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Elvira's in Tubac

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I want to put in a good word for Elvira's in Tubac, where my husband and I had a fabulous lunch a couple of days ago. What is new since we last ate there last summer is that they now offer a short "light lunch" menu. What's light about it are the prices, at least compared to the regular lunch menu, which is decidedly on the expensive side, with most entrees well north of $20. The light lunch menu is about half that, and they decidedly don't skimp on the flavor or the amount of food.

My husband ordered chicken mole and had the choice of three different moles. I had the steak Tamarindo, which was a hangar steak covered with a chipotle tamarind sauce and topped with a mild gooey cheese. The meat was on the chewy side but had outstanding flavor. The sauce was one of the best I've ever tasted in a Mexican restaurant. My husband's mole was similarly excellent, with a lot of complex flavors that blended perfectly and topped boneless chicken breast that had not been cooked one second longer than it had to be and remained juicy and tender.

While we waited for our entrees, we enjoyed house-made tortilla chips still hot from the fryer. I got the sense that everything they serve is prepared right there. The salsa was not tomato-based and was a spicy but refreshing change from the typical stuff served in Mexican restaurants. (I'd love to know what is in it but forgot to ask our waitress.)

Service was very good; our friendly waitress was fully up-to-speed on the menu, and our food arrived promptly.

The only thing slightly off was the ambiance, and that is temporary, as they are adding a new room to the restaurant. In the meantime, it's a bit dark, with blackout curtains covering the windows adjoining the addition.

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