Head to Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine for a first-class culinary ticket to Peru in Tucson. Try the Seca de Carne con Frejoles, beef braised in cilantro and Peruvian sauce, and the Lomas Saltado, marinated beef tenderloin sautéed with onions and tomatoes and poured over crispy fries.
For otherworldly pizza with the freshest mozzarella you can get head to Cosmos. Owner Sam Short was inspired by the pizza parlor he visited with his father as a kid. He infused the casual, fun atmosphere with some seriously delicious pies. Try any of their creative offerings or opt for the “Trust Us” and let them bring out a surprise offering that will wow you.
When Wendy Garcia moved to the states from Mexico she ditched the carnivore life and starting cooking things her own way. She uses fried jackfruit for her Carne Asada plate and serves it with eggplant chicharron and crispy soy chorizo. The dish was so good Guy had to call his mother and tell her all about it. Also try the cactus tacos. Nopalitos are cooked down with cashew sauce and loaded into tortillas with cabbage and pickle veggies and topped with cashew cream.
Chef and co-owner Hunter Tiblier grew up in Panama while his dad was working on the Panama Canal. At Ceviche’s he’s bringing the Latin-inspired dishes of his childhood to North Carolina. The Ropa Vieja is a homerun. Chef Tiblier takes spicy braised flank steak and serves it with citrus cabbage slaw, coconut rice, fried plantains, salsa fresca and avocado. Not surprisingly they also do killer authentic ceviche.
Gian Carlo Accinelli and his wife are putting their love on the line all in the name of their buns at Mr. & Mrs. Bun. The Peruvian couple serve all of their unique sandwiches on their signature, house-made buns. For the Asado con Palta sandwich, slow-cooked eye of round is piled on a fresh bun with avocado and crispy onions and then served with the jus from the cooked meat. “That is without question one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a long time,” said Guy. “It’s actually giving me goose bumps.”
Milly Martinez has been serving up authentic Venezuelan food in South Florida for more than two decades. Now her son, Jose Atencio, is taking the cuisine to another level with some creative riffs on the classics. The Pabe Yo-Yo is like a Venezuelan Monte Cristo with bread made of sweet plantains surrounding ham and queso blanco which is then deep fried and stuffed with braised beef. “This crazy,” said Guy.
Chef and Owner Amanuel Gebremariam is bringing the bold flavors and traditions of East Africa straight to Arizona. Guy loved everything saying, “each one of the dishes is individually its own little song and what comes together is the Ethiopian musical.”
For a passport to Thailand in Texas head to Jack Nuchjasem’s CrushCraft. Chef Nuchjasem is channeling the flavors he loved growing up near Bangkok into his authentic dishes. “That’s one of the best curries I have ever had,” Guy said after tasting the Green Thai Curry.
At Renee’s Organic Oven, husband and wife team Steve and Renee Kreager are serving up Italian classics their own way. The Tailored Tony is like a Sloppy Joe made for a healthier palate. For this open-faced focaccia local organic beef is infused with tomatoes and topped with melted provolone and roasted red peppers. Also try the Spinach Dip Calzone. Guy described it as a cross between the best jalapeno popper you’ve ever had, a gigantic perogi and a chicken sandwich.
Can’t get to Hawaii? Aloha Kitchen will transport you to the islands on a plate. Lynn Tso and her husband Ray are serving classic Hawaiian plate lunches and marinated meats to the people in the Arizona dessert. Try the super soft Manapua steamed pork buns or the Korean-style short ribs.
This artisan doughnut shop in Miami is creating sweet mouthwatering masterpieces and some savory surprises. There are over 200 varieties of hand-rolled and hand-cut doughnuts. For a sweet treat, try the Abuelita which is stuffed with rice pudding and topped with swirls of dulce de leche. The adventurous should try the Chicken Brulee Sandwich. In this creation, crispy chicken tenders are sandwiched inside a bruleed doughnut, topped with a mild cheddar sauce and showered in bacon. “This changes the fried chicken sandwich game,” said Guy.
Grubstak is an Arizona spot with a knack for the stack. Owner Colton Grubb and chef Seth Widdes work together to create towering flavor combinations to please any palate. A popular pick is the Sweet Lou’s BBQ, which is a combination of shredded braised beef, applewood-smoked bacon and house-made cole slaw all piled on top of crispy sweet potato and regular fries.
Audrey Sherman combined her passion for pizza with the teachings of Tony Gemignani, the heavy weight champ of global pizza competitions, to create her popular pizza shop. Her fabulous dough is the soul of her killer pies and is also used to make the roll for her massive meatball grinder.
Chef Omar Flores is dishing out comfort food with a Southern spin and making some seriously crispy fried chicken at Whistle Britches. The Hot Dang is their Nashville-style hot chicken served on thick Texas toast, with cool dill ranch and house-made pickles. Their chicken and waffles are served with a drizzle of jalapeno hot honey, house-made sausage gravy and a wedge of watermelon. “That’s wrong in so many ways that it makes it right,” Guy said of the dish.
Husband and wife team Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin are introducing the people of Arizona to flavors from their home state of Chihuahua. Guy tried the smoked beef cheek Barbacoa Tacos and the smoked brisket Deshebrada Roja Gorditas. “When I eat this I’m tasting culture,” he said.