Pekin duck

The smoked breast of Pekin duck with huckleberry gastrique, Persian jeweled rice and braised fall vegetables was one of two entrée choices at Acacia Real Food & Cocktails for the “Flavors of Arizona” restaurant tour.

Brandon Hays/The Explorer

This week is restaurant week, but several Tucson establishments got a head start last week, hosting a “Flavors of Arizona” tour.

The event, which began at the Melting Pot in the Foothills Mall picked up a group of diners and took them to four different establishments for appetizers, cocktails, entrees and dessert.

After appetizers at the Melting Pot, which is well known for its culinary work with fondue, the bus headed over to Maynard’s, located at 400 East Toole Ave. At Maynard’s, diners enjoyed more cocktails and appetizers.

For the regular entrée, the diners were taken to Acacia Real Food & Cocktails, located at 3001 E. Skyline Dr.

Finally, for dessert, diners were taken further downtown to Lodge on the Desert, located at 306 N. Alvernon Way.

After the three-hour tour, diners were returned to their vehicles around 8 p.m. at the Melting Pot.

“Arizona Restaurant Week is a celebration of Arizona’s finest tastemakers and one of the state’s biggest industries,” said Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association. “The twice yearly event allows us to highlight Arizona as a top culinary destination in the country.”

Arizona Restaurant Week is between Sept. 15 and Sept. 23. During the week, participating restaurants in Tucson will offer specialty prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, and like others, $30 and $40. Beverages, tax and gratuity are excluded.

A full list of participating restaurants can be found at

The goal of Arizona Restaurant Week is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the more than 8,500 dining opportunities available, as well as stimulate business and revenue for restaurants throughout the state.

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