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From Croutons to Chocolate – A Helpful Guide to the Industry
Get started with your journey with “From Croutons to Chocolate.” In my free e-book, I discuss the ups and downs of the food business. Both my fellow foodies and entrepreneurs will find something useful in the pages. It supports your passion and guides you to the right path.
You can count on my book to help you stay on course. As my grandmother Santa Francoletti used to say when you walked into her house, “Eat!”
I just arrived in Tucson 8 weeks ago from grey but green Seattle, WA. I am really falling for this vibrant sunny city. In Seattle it seems as if there is a Vietnamese restaurant on every street. Most are very good and many are excellent. In Tucson, as I explore the city this is not the case as there are very few to choose from. Maybe the Hot climate does not fit as well in the thoughts of people on the lookout for a place to eat a bowl of hot delicious PHO (Vietnamese Noodle Soup). Put that thought aside for a moment. Driving along E. Tanque Verde most every day on the lookout for a new, to me of course lunch or dinner place, going south at 7245 E. Tanque Verde I stopped at a Vietnamese Restaurant called Ha Long Bay. Parked in a small strip mall right next to a favorite spot of mine Zona 78. On entering I was seated immediately and handed a huge menu. A lot more choices beside soup.
The restaurant was clean very well appointed with some green plants and one wall had a giant mural depicting a water scene from Viet Nam, very relaxing.
I glanced at the huge menu which had some interesting choices but I was craving a bowl of PHO. I ordered the Rare Beef # L11 on the menu.
The dish comes with what turned out to be very tender excellent sliced thin beef meatballs were offered with it but I just went for only beef. I have to say this PHO was right at the top of my list for excellent. The beef broth was maybe the best I’ve had in many years of slurping down rice noodles. My waiter who I flagged down to tell him stood by and explained all the ingredients which were in this great broth and how it was all slow cooked to maximize all the flavors. They also prepare the Chicken offered PHO in this manner. I was amazed at his knowledge of what I had before me. The portion was more than enough, noodles were perfect. I also ordered fresh spring rolls, which were fine but could use a bit of attention. Ha Long Bay offers 6 different selections of PHO (pronounced PHA) all reasonable $6.99 a bowl. If you’re not in a soup mood the book (menu) has about 175 totally different items priced from $5.99 to $13.99 (seafood dish). In the next year I hope to try all of it.
Ha Long Bay
7245 E. Tanque Verde, Tucson
Mon 3pm – 9pm
Tue-Thu 11am -9pm
Fri-Sat 11am- 9:30 pm
P.S. They also serve Beer and Wine
Hello every one, hope all is well for you. I have another interesting restaurant review for everyone in the Tucson, AZ area.
Today about lunch time while driving North on E. Grant Rd. I saw a sandwich board sign Eritrean Restaurant, I could not pronounce it let alone know what type of mystery food they may serve. This calls for a U-turn I thought. Parking was ample right in front. The sign read on further inspection Queen of Sheba Eritrean Restaurant. I thought Queen of Sheba, must be some style of Ethiopian Food. I was correct.
Once inside I was greeted by the Queen herself Gezehen her first name.
Very nice inside, clean as grandmas house. I asked a few questions and the Queen was very nice perfect English with a smile attached to every word. We talked over the menu and I chose the large size vegetarian platter $12.00. Too much food it turned out. The menu offers up a bit of history about Eritrea. Turns out it’s a Country, what do I know. A very small NE African Country on the Red Sea coast, shares the border with Ethiopia Sudan, and Djibouti. Its capital city is known for its Italian style colonial buildings. Go Figure?
My platter arrived and had 7 different types of vegetarian dishes, four were lentils of different types yellow, red, brown and darker brown. The lentils were excellent and all had a different taste. There was also a wonderful Curry Cabbage a potato dish and a spinach dish. The center of the platter had an interesting sauce and all was on top of the Ethiopian style bread which covered the entire platter. A large dish of the same bread was on the side to eat and eat with, they have forks if you ask. I knew from experience this food is very fiery so ask for the mild version. All was very good the mild was quite spicy; the regular must be off the charts. I ordered a large glass of Mango Juice to tame my pallet as beer is not offered here. During my meal the King showed up Welday and treated me very well with a bow at table side. A few people were working thru their meal, (rookies) they had forks. If you’re out that way have a taste, if any thing its interesting and one platter is enough for two. Ps. Spaghetti is on the menu/goes with the Italian buildings maybe?
5553 E. Grant Rd. Tucson, AZ 85712
Italian Proverb- “There will be No Peace without Bread”
Well it seems to work for Italy, they do have peace aside from all the yelling and hand waving. Some very good bread there as well as France.
Today on my “Hunt for Bread October” in Tucson. I was shopping at Fry’s grocery next door and there was a French Bakery, La Baguette Parisienne. I stepped inside and caught a wonderful scent of fresh baked bread. The place was very busy but the service was very quick. The breads were loaded up on the shelves and some excellent looking pastries and whole cakes displayed looked delicious.
I had just bought a loaf of Le Brea sourdough next door so had to pass on the beautiful looking loaf of Pumpernickel calling out to me. Must have been at least 10 different types of bread including fresh rolls displayed and being snapped up by waiting customers. I had to try SOMETHING! I bought one plain Croissant, having just had breakfast It was all I could handle. My choice was beside the fact I love a good croissant, was because in a bakery if they offer a fresh croissant they are the benchmark for the quality of the entire bakery. I feel if they don’t get that right how can they manage the rest of their offers.
The croissant was perfect, light golden brown not dark (over baked) flakey on the outside the proof of many layers of folded in butter. The inside was moist but not heavy as in not proofed properly. The taste of the butter just right not greasy or overwhelming.
I will be back soon to try the bread and a nice desert. Thank goodness I’ll be starting my LA Fitness Gym membership on Monday.
La Baguette Parisienne
7851 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ
While driving down a traffic filled East Grant Road a few days ago, going north on the left was a sign. Noodleholics what is that? Being a avid eater of the Noodle I made my way around the block and into their parking lot to have a look. I walked into a very clean somewhat crowded restaurant and grabbed a menu board at the entrance.
I had a chat with the help and ordered the spicy dry noodle dish with BBQ pork. Wow, the noodles are hand made every day and the best I've had since a visit to Japan in the late 80's. Added to the pork was a lot of tender Bok Choi. I must say the Spicy was too much for me but I did eat the entire dish. I also added a great cucumber salad seasoned with sesame. Excellent, all for about ten bucks.
Revisit, two days later I returned. I studied the menu and at the suggestion of the young woman at the front desk, ordered the Wonton Soup. It comes with, Noodles , Shrimp, BBQ Pork, Bok Choi, Green Onion, Sliced Chicken and of course the Wonton. The Soup is chicken broth. The bowl arrived and it was a masterpiece! So much food I brought some of it home, plenty for two people.
Noodleholics 3502 E. Grant Rd. Tucson, AZ85716. check it out. I'll be back. 520-305-4262