|charcuterie and cheese|
There is a lot of desert in Arizona. Desert. Wide expanse of sand, scrub, dry air, rock and desert. While I wondered the desert for days with a 20 lb pack on my back, I could not seem to drink enough water. I was always on the edge of thirst. Living in Nashville, it is fairly humid all year long, which I am used to now, so it is a double whammy for me to go to the desert where it is dry as a bone. The funny part about being used to Nashville humidity is that when I first moved to Nashville from a very dry climate, I thought it was like walking in a bathtub. The air is so humid that I found it hard to breathe here, it was like breathing bath water. Coming out of the high desert in Arizona and back down to the flat lands in Tucson made me happy, less freaked out and close to a good water supply.
The high desert freaked me out, it was not at all relaxing. Elevation, dry air, heat in the day, the freeze at night, all were a challenge. I respect those Native Americans who came before us and called the high desert home because they had to be hearty stock. I am not hearty stock like that. I am a low lands city gal who likes all the modern conveniences of life.
It was wonderful to descend into Tucson, with lots of civilization, water, restaurants and hotels. We decided to give Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink a try to satisfy our hunger and thirst that was generated in the high desert.
We walked in and instantly we liked the place. I felt a great vibe, saw repurposed building parts from yester-year, and a brick oven for pizza. There is a daily specials board including what charcuterie and cheese are up for the chef's cheese board. There is a nice list of drinks to quench thirst. The menu looked great with pizzas, entrees and salads with a nod to Italy. We also noticed the bones of the building which was a funeral home for four scores prior. We obviously were seated in the sanctuary area of the funeral home. The vaulted ceilings are beautiful. We think that the chef's bar was the viewing happened. We did not sit there. The staff is hip and young, but I would not call the staff hipsters. It was an inviting place for me. It was a nice place to take in a repast and relax after days in the desert.
We opted for one item from every category. We got a cheese and house made charcuterie. I loved it. There were some stinky ripe cheeses that I cannot get in Nashville, and the meats were quite lovely. I also loved the house made pizza crust crackers to co with the cheese and and meats. I love the thin and crunchiness of the crackers, the fresh snap in the mouth with the softness of the cheeses. This was really a delicious beginning of our meal. We followed up with a kale salad. The salad was something that tasted so good, and I wish I could figure out how to make it. The kale was young and sweet, the croutons were crispy polenta, and the salad dressing was a house made citrus. It was wonderful to have kale and citrus, ingredients I was missing this year. I did not do a winter CSA with weekly kale, so I miss my having kale every week for 12 weeks.
|short rib stew|
For dinner we opted for a brick oven pizza and braised short ribs served with pasta. Both plates we enjoyed quite a bit. Both pizza and pasta were made with care, no short cuts. The pasta was freshly made for the evening, as well as the pizza dough. Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink was truly a treat for me after a long week in the desert.