The professors that lecture on endothermic reactions, cell division, or classical mythology are people just like you and me.
It is hard to imagine that they grab drinks with their friends, go out to dinner with their families or shop at the local Trader Joe's, but newsflash: they eat, breathe, and live too.
In fact, many of the professors that teach at the University of Arizona have been in Tucson for many years. They have had the opportunity to try every little mom-and-pop shop from the Catalina Foothills all the way to Congress Street.
Unfortunately, I rarely get the chance to sit down and really talk about food. Instead, I am usually stressing about an upcoming exam or a confusing concept in lecture which is why I decided to pick the brains of some of our very own professors in order to find out what's good in regards to Tucson cuisine.
Dr. John Pollard: BrushFire BBQ CO.
Dr. John Pollard is not only a chemistry professor, but he also is a BBQ enthusiast. His favorite restaurant in Tucson is (surprise) BrushFire BBQ CO.
The restaurant has two locations: one off Campbell and Glenn and the other off 22nd and Kolb.
Dr. Lani Hidalgo: Takamatsu
Dr. Lani Hidalgo, who also teaches in the chemistry department, said that her favorite restaurant is Takamatsu. Maybe she's biased and loves this place because her husband took her here on their first date (aww).
However, the sweet memories aren't the only good part about Takamatsu—the food is also delicious. Dr. Hidalgo recommends the Philly and Vegas rolls, the green muscles, or the Korean BBQ.
Dr. Jennifer Ricketts: Cafe Poca Cosa
I also spoke to Dr. Jennifer Ricketts, who teaches a variety of nutrition courses at the U of A. She had a hard time choosing just one favorite restaurant, but decided that Cafe Poca Cosa was her go to.
"I like the thought and flavor principles in the chef’s dishes," Ricketts says. "There is a lot of depth and marriage of flavors."Her favorite dish is the plate, which is a random selection of three items off the menu. It is a bold concept that forces spontaneity in the best possible way.
Dr. Susan Jorstad: Feast
Dr. Susan Jorstad, biology professor, declares that her favorite restaurant is Feast, which is a contemporary bistro located just off of Speedway Boulevard.
Dr. Jorstad really enjoys the unusual dishes as well as the ambiance of the atmosphere, which she described as a mixture of elegance and comfort.
Dr. Robert Schon: Casita de Cecilia
In the School of Anthropology, Professor Robert Schon, was reluctant to spill the beans on his favorite restaurant, but decided that their business deserved his support and so he told me in confidence.
His favorite restaurant is (shh) Casita de Cecilia, and his favorite part is not only their delicious Mexican food, but the fact that the outdoor seating is directly under the flight path for planes approaching the Tucson airport. Talk about a meal with a show.
Dr. Claudia Stanescu: Living Room Café
Lastly, I spoke to Dr. Claudia Stanescu, who teaches physiology at the U of A. Her favorite restaurant is The Living Room Café at La Encantada.
The best part about the restaurant is the cool atmosphere, while her favorite dish is the Superfood Salad with Chicken.
It is no surprise that our professors here at the University of Arizona would also have some great recommendations when it comes to the best of the best in Tucson. I for one can't wait to try some of their favorites.