Chipirones Rellenos: Tapas in the Desert
Casa Vicente is an institution in this desert city—Tucson's outpost for tapas a la española. Just south of the downtown core, a couple of blocks from the neo-Baroque façade of the Cathedral of San Agustín, this restaurant also features live music on weeknights: classical guitar, flamenco, and even tango lessons. This particular evening, we tried chipirones rellenos, a trio of baby calamari skewered and stuffed with green tomatoes and spices. In a town more known for its tacos and burros (a.k.a. 'burritos' elsewhere), it's appropriate, if somewhat uncommon, to find Iberian fare. Tucson was founded in 1775 as an outpost of the Spanish empire, decades before it became Mexican, and then in the mid-19th century, it finally became part of a U.S. territory. (And, by the way, the sangría here rocks.)
By Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
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