Tucson Lifestyle November 2013 : Page 144

Dishes such as curried cauliflower with black currants and pine nuts or the house charcuterie board that features rabbit terrine, duck rillete, iberico ham, pickled vegetables, artisan cheeses and black pepper Parmesan lavosh also may tempt diners. “The whole idea of the menu is centered on coming in with a group of people, ordering a bunch of plates of food, and sharing everything.” As many ingredients as possible are from local or regional sourc-es, and everything is made in house, including (eventually) the meats. In early 2014, Mori plans to open a butcher shop next door. The shop will focus on local, pastured whole animal butchering from sources within Southern Arizona, and will feature beef, pork and poultry, as well as possibly rabbit and goat with homemade sausages. The Fix 943 E. University Blvd., #115 | 305-4493 www.thefixaz.com When people think of comfort food, macaroni and cheese is often one of the first things that comes to mind. There is something about the combination of ingredients that is almost always deli-cious. Mike and Sandy Lanz, owners of the local restaurant The Fix, certainly agree and have made a bustling business down near UA based on new combinations of this classic meal. As a former marketing executive for Texas Instruments, Mike had grown weary of his intense travel schedule and was looking for a second career as well as a business he could operate with his wife when the opportunity to take over The Fix presented itself. The restaurant originally was opened in August 2012, and Mike and Sandy took over in February of this year. “It was somewhat serendipitous that we came across a Craigslist ad for the restaurant,” says Mike. “We loved that it wasn’t a fran-chise, but really it was the food that hooked us. Once we came in to try it we realized how good it was. We looked at each other and said, ‘If we don’t do this now, it will never happen.’” Today the energetic couple is working hard but having a blast dreaming up new ideas on how to make mac and cheese even more irresistible. Although many ideas for new recipes come from customer suggestions, just as many are derived from trial and error and having fun in the kitchen. Some of the most popular combinations are the Jalapeño Popper —mac and cheese with jalapeño and cream cheese — as well as the Bacon, Bacon that pairs mac and cheese with, you guessed it, a double serving of bacon. Some more creative combos are the Chzburger that combines ground beef, onion and tomato with cheddar cheese; and the Hawaiian, which throws ham and pineapple into the mix. Some more gourmet options include Lobster with Swiss cheese and the Steak Stroganoff, which pairs steak with Alfredo sauce, onions and truffle oil. Each week Mike and Sandy feature a “Fix of the Moment,” which allows them to try out new recipes on a trial basis. Some of the most popular items on the menu like the Buffalo Chicken and Chicken Bacon Ranch got their start as a weekly special before they made it onto the main menu. “We are about the comfort food experience,” explains Mike. “We are greatly expanding the mac and cheese palette.” Plans for the future include sliders, chili, soups and more dessert options, as well as the addition of a patio. Those not as interested in macaroni and cheese can choose from one of the salads or sandwiches on the menu. Diners also can cre-ate their own mac and cheese creations by selecting their own sauce, veggies, meats and additional cheeses. 144 TUCSON LIFESTYLE | NOVEMBER 2013 Caffe Torino 5605 E. River Road | 300-6860 www.caffetorinoorovalley.com For the last 13 years, Oro Valley has been quietly enjoying great Italian food created from family recipes brought directly from Italy. Fortunately, Caffe Torino owners Ollie Shouse and Daniela Borella are finally sharing these specialties at their second location in the foothills. Caffe Torino got its start in 2000 as a coffee shop. When Borella and her mother began making old Italian homemade recipes at the shop on the weekends, they realized they were onto something, and a family business was born. Borella’s mother was the original chef and her father, who passed away earlier this year, helped out in the kitchen making pasta. “She was so amazed that people wanted to come to the res-taurant to eat her food!” Borella’s parents hailed from Torino and Bologna, so culinary adventures from all over Italy are abundant on the menu, such as the popular lasagna that comes from an old family recipe from her father’s side of the family. Influences from her mother’s family include the veal scaloppini that is served in a Marsala sauce with mushrooms and a side of Fettuccine Alfredo. Other menu items include homemade gnocchi, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese and Pork Ossobuco. Although Shouse and Borella had not planned on opening a sec-ond location, it became too good to pass up after they found a spot they loved. The restaurant is located in the space long occupied by Ric’s Café, but diners may not recognize it due to the extensive remodel-ing that has been done. Red brick walls, a natural color palette and large black and white framed photos of Borella’s family create a completely modern and updated look. Rolling glass garage doors open up the bar to the beautiful patio located in the courtyard of the shopping center. Shouse explains that many of their customers are excited that they have opened a location in Tucson that will be offering the same menu, and an even larger wine selection. “We are a family run restaurant with customers who have been coming since we opened. I have people who now say, ‘I’m going to Daniela’s for dinner’ instead of saying Caffe Torino!” TucsonLifestyle.com

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