1

Restaurant Review: Sir Veza’s

Sir Veza’s Taco Garage

Tucson, AZ (2 Tucson Locations, 3 Phoenix Locations)

Website and Menu

Sir Veza’s founder and chef are in the same family as the El Charro family. I have been told that there is Celiac in the family and that’s a huge part of why they take gluten free seriously (but this is secondhand information). I have found the speedway and swan location in Tucson to be much better trained, both in their overall service as well as knowledge on gluten free options. I really try to avoid the oracle location if I have a choice.

I loveeee me some Sir Veza’s. Gluten free menu options are marked on the normal menu, so you don’t have to ask for a separate one. The options really are endless here with tacos on corn tortillas, wings, fried chicken, rice bowls, chicken sandwiches & burgers with Udi’s buns, and more. Complimentary, you will start out with some chips and salsa, with the chips being made in the dedicated gluten free fryer. (Just because these things can change at any time, I like to periodically double check that they’re still being made in a separate fryer).

IMG_3382

I love the wings here, because often wings can be a hard thing to find. (The only other safe ones I have found in Tucson are at La Cocina downtown). My favorite are the prickly pear wings, which are shown below with sauce on them and with the sauce on the side. Other options are franks hot which is dusted with several seasonings and served with franks hot on the side. I’m not a huge fan of these franks wings because the 6 spice dusting tastes dry and feels like I’m inhaling hot powder. Lastly there are diablo wings with agave and Sriracha, which I have not yet tried. These are served with “Old skool” fries automatically, but can be subbed for another side. The old skool fries are made in a dedicated gluten free fryer, but again, always good to clarify that you need them to be. Even though menu options say “gf” I always like to tell them that they need to be gluten free, just in case there are any subs necessary or a fryer is involved.

Continue reading

Advertisements
0

Gluten Free in Tucson, AZ

My Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Surprisingly, Tucson has done a very good job in recent years of getting some good gluten free options and several safe kitchens. We now have 3 dedicated gluten free restaurants/bakeries and many of their products can even be found at other restaurants in town.

IMG_3377

By Area

Northwest

  • Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery
  • The Melting Pot
  • Flemings Steakhouse
  • *Blanco (La Encantada)
  • North (La Encantada)
  • El Charro link to my review
  • Sir Vezas link to my review
  • Red Robin
  • Saffron Indian Bistro
  • Acacia
  • Zona 78
  • Wildflower
  • Tucson Tamale Company
  • Harvest
  • Truland Burgers and Greens
  • Contigo Latin Kitchen
  • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
  • Claire’s Cafe

Northeast

Continue reading

1

Gluten Free in the Tucson Airport

Gluten Free Food in the Tucson Airport

There aren’t a whole lot of gluten free options at the Tucson International Airport, but there are definitely a large variety of pre-packed foods in Cibo, Arizona Marketplace, Ikes, and Desert News. There are a few options in the restaurants as well, and they are listed below. If you have an experience or find gluten free food items that are not listed below, please share with me by commenting below!

A Concourse (Gates A1-A9)

Southwest, American, Frontier

Arizona Marketplace

Various pre-packaged GF snacks

Boar’s Head Deli

Ask for meat rolled up, without bread. I ordered an Italiano sandwich, no bread, no cheese. It had salami, lettuce, tomato, and roasted red peppers. It was wrapped in a paper wrap. See photo below. (this was from the other terminal, but same restaurant)

IMG_9817

Cibo Market

Various pre-packaged GF snacks

Ike’s

Surf Sweet candies and gf snacks

Continue reading

6

Restaurant Review: El Charro Cafe

El Charro Cafe

Tucson, AZ (3 locations: NE, Downtown, NW)

Website and Menu (GF denotes Gluten Free)

“high grade Mexican foods since 1922…Established in 1922, El Charro Café of Tucson, Arizona is The Nation’s Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family.”

El Charro, in my opinion, defines mexican food in Tucson. Everyone has their own opinion, and some would rather go to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the south side, but most of those places don’t cater easily to gluten-free customers and typically have a more difficult language barrier. One restaurant that many argue is better than El Charro, or more authentic, is La Parrilla Suiza. While I agree that they have amazing flan, since going gluten-free I have only dined-in one time, and it was a scary experience. I arrived armed with my spanish translation cards, defining what I could not eat, and was given a completely blank stare. I doubt the card ever made it back to the chef, but I had to have faith in the fact that most mexican food is safe.

IMG_8347

Continue reading

1

Restaurant Review: Zayna Mediterranean

Zayna Mediterranean

Family-owned restaurant

Tucson, AZ: Central (Speedway/ E. of Alvernon)

Website and Menu

Step into the quaint restaurant of Zayna and you have found a mediterranean gem in the middle of the Sonoran desert. The entire building consists of two rooms, (during the weekdays and non-busy times, only one room) with seating for about 30 in each room. Although the restaurant does not explicitly offer a gluten-free menu, there are an abundance of options of those with food allergies.

When it comes to gluten, the only menu items that do contain gluten, are the gyro meat, pita bread, tabbouleh (bulgar wheat), sandwiches, beer, and all desserts including the obvious baklava. Check it out – you can have falafel and fries (which are both fried in a fryer without any gluten), hummus, chicken shawarma, and more!

IMG_8333

If you’ve never had Mediterranean food, don’t let that keep you from going! If you like chicken and some seasoning (nothing too crazy), then you will love the chicken shawarma. It comes with green beens (which I sub for rice), hummus, a tomato, pickle, and garlic sauce. Be sure to let them know you’re gluten free so they don’t bring hummus on your plate, and if they make a mistake and bring it out with hummus (which they never have for me before) just be sure and ask them to re-make it! The staff is friendly and the restaurant is family-owned, so all the cooks are related and truly care about the authentic food they make. When I go to Zayna, there’s no competition, I order the chicken shawarma plate every time.

IMG_8332

If you order a side of fries (which I highly recommend :] ) Be sure to ask for a side of garlic sauce. It compliments the fries beautifully (as well as the chicken shawarma plate, which comes with the sauce). This garlic sauce is also dairy free, because it’s basically mayo and lemon juice. Some other entrees come with yogurt sauce which is not dairy free and has a completely different flavor with cucumber, garlic, and mint. Be sure to read the menu and talk to your waiter if you are dairy free, as I’m sure you can sub the garlic sauce.

IMG_9011

The fries are safe in their own fryer with the falafal, which is a great thing for gluten-free folks! My understanding is that as in any restaurant cross contamination is always an issue, but generally all the chicken is cooked on one side of the grill, separate from the gluten-containing foods. You can also tell the chef if you have celiac or need them to be extra-careful and they are willing to wipe down the grill. Going in at a slower time, such as a weekday or between lunch and dinner is always a good idea for your first visit.

It’s a great to-go dinner too!

IMG_8901

Zayna Mediterranean specializes in light and healthy vegetarian, Middle Eastern & Mediterranean cuisine made from fresh ingredients and served in a casual setting.