The 60th Annual Tucson Gem & Mineral Show has set the standard for gem and mineral shows around the world, and is currently the largest gem and mineral show in the United States. Welcome Tucson vendors and buyers and those of us whose inner child can't stop buying beads. Here are 5 restaurant "gems" you won't want to miss during January 30 – February 10, or anytime of the year.
ACACIA REAL FOOD & COCKTAILS is the diamond of the Tucson foothills. Roosting above the busy Skyline/Campbell restaurant corridor, Acacia is orchestrated by Chef Albert Hall renowned for his award-winning cuisine and creative flair. Acacia serves lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, and happy hour everyday from 4 to 7 p.m. When possible, local, all natural, pesticide/ herbicide-free as well as certified organic products are used. Whether at the bar or an appetizer with the dinner, the chicken havarti dumplings drizzled with coconut cashew sauce is a must. At night, south-facing panoramic views capture the city below like a symphony of twinkling diamonds. Feel free to linger over the dazzling view while sipping a liqueur or enjoying a sweet finale dessert. Acacia (Photo: Robin Stanfield)
All that glitters is GOLD at the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa. A seasonal, sophisticated menu celebrates Modern American cooking. GOLD serves refined, yet approachable, regionally inspired creations that make the best of fresh, flavorful and often locally sourced ingredients. The first-class wine selections also contribute to the prestigious menu. 2014 marks the 20th consecutive year of the AAA's Four Diamond rating of fine dining at the Westward Look. GOLD is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a kids menu. Book a dinner reservation at GOLD for the first and third Friday night of any month and you're invited to a complimentary pre-dinner wine tasting. GOLD at Westward Look
To some the SILVER SADDLE STEAKHOUSE might be a tad dated but to others it's been family owned and operated since 1984 serving some of Tucson's best smoky mesquite broiled steaks and slow roasted mouth-watering ribs with cowboy beans and loaded baked potatoes. While hard to find but certainly near the heart of the Gem Show action, stopping by for lunch or dinner will fill your tummy with good old Southwestern eats. Most appetizers are breaded and deep-fried so save your appetite for the steak – porterhouse, T-bone, top sirloin, NY strip, or three cuts of prime rib. Perhaps that is how the West was won. Silver Saddle Steakhouse
Most jewelry is fashioned out of precious metals and jewels that are found buried in the Earth, but pearls are found inside a living creature, an oyster. Pearls are the result of a biological process -- the oyster's way of protecting itself from foreign substances. But if you rather eat your oyster instead of wearing it around your neck, consider the possibilities at BLUEFIN SEAFOOD BISTRO where a seasonal variety of oysters are available for lunch, dinner, late night and during brunch. If you prefer your oysters prepared in an alternative manner, order the Baked Oysters Rockefeller with shallots, spinach, Pernod, butter, parmesan. Bluefin
No restaurant wants to be known as a fossil but our praise is in the kindest way possible as El Charro Café has been around since 1922, and holds the title of the nation's oldest Mexican restaurant. We call that staying power during boom times and bad times; the family-owned El Charro has managed to continue to please generations of palates with its Sonoran and innovative Tucson-style Mexican food. As far as legends go, El Charro invented the chimichanga but is best known for their carne seca made with marinated lean Angus beef in fresh garlic, lime juice, and special seasonings. The beef is sun dried at the original El Presidio location, then delicately shredded and grilled with fresh green chile, tomato, and onion. El Charro Cafe