Pizzeria Mimosa
Published September/October 2013

Hungry for Home

Take your taste buds on an international tour of duty in the Army town of Sierra Vista

BYDina Mishev
Sierra Vista used to be a small collection of buildings outside the main gate of Fort Huachuca, but as the needs of the soldiers and their families grew, so too did this southeastern Arizona town — especially its dining landscape, which continues to provide its residents with flavors from some of the many places those in the military have been stationed.
Today, the city of more than 45,000 has nearly 50 eateries, many of which are locally owned. And, thanks (in part) to the international experiences of those assigned to the U.S. Army post, just 75 miles southeast of Tucson, almost half of the restaurants offer ethnic cuisine.
Eastern Eats
Begin your worldwide tour of flavor at Tanuki Sushi Bar & Garden. Here, all of the sushi chefs are from Okinawa, and you’ll find authenticity in the fresh seafood, sushi rolls, and teppanyaki. Of the four local Korean restaurants, Bunbuku is a standout for its bulgogi (beef rib-eye marinated in Korean barbecue sauce) and Kim Ba Woo’s Den for its kimchee (spicy pickled cabbage).
Korea is a 2,200-mile flight from Vietnam, but in Sierra Vista the flavors of this country are less than two miles away at Peacock Vietnamese Restaurant. Here, if you let her, owner and chef Hiep Wingate will regale you with tales of the culture shock she first experienced after moving to the U.S. with her husband in 1973. Peacock’s food can be as spicy as Wingate herself, and local favorites include the thit heo cuon (Wingate’s variation of a pork spring roll) and bun bo gio heo (hot and spicy beef and pork soup). 
European Exports
For a taste of some of Deutschland’s most delightful treats, German bakery Bobke’s Breadbasket serves soups and sandwiches. Founded by Irene and Gunther Bobke in 1990, it’s currently operated by their daughter, Michele, and her husband, Peter. “We want our products gone at the end of the day,” Michele says, of their commitment to freshness. If you get there early enough, opt for schnitzel or a pretzel roll — a perfect combination of chewy and crisp. The bakery is closed weekends, so plan accordingly.
You’ll have to travel just outside of Sierra Vista for the finest Italian cuisine, but the 20-minute drive southeast to Hereford, Ariz., is nothing compared to how far the flour for each batch of Pizzeria Mimosa’s dough has traveled. Owner Vicki Gilbert not only imports the flour she uses in every one of her authentic Neapolitan-style pies from Naples, she imported her wood-burning pizza oven from there, too. 
“Since lots of people here travel with the military and have been to Italy and experienced real Italian food, I can’t back down on quality and authenticity,” she says. “It needs to be the real deal.”
DINA MISHEV lives in Jackson, Wyo., where she writes for such publications as Sunset, Big Sky Journal, and The Washington Post.
For More Information
Call your local AAA Travel professional at 1-888-870-9392 or visit AAA.com.
Tanuki Sushi Bar & Garden
Tanuki Sushi Bar & Garden
If You Go
1221 E. Fry Blvd.
Sierra Vista
Peacock Vietnamese Restaurant
80 S. Carmichael Ave.
Sierra Vista
Bobke’s Breadbasket
355 W. Wilcox Dr.
Sierra Vista
4755 E. Neapolitan Way

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