Restaurant Report Card: East-side restaurant doing things right

KOLD Restaurant Report Card, Thursday, May 31

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - This week’s Restaurant Report Card is a bit different. We are featuring a restaurant that has consistently had excellent ratings - Viro’s Real Italian Bakery.

When you visit Viro’s at 8301 E. 22nd Street you’ll almost always find Viro himself.

Victor Croce, who works alongside his sweetheart, says she’s the mastermind behind the creations lining the store front.

“I was born in Italy. My wife was also born in Italy,” he said. “So we got married and then we moved here and we started this adventure.”

The family business has been serving Tucson nearly 35 years.

“We sell a lot of breads, cookies, sandwiches, pasta, lasagna, some pizza and we also sell gelato.” he said.

Croce works hard to protect his legacy.

“That’s one of the first things people look at. Before they can judge the food, how it is, they want to make sure the place is clean," he said.

He knows that keeping health inspectors happy also means happy customers. That’s why he treats them like family.

“We eat here as well," he said. "My friends come here and eat here, family eats here. If my house was dirty I wouldn’t invite them over and since I invite them here I have to make sure everything is clean.”

It’s not always easy. Croce is constantly keeping a close eye on the store’s appearance.

“It’s hard sometimes because you got a lot of employees and they do things their way and you gotta straighten it up,” he said.

“When we’re open, I’m always here, so I always go around. And I may not be doing the work but I am here and I see things. And I point it out and I gotta get it done.”

As a business owner, he knows trust is hard to earn but easy to lose.

Restaurants receiving consistent excellent ratings

Below you’ll find a list of Pima County restaurants that have received three or more Excellent Awards between Jan. 1, 2018 and April 24, 2019.

  • Red Lobster #0869 - 5870 E. Broadway Boulevard
  • Viro’s Italian Bakery - 8301 E. 22nd Street
  • Margarita Bay - 7415 E. 22nd Street
  • IHOP - 5101 Grant Road
  • Breakfast Stop Family Restaurant - 6135 E. 22nd Street
  • First Watch - 5350 E. Broadway Boulevard #103
  • Contigo Latin Kitchen - 3770 E. Sunrise Drive
  • Seis Kitchen and Catering - 130 S. Avenida del Convento #100
  • Teaspoon - 7053 N. Oracle Road
  • Mazaj Cafe - 903 E. Fort Lowell Road
  • Holy Smokin Butts BBQ - (location not listed)
  • Dickey’s Barbeque Pit - 7077 N. Thornydale Road
  • Top Golf - 4050 W. Costco Drive

Below is a list of places the health department said failed from May 25-30.

  • Circle K #3387, 4650 S. Palo Verde
  • El Kora Hot Dog, 151 W. Calle Francita
  • Filibertos Mexican Food, 2980 W. Ina Road
  • Karely Ice Cream, 789 W. Lightstar
  • Marine Corps League, 216 E. 29TH Street
  • Miss Saigon, 1072 N. Campbell Avenue
  • Nico’s Restaurant, 11165 N. LA Cañada Drive #115

The full list can be found HERE.

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