No Place Like Home – Tucson

It has been a long time since my last post so I thought it only fitting to revive the blog with a post about my last trip home to Tucson. Also, speaking of home, great timing to mention that this is the same week we welcomed a new Abyad into the world, Justus Jeffrey Abyad. I am now an uncle for the 6th time and enjoying it. πŸ™‚

Tucson ShotOne of my favorite food activities when staying with family is breakfast. When done Middle Eastern style, it will usually consist of a bunch of little dishes including a lot of cheese, bread, eggs, falafel, fruit, more cheese, and sometimes “ful” (an Arabic dish that is basically fava beans). And possibly my favorite cheese ever is Armenian string cheese. We grew up eating this constantly, also good toasted and melted on pita bread.

String CheeseHere is the ful, awesome with fresh tomato and onion.

FulJust to prep you, the food in this post will be really diverse but it is a typical showing of what is eaten when I go home. πŸ™‚

Anytime I am home in Tucson, a large chunk of my time is spent with my Vietnamese family. This last trip, I got a chance to hang out with one my best friends growing up (Trung), and his girlfriend Paulina. Paulina very lovingly made us some homemade Pho which was awesome. I wanted to take a picture of them but they weren’t being so cooperative so I’ll just have to find one of Trung in Vietnam, drinking from a cup with his name!Trung and CoffeeHere are the Pho and condiments… done the right way with fresh meat and ingredients.

IMG_6768 PhoFortunately this trip was also the week of Thanksgiving so we spent Thanksgiving at my Uncle and Aunt’s house in Phoenix allowing for another Middle Eastern Thanksgiving experience which I can share with you here…

The TableAnd just to get closer…

BOOM tabouleh…

TabboulehBOOM green bean casserole…

green beansBOOM sweet potato casserole…

sweet potato casseroleBOOM kibbeh…

kibbehand finally grapeleaves…

grapeleavesAnd so you can have a view of the plate…

PlateSo Happy Thanksgiving a little late. And this last segment of going home was our visit to Old Tucson Studios, which every child in Tucson loves. It is an actual film studio that has been filming since 1939, filming movies like Tombstone and The Three Amigos!

Old TucsonCheck out the excitement on this child (Bethany); the excitement I also shared when driving/riding in these cars…

bethan in old tucsonFood wise, we had a pretty great experience here as well. There was an open grill with lots of good stuff including the infamous Sonoran Hot Dog which I love and can only get, legitimately, in Tucson.

Sonoran Dog SignSonoran DogWith some nachos…

NachosHere are some grill shots…

Flame broiled IMG_6916Cooked CornSo there’s a rundown if what just 3 days may look like in Tucson, always a good food experience. πŸ™‚ How can you turn this down?

Tucson

 

 

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An Ode to Zachary’s

Ever wonder what Deep Dish Pizza is supposed to look like? It’s supposed to look like it does at Zachary’s, however Zachary’s Pizza is now closed… 😦 Β But I discovered these pictures on my computer from last year! I think I took them before I even had a blog and they happened to come up on my screen saver as a reminder (you know how you can put your pics on shuffle).

Well, I am sorry to say that Zachary’s Pizza has now closed; tough economy I guess. Here are a fewΒ posts about it here,Β here and here. But basically, every time I go back to Tucson, I wanted to go here, (right after Nico’s). All pizza I eat is compared to Zachary’s, and it is still my favorite pizza.

Zachary's

I actually happened to visit Zachary’s this night at the same time as the Gaslight Theater, another favorite Tucson spot of mine, with my sister, brother-in-law, and parents.

Here are my parents in proportion to the pizza. πŸ™‚ We would always order the Big Z, which has everything on it and/or in it…

Pizza and ParentsMy sister displaying her excitement:

Sister and Pizza

The cheese:

The CheeseAnd on my plate:

Pizza on my plateSo that’s it. Just wanted to share my favorite pizza ever with the world. I hope that they could re-open maybe one day? I can dream…