Review of TallBoys—Tucson

You’ll want to try the TallBoy Tots. And everything else.


I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

TallBoys, a breakfast (af) and lunch spot, opened mere blocks from my house.


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The menu is filled with bites that taste better at 2am post-drinks and the next morning (TallBoy Tots, BAT-LEG), and fun twists on favorites, like goat cheese, lox, egg, and balsamic-topped toast.

TallBoy Tots from TallBoys in Tucson.

I had gone out the night before, so the TallBoy Tots called my name. They’re incredible. One of the best breakfast/brunch items in the entire city of Tucson. And I believe this statement holds true even if I hadn’t had drinks the night before.

Continue reading “Review of TallBoys—Tucson”

Tucson: Wings Over Broadway

*Note: This is a continuing series on dining in Tucson, where I live. My hope is to prevent visitors from asking, “What is there to eat here?”

An actual chicken wing from Wings Over Broadway. This really happened. It's like the Snitch in Harry Potter.
An actual chicken wing from Wings Over Broadway. This really happened. It’s like the Snitch in Harry Potter.

Wings Over Broadway probably got its name after a customer took a bite of a wing, died of love (or something), became an angel and went to heaven. The 15 sauce flavors range from child friendly to “oh my god, I’m crying in a restaurant and everyone can see me. Server, please bring me a bucket of ice water”: White Wings, Garlic Parm, Teriyaki, Sweet Heat Asian, Lemon Pepper, Honey Gold, Mild Buffalo, Honey BBQ, Honey Hot, Medium Buffalo, Cajun Spice, Golden Hot, Habanero Heat, Hot Buffalo, No Mercy. Their 40¢ Wing Tuesday specials pack the restaurant to capacity, with a line out the door. WOB is filled Wednesday through Monday, as well—I can’t imagine the volume of napkins they go through. Wash the sweet, the garlicky, the burning, down with a stein of beer for the ultimate party.

My recommendations: Lemon Pepper, Honey Gold and Cajun Spice

Back, blogging, best wishes

I know, four subscribers, I know: You’re absolutely furious at me for having largely ignored my travel blog for 15 months. “How could you be so selfish, Ivy?” The four of you might say, “Uhh, I was a little busy.”

I graduated in May from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and landed an internship at a newspaper near my hometown. I traveled a bit my senior year (New York City, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Sedona, the Grand Canyon and Boulder, Colo.), and always thought, “Man, I should really be updating my travel blog.” Those thoughts were overshadowed by, “Man, I should really be doing my homework,” and eventually, “Man, my senioritis is really acting up. I should go take a nap.”

Now that I’m back in southern Arizona and have no friends, I think it’s time to give this thing another go. If not for you, then to soothe the guilt I feel everytime I look at my LinkedIn profile and see, “Blogger: 2009 – present”. Continue reading “Back, blogging, best wishes”

Mesa, Arizona

I lived in the Fiesta district of Mesa, Arizona for about a year, and I hated it. Maybe it was the neighborhood, maybe it was the fact that I lived with my psychotic, super-clean sister, but I could not wait to get out of there. There was one area of Mesa that I actually did enjoy, and I suggest that if you visit, take a peek at downtown: specifically, Main Street, from Sirrine/Centennial Way to Robson.

The area is comparable to Mill Avenue in Tempe in that it’s pedestrian friendly and has a lot of restaurants and shops; the difference between the two is that it’s possible to park in downtown Mesa without having to put a fortune of quarters in a meter. I parked on Robson, off Main Street, for two hours without having to pay anything. Not far from where I parked, I found Domestic Bliss, which sold

Domestic Bliss in Mesa, Arizona; as cozy as a home

 fantastic gifts for friends of all ages. Domestic Bliss was cozy, and felt more like a home than a store; I strongly recommend you go there for gifts for the friend who has everything, the friend who is expecting or the friend who is hard to shop for – as well as for yourself! Another good place for gifts was Lissa’s, which also already had unique Christmas decorations displayed. I was intrigued by Adorn Style Lounge, but didn’t arrive during open hours – from the window it had some cute dresses and jackets for younger women. I wandered around Blossom Salon and Boutique – an interesting concept; why not get your haircut and then buy a new outfit? Continue reading “Mesa, Arizona”

Bisbee and Tombstone, Arizona

Draw yer pistols, this weekend my parents and I headed to the wild, Wild West. Bisbee, AZ is famous for its copper mines, which offer tours to tourists and the like. We would have gone on a copper mine tour, but my mom doesn’t like being underground. Instead, we occupied ourselves with everything else Bisbee had to offer.

I was most enamored with the way Bisbee was constructed: homes are built into mountains and steep streets go up and down and up again. The stairs of Bisbee are the same way and many calories were burned trekking around. The first exploring we did was through Main Street in historic Bisbee; an alley filled with vintage shops, art galleries and used bookstores. My parents and I were in an antiques shop when we were enticed by the overwhelming smell of coffee. We made our way to Old Bisbee Roasters where we met Seth Appell, who roasts coffee beans from all over the world; my parents bought a sampler of flavors.

Afterwards, we visited the Copper Queen, Bisbee’s very own haunted hotel. The Copper Queen has an old style, with floral upholstered couches and creaky stairs. The Copper Queen’s guests are visited frequently by three ghosts, sure to spook you out of any sleep. I really enjoyed reading the Copper Queen’s ghost journal, where guests wrote stories of encounters: shiny quarters moved and cigar smoke smelled. In October of 2008, the same girls who accompanied me to Sedona and I went on a ghost tour of the Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix. In a photo we took, a man (who clearly was not in the elevator before) appeared behind our shoulders. I tried recreating this in mirrors at the Copper Queen, but only found some misplaced hair. Continue reading “Bisbee and Tombstone, Arizona”

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

Misery loves company – because I was mildly hung over, I needed some pals. My girlfriends Lauren Parra, Jessica Peraza and Jessica Morales joined me on this weekend’s destination: Sedona, Arizona. I hadn’t been to Sedona since I was 11 and the only thing I remembered was a place called Grasshopper Point, a huge cliff that swimmers climbed up to jump back into Oak Creek; I just had to go back.

Entering Sedona is a treat (the perfect soundtrack would have been some Creedance Clearwater Revival), we pulled off the road to a scenic view, there was really no better photo opportunity to admire the red rocks and… more red rocks. When we arrived in the actual town of Sedona, I was surprised – it wasn’t the rural, small town I had imagined. Sedona looks brand new and is aimed towards tourists – there were stores everywhere selling “native Arizona cactus” and “Native-American turquoise” and crappy t-shirts that said “Sedona” on them. The unfortunate thing about Sedona is that it realizes it’s a tourist town, so while its local finds could be enjoyable and tourists would think they discovered something previously undiscovered, it all seems so common. Continue reading “Sedona, Arizona”

The beginning of a trip that never quite ended…

I had been kidnapped. Stolen without my consent and thrown in the back of a rusted white 1990 Ford F-150. The driver was a man with a beer belly he worked quite hard for. His accomplice was a woman with a fondness for putting her feet against the windshield – a characteristic that often irritated the man. I knew I should have felt afraid, but I was plainly annoyed, these kidnappings had happened far too many times before. “Damn it Lois,” my father bellowed at my mother, “I told you not to do that,” as I rolled my eyes again from the backseat. During my childhood, I spent too much time in that F-150: complaining, passing drinks from the back seat to the front, reading Harry Potter books from cover to cover, being rudely awakened by ice-cold water drops on my face when my mother got eager and decided to grab her beverages by herself. Continue reading “The beginning of a trip that never quite ended…”