A little restaurant called Perfecto's recently opened at 5404 S. 12th Ave., and it's a gem. Owned by Leon Perfecto, the eatery serves no-frills Mexican food in unadorned surroundings; you and a guest can get out the door for around $20. It's also conveniently located right next to Liquor Express, which sells cheap booze through a drive-through window. The nachos I tried were loaded with crisp, fresh ingredients, and were big enough to feed a family of three. Call 889-5651, or visit www.perfectosrestaurant.com for more info.
Daniela Borella has combined two businesses at 10325 N. La Cañada Drive into one eatery called Caffe Torino. Borella was co-owner of Caffe Torino Ristorante Italiano, a popular Oro Valley eatery that closed last year, and she's fired up about bringing the magic back. The food is Italian, with a few American standards thrown in, but what caught my eye were breakfast offerings like eggs à la pizzaiola and eggs with prosciutto. Also worthy of note is the patio, which will be a nice place to sip an afternoon espresso come autumn; 219-2994.
Rock N' Java
Rock N' Java is a new coffee shop and music venue opening soon at 7555 Twin Peaks Road in Continental Ranch. The place is making a go at "bringing the coffee house experience back," according to its Web site, rocknjava.tv, which also proclaims it as "the most happening music venue north of the Rillito." Wait ... how can it be the most happening if they've never hosted a concert? We're chalking that claim up to caffeine intoxication and wishing the owners the best of luck. Rock N' Java is expected to open by the end of the month.
Some of the best servers in town will compete in the 2009 Server Olympics, which takes place from 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 30, at La Encantada Shopping Center (2905 E. Skyline Drive). Events include a tray race, corkscrew challenge, check relay and table-clearing competition, and admission is $5, or five cans of food for the Tucson Community Food Bank. Beer, cocktail and food samples will be served in an "Olympic Village" for a small donation, and an awards ceremony at RA Sushi (also located in La Encantada) will feature food and drink specials until 11 p.m.; 615-3970 or 299-3566.