I blogged about every major trade from the past few days, combining some smaller ones into longer posts, which you can find here:
- Ryan Dempster to Texas
- Jonathan Broxton to Cincinnati
- Hunter Pence to San Francisco and Shane Victorino to the Dodgers
- Travis Snider for Brad Lincoln plus Brandon League to the Dodgers
- Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Cubs
- Zack Greinke to the Angels
Today’s podcast is all prospect talk with Kevin Goldstein chatting with me about prospects from those trades and top 100 prospects who’ve disappointed so far this year.
I’ve been to Tuscon a handful of times this year and had some mixed success with food. My favorite spot to hit is actually a postgame stop right by the U of A campus – Allegro, a gelateria founded by two natives of Morbegna, Italy, offering a great mix of traditional flavors and more modern ones, the latter category including the best sea salt caramel gelato I’ve had (with a strong butter flavor), as well as saffron, fig, anise, and pineapple basil. It’s comparable in quality to the best gelato I’ve had in the Phoenix area, where Frost (actually based in Tucson) edges out Angel Sweet.
As for food in Tucson, the best I’ve found is probably Feast, run by local-celebrity chef Doug Levy, who actually seated me and chatted for a little while when he noticed I was reading a Michael Ruhlman book. The “date plate” starter – grilled crostini with hummus on one half and a Manchego-stuffed, pancetta-wrapped date on the other – was delicious if a little weird; I didn’t get the interplay between the two toppings, although, really, dates wrapped in bacon, people. Unfortunately, the execution of my entree, a special including achiote shrimp over jasmine rice, was poor; the shrimp weren’t hot and the dish included four hidden whole black peppercorns, which I discovered when I ended up biting into three of them at once. I need to try them again because I can tell the emphasis on fresh ingredients and inventive combinations is there, but that wasn’t the first impression I was hoping to get.
Feast’s culinary vibe and philosophy put them ahead of Kingfisher for me, even though the latter, focusing on fresh seafood, had better execution. I had a salad from their seasonal specials menu, grilled black mission figs with mixed greens and ricotta salata, with a perfect balance of sweet, sour, bitter (from the greens and radicchio), and salty. The pumpkin seed-crusted scallops in my entree were slightly overcooked and, because they were covered with the breading all the way around, didn’t have that slight sweetness that scallops develop when they are seared and allowed to brown on the exterior. The poblano aioli (with the consistency of a crema and a bright green color) and corn salsa on the plate were also somewhat overpowering, but would be great with a stronger-flavored fish like salmon. With black beans and soft jasmine rice, it was an enormous amount of food, but the delicacy of the scallops ended up overwhelmed by other elements.
I went to the tapas restaurant Casa Vicente back in March but apparently never wrote about it. Casa Vicente offers authentic Spanish tapas, heavy on seafood options. I don’t remember the meal clearly enough to give a quality review here; I remember finding it solid, with the “plaza mayor”-style fried calamari and the patatas bravas (fried potato chunks, served with a spicy red vinegar sauce and a garlic aioli) both successful.
Finally, I haven’t been to Beyond Bread this summer, but should mention it as one of my favorite sandwich places anywhere, primarily because their bread is so good. They have three locations in Tucson and are open late enough (8 pm) for you to grab something before heading to a night game at Hi Corbett Field or Kino Veterans Park.