challenge.

Follow the truck's progress at facebook.com/CheesyTruck

Gerald M. Gay

GET all-you-can-eat ribs at Mr. K's on Wednesdays

Mr. K's Barbeque near the Tucson Mall is giving us a reason to leave our air conditioning on Wednesdays: all-you-can-eat ribs.

From 4 to closing on Wednesdays, you can get all the dry-rubbed, freshly smoked ribs you can handle for $19.99.

Mr. K's is at 4911 N. Stone Ave., on the corner of East River Road. Details: 408-7427 or tucsonsbestbbq.com

Eat at Fuddruckers and help animals

Tucson's lone Fuddruckers hamburger restaurant is hosting a fundraiser for Tucson's lone no-kill animal shelter.

From 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. next Thursday, Fuddruckers will donate a portion of burger sales to Hope Animal Shelter, the city's only no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. Here's how it works: You have to show the cashier a copy of a flier posted on Hope's website (hopeanimalshelter.net ) or display it on your phone.

Fuddruckers is at 6118 E. Speedway. Details: 792-9200.

Cathalena E. Burch

Free Cuppings offered at Exo Roast Co.

Exo Roast Co. is now offering free cuppings twice a week at its downtown shop, 403 N. Sixth Ave.

Exo co-owner Doug Smith said a plan for regular cuppings has been in the works since the business opened more than a year ago, but "we were on a skeleton crew to keep costs low and get our feet on the ground."

Now that the shop has a solid footing, the cuppings are a go.

"It is a great way to develop your palette," Smith said. "To discern different things in a coffee - its floral character, acid level, its fruit note. Whatever might be in there."

The cuppings, to be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and 11:30 on Saturdays, will almost always be different.

"We get new coffees coming in all the time," Smith said. "Sometimes, we'll get a coffee that none of us have tried, so we get to experience it together. It's kind of fun."

Interested participants can RSVP when the cuppings are announced on Exo's Facebook page, facebook.com/ExoCoffee

Only six to 10 people will be allowed to participate per cupping.

"If you get too many people, you can't do it correctly," Smith said. "The coffee can cool too quickly. It gets unwieldy."

Gerald M. Gay

Fruit treats trailer coming to Tucson Mall

You'll soon be able to nosh on chocolate-dipped bananas and other sweet fruit treats while roaming the shops at the Tucson Mall.

The Nanners food trailer has signed a two-year lease with the shopping center.

Its custom-made trailer will set up outside of the food court entrance during the week with a smaller stand in the mall on the weekends.

Nanners serves a variety of sweets revolving around fruit, including Nanner pops (think chocolate dipped peaches, pears and pineapples on sticks) and Nanner-ade, a mix of banana purée, lemonade and coconut water.

Nanners has been working as a food stand for four years, a staple of major events such as the Fourth Avenue Street Fair and the annual Pride in the Desert festivities and a roving vendor at Safeways across the city.

"We are offering healthy alternatives to the types of fried foods that you might find in the mall," said owner Shane Ray, who runs Nanners with his business partner, Matthew Cheffer. "We are excited to give this to the people."

Ray said they hope to be up and running by the end of August.

Track their progress at twitter.com/nannerstucson

Gerald M. Gay

New bar downtown will offer only AZ beer, wine

A new bar on the Rialto block downtown will stick strictly to Arizona wines and beers when it opens its doors on Sept. 1.

The Good Oak Bar, at 316 E. Congress St., will be the latest downtown installment of Flagstaff restaurateur Derrick Widmark, who opened a second location of his Flag eatery, Diablo Burger, on the same block in May.

Like Diablo Burger, which sources most of its ingredients in-state, Good Oak's menu will focus on the local.

The selections are still being worked out, but Widmark said some of the breweries on his wish list include the Dragoon and Ten Fifty-Five brewing companies in Tucson and Wanderlust Brewing Co. from Flagstaff.

"The goal is to provide a taste of place," Widmark said. "We want people to eat and drink things that were made and grown locally."

Beer and wine options will rotate. There will also be a small menu that will include sandwiches, salads and a burger option.

"It is a chance to broaden what we do," Widmark said. "Diablo Burger is a place where you are going to get burgers and fries, but it sticks to the same menu day in and day out. We get to expand with Good Oak."

Widmark said the plan is to create a bar that will feel like it has always been there.

Gerald M. Gay

Downtown's global tour stops in Havana

Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails has pulled into Havana for a month of tastes from the tropics.

It's the third stop on chef-owner Janos Wilder's global culinary tour that highlights tastes from around the world.

On the Havana layover, expect to be wowed with fresh seafood and inventive incorporations of fruits and veggies in dishes such as the Cubano tomato gazpacho with crab appetizer, rainbow trout paired with a pineapple and coconut milk sticky rice or a decadent rum- and coffee-cured duck breast.

You can order a la carte or pay $35 for a three-course dinner.

The Havana tour runs through Sept. 2. Downtown Kitchen's "Downtowns Around the Globe" ends with a tasty trip to Mumbai, India, Sept. 3 through 30. For reservations, call 623-7700 or go online to downtownkitchen.com

Cathalena E. Burch