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Five Palms set to open next week; reserve spot

Five Palms Steak and Seafood in the Foothills is set to open next week in the extensively remodeled building that previously housed Terra Cotta.

Owner Nino Aidi gutted much of the 112,800-square-foot building, knocking out walls and adding windows to create an airy, Mediterranean-inspired theme.

He had expected to open several times, beginning last November, but the date was pushed back to allow for more remodeling.

Five Palms plans to hold several soft opening events for guests and private events before opening to the public March 29. Reservations are required for opening night and can be made beginning Monday by calling 615-5555.

Five Palms, 3500 E. Sunrise Drive, includes three restaurant/retail concepts: the main Five Palms Restaurant, which will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Nino's Bar & Grill, open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; and Dovino's Wine, Cigar and Gourmet Shop, open daily 11 a.m. to midnight. Five Palms also will do corporate and party events in its private banquet room. Details: 615-5555 or

Ra Sushi hosts its own March Madness contest

RA Sushi is hosting a March Madness-style sushi showdown eating contest that's set up much like the NCAA basketball tournament.

The contest's first round will have two heats of 12 competitors who will have three minutes to eat as many uncut Tootsy Makis - kani kama crab mix, shrimp and cucumber rolled and topped with crunchy tempura bits - as they can. The top three finishers in each heat, six finalists in all, advance to the championship round, where one will walk away with the top prize - free sushi for a year.

Spaces are limited so it's wise to preregister. It's free; all you have to do is drop by Ra and sign a waiver to get your name on the list. For details, call 625-3970.

The contest is from 3 to 6 p.m. April 7 at RA Sushi, 2905 E. Skyline Drive, at La Encantada.

Maynards planning Napa Valley wine dinner

Maynards Market + Kitchen is hosting a dinner with Napa Valley winemaker Hailey Trefethen of Trefethen Family Vineyards next Friday.

If the weather holds as it has, the dinner will be on Maynard's inviting plaza, where Chef Adam Buzzalini will present a five-course wine-paired menu featuring Trefethen's newest releases.

The cost is $125 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reserve a spot by coming into Maynards, 400 N. Toole Ave., or online at Details: 545-0577.

Barbecued Rib Dinner benefits veterans

The McCulloch-Wagner American Legion Post 109 on the southeast side is holding a barbecue rib dinner Friday to benefit patients at Tucson's VA Hospital.

For $9, you get a large T-bone steak-sized barbecue rib, salad, baked potato, roll and soft drink. Organizers said the ribs are from Dickman's Meat and Deli on East Broadway.

The dinner is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the post, 15921 S. Houghton Road. Details: 762-5652.

Three courses, $39 at Sullivan's

The Tucson outpost of Sullivan's Steakhouse introduced a budget-friendly everyday dinner deal on Monday.

The three-course prix fixe (chilled shrimp cocktail, Shanghai-style calamari or cheesesteak egg rolls), soup or salad and an entree (including Sullivan's favorites New York Strip crusted with porcini and shallots, filet medallions and scampi-style Gulf shrimp, and roasted chicken) for $39. The deal is good only at dinnertime.

Sullivan's, 1785 E. River Road, is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and for dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 5 to 10 p.m. Sundays. Details and reservations: 299-4275.

El Charro, Omar's Hi-Way on Travel Channel

El Charro Café is featured in the latest episode of "Food Paradise" on the Travel Channel.

The episode focuses on Mexican food, highlighting El Charro for its roof-dried carne seca.

The episode was filmed at the original downtown location, 311 N. Court Ave., last summer and premiered last week. The family-owned restaurant now has four locations in the Tucson area.

"Food Paradise" airs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.

Omar's Hi-Way Chef, housed in the independently owned Tucson Truck Terminal, off Interstate 10 at the Craycroft Road exit (and locally known as the Triple-T ), will appear on "Food Paradise" on Wednesday.

Filming took place in November, on a day manager Omar Ramirez describes as "probably the busiest day we had in a long time."

In the episode, featuring truck stops, Ramirez says to look out for their deep-dish apple-cherry-peach pie, served in individual crock pots with the crust baked on top, and heaped with ice cream.

Check listings for when episodes will air.

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