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Tucson After Dark Food Tour: The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food in the U.S.

August 27, 2021 @ 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

$75.00

Friday, August 27, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Tucson After Dark Food Tour: The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food with Chris DeSimone and Felipe Garcia. Cost: $75.00 per person.

The mind blowing Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food in the United States is what’s on the menu on this Gray Line escorted tour with foodies Chris DeSimone and Felipe Garcia your genial and knowledgeable hosts.

Showcasing modernized classics, tried-and-true favorites and everything in between, when looking for the authentic true taste of Tucson, it’s an experience not to miss. 

Since 1986, La Estrella Bakery, where pan dulce (sweet bread) dreams are made and come true, kicks off our culinary adventure. You’ll learn all about their Mexican delicacies from Isabel Montaño, the manager and daughter of owners Antonio and Martha Franco. Named Best Dulceria by Tucson Weekly 2017-2020, the real treat is eating the concha, empanada and tricolor and ginger cookies.

The El Merendero building may have started out as an A&W restaurant in 1965 but when the Bohon family bought it in 1986, the cuisine changed to authentic Mexican and seafood. Both are the stars with their cheese crisp and Chicharrones de Camarón, crispy deep fried shrimp chicharrones accompanied by mayonnaise and salad.

Chef Mateo Otero, a fifth generation Tucsonan and since 2017 owner of Rollies Mexican Patio, calls the array of food he serves as Sonoran Chicano. Dishes like his nana used to make and the kind savored in Tucson for more than 100 years. In 2020 and 2019, he was named the city’s Best Chef by Tucson Weekly. You’ll eat his tacos that have a cult following – Birria (Mexican beef stew) Rojo Cheesy Tacos with Consommé.

Be sure to check out “The Talking Mural,” celebrating the rich cultural history of South 12th Avenue, when arriving at Oasis Fruit Cones. University of Arizona alumni Julie and John Carrizosa opened in 1983 and were the first in Tucson to offer all natural fruit sno-cones. Named Best Raspados by Tucson Weekly every year since 2015, enjoy their unique Mexican twist of shaved ice, fruit juice, freshly chopped fruit, and ice cream (optional) with 15 flavors you can mix to create your own combinations.

Details: Limited to 51 participants on Gray Line’s comfortable coach. Cost: $75.00 per person including transportation, food and beverages. Five days before the tour, you’ll receive an email with all the details. Please use an email address you frequently check. Our emails can get caught in spam filters or blocked entirely, please contact us if you don’t receive the event information. All classes and events are nonrefundable. You can request a transfer to a different class or event up to one week prior to the class or event. Click here for required waiver.

Your Hosts:
For more than 15 years, Chris DeSimone’s Proven Partners company has worked with a variety of local businesses, focusing on the food/tourism world, developing tours in Southern Arizona, including the international award-winning Border Crisis: Fact and Fiction and the Best of Barrio cuisine tour. He’s the creative force behind the Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food initiative and partnered with Visit Tucson and the City of Tucson instituting the purple sign program scattered throughout the city. He also hosts the morning drive time radio show, Wake Up, Tucson!, now in its 12th year. Cooking remains near and dear to Chris’ heart and while he dabbles in a variety of cuisines, the food of his Italian family is still number one.

Felipe Garcia, born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, and trained as an attorney, came to the University of Arizona in 1994 to get a master’s degree in trade and investment law. By the time he finished two years later, he was so in love with Tucson, he never left, changing careers and professions to work in the tourism and hospitality industry. As Visit Tucson’s executive vice president he’s responsible for developing and implementing programs to enhance the relationships between Tucson and Mexico, works with Visit Tucson’s team in the tourism markets of the U.S., Canada and Europe, as well as works with the Tucson Film Office. He writes about his passion for food, people and places at The Hygge Foodie blog.

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