Just thinking about some of our favorite meals in Tucson gets us drooling--even though we know that having any of them on a regular basis would take years off our lives.
The Kingfisher burger: A half-pound of beef, a few slices of bacon, cheddar, gorgonzola, roasted red peppers, poblano chiles, lettuce, tomato, pickle--this thing is so thick, we can barely get it into our mouth. We haven't sent it down to the lab for analysis, but we don't doubt the waiter who told us it may well be north of 5,000 calories. Skip the cole slaw, and double-up on the side of fries. God, this example of burger perfection is so bad for us; no wonder we can't wait to taste it again. Kingfisher Bar and Grill, 2564 E. Grant Road, 323-7739, www.kingfisherbarandgrill.com.
El Charro's USA Today burrito: This foot-long artery-clogger has a generous helping of El Charro's signature carne seca rolled up in a flour tortilla that's dropped into a deep fryer just to add more calories. It's served with big scoops of sour cream, guacamole and salsa, along with a generous helping of rice and beans. We picked one up while researching this report, and the leftovers lasted us two full days. El Charro Café, various locations, www.elcharrocafe.com.
Mi Nidito's President's Plate: During a visit to Tucson about 10 years ago, President Bill Clinton gave a brief speech on Social Security at the Tucson Convention Center, but reliable sources tell us his real reason for visiting was so he could give the food at Mi Nidito a try. (We have no word on how long el presidente had to wait for a table.) Clinton managed to wolf down a bean tostada, birria taco, chile relleno, chicken enchilada and beef tamal, which is now available as the president's plate. We're amazed the Secret Service let this deadly deep-fried platter anywhere near POTUS. Mi Nidito, 1813 S. Fourth Ave., 622-5081, www.minidito.net.
The Sonoran hot dog at El Guero Canelo: As if a hot dog wasn't bad enough for you already, El Guero Canelo wraps it in bacon and then lays on mayonnaise. Hey, why not deep-fry it while you're at it? Absolutely delicious--and absolutely deadly. El Guero Canelo, 5201 S. 12th Ave., 295-9005; 2480 N. Oracle Road, 882-8977, www.elguerocanelo.com.
Fresco Pizzeria's Major Meaty: Fresco makes a damn fine pie, especially when they pile on the sow, cow and fowl. The Major Meaty features pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage, meatballs and roasted chicken, along with tangy tomato sauce and all that gooey, melted cheese. Is this place secretly owned by a cardiologist who's trying to drum up business? Fresco Pizzeria and Pastaria, various locations, www.frescopronto.com.
Chocolate-chip pancakes at Millie's Pancake Haus: Millie's specializes in pancakes--banana, strawberry, potato--but we're sure the most unhealthy plate has to be the tall stack of chocolate-chip pancakes. Fluffy cakes are loaded with sweet chocolate cakes. Go ahead: Spread on some butter, and pour on some syrup. What's the worst that can happen during a sugar high? You've always got the Twinkie defense. Millie's Pancake Haus, 6530 E. Tanque Verde Road, 298-4250.
The dessert case at the Cup Café: Oh, my, Is that a peanut-butter cheesecake? A banana-cream pie? Double-chocolate pudding bowls? A pecan pie? A milk-chocolate raspberry mousse? We guess we could have a little slice of something, just as long as we skip dinner. And all three meals tomorrow. The Cup Café, Hotel Congress, 311 E Congress St., 798-1618, www.hotelcongress.com/cup.
Whetted your appetite yet? Go ahead and indulge.
Us? We've got to get to the gym.