Tucson AZ -- Mexican Food
I will be spending about 5 days in Tuscan at a training and an looking for some real Mexican restaurants (translation - no cheddar cheese on the premises). I will be staying in the University area, but after living 20+ years in Texas and now living in CT., I am willing to walk 1mile+/-, rent a taxi and for something special rent a car and drive!!
First off: search the board. The specialty of Tucson *is* Mexican food, you can't swing a cat without hitting a Mexican restaurant.
Second: Don't fear shredded yellow cheese! The primary style of Mexican food in Tucson is Sonoran. Flour tortillas (made with lard) and yellow cheese are staple ingredients.
Those said, in a nutshell: Cafe Poca Cosa downtown is fantastic, and has no yellow cheese. Go for lunch.
Cafe Poca Cosa
110 E Pennington St, Tucson, AZ 85701
re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
Good advice. People's tastes vary wildly these days when it comes to Mexican food. Some of t he Sonoran places have a tendency to literally bury a dish with yellow cheese which is way too much of a muchness, but a tendency to the way folks like it here. I like the quesos blancos in their many disguises, but JK is right- don't fear the cheeses! (vague 1970s Wishbone Ash reference)
Just a quick note re my long-time favorite, Mi Nidito in South Tucson.
There have been comments (here & elsewhere) that M Nidito has gone downhill -- so we didn't go last trip.
This time, lunch at around 2 PM. No wait and food as good as ever. I had the birria plate (~$11), delicately flavored of cinnamon and as good as ever. Note that Sonoran birria is usually beef (as here). My wife had shredded-beef flautas, which she also pronounced as good as ever. So, Mi Nidito goes back on the "every trip" list, with Vivace.
Next stop: Chef Alias meaty Bosnian!
Cheers -- Pete Tillman
Mi Nidito Cafe
1813 S 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85713
I've never understood the love of Cafe Poca Cosa - I think it is truly boring. Almost everything they serve comes out looking and tasting like a salad - a not particularly good salad at that.
My three favorite places for Mexican food in Tucson are:
Poco & Mom's - 1060 S. Kolb - New Mexico style, great breakfasts, great green chile, very worthwhile.
Teresa's Mosaic Cafe - 2455 N. Silverbell - also great breakfast, good everything else, nice comfortable place - wonderful fresh made flour tortillas.
El Indio - 3355 S. 6th - a funky cafe on the other side of Interstate 10 - fantastic chile verde or chile colorado.
Teresa's Mosaic Cafe
2456 N Silver Mosaic Dr, Tucson, AZ 85745
Poco & Mom's Restaurant
1060 S Kolb Rd, Tucson, AZ 85710
I have wanted to love poco & mom's and I tend to find them lacking in the finesse category. Too much cheese, too much sauce, otherwise really good food.
teresa's- I've only eaten there A couple of times but it's always ben spectacularly good solid Sonoran food
Haven't been to the Poca cosa in many years, but boy howdy was it ever good- very different from what we expect here in Tucson, but wonderful. .
The best Sonoran in Tucson comes from the trucks, El Nene and Angela's are my favorites. I like Parilla Suiza which you may like because they do in fact avoid the cheese and sauce routine.
Alfonso's Carnitas Jalisco is excellent, just a block or two west of Crossroads, which also has excellent food. Xochimilco right down the street from Crossroads is also good, but haven't been down that way in a while and don't know if they are still there.