Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Elvira's: Go For the Rice

After cousin Dora and I made our way to Elvira's, we understood the basis for our Aunt Jo's recommendation on where to eat in Tubac, AZ.

"Elvira’s has come a long way since third-generation owner and chef Ruben Monroy’s grandmother Elvira launched the food-to-go eatery in 1927 (just steps south of the border in Nogales, Sonora).
"Back then, it had to be food-to-go because the original room was so small. Elvira’s saw five expansions across the decades—Monroy’s father had fueled Elvira’s popularity with free tequila—and in 1990 Monroy took over Elvira’s from his parents.
"When he did, the cuisine was local Sonoran, but Monroy remodeled the Nogales restaurant and broadened the menu across Mexico, modernizing Elvira’s into a popular stop for the Hollywood set with the turn of the millennium seeing the likes of George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.

"'ABC and CNN came to interview me,' Monroy says….
"Good times collapsed with the 2008 economic recession.... Monroy moved Elvira’s 21 miles north of the border to Tubac in August of 2009" (Teya Vitu at ediblebajaarizona.com/elviras-crosses-borders/).

"Chef Ruben Monroy, who has degrees in graphic arts and interior design, selected and purchased all the furnishings and wide-ranging blend of traditional and contemporary Mexican arts and crafts that adorn the bright and lively new location during many trips throughout his native country.
"He painted the restaurant himself, with a series of electric blue walls, decorated with colorful dots. 'I decided to change the whole design of the restaurant with a blend of traditional to fun and funky items. I want people to come and get a taste of the new and old Mexico, and experience not just the food, but the culture, the colors and the culture and the spirit,' he said.
"After he completed his studies in interior design and graphic arts, Monroy headed off for cooking school in Mexico City to become a chef. He creates all the recipes and does much of the cooking at the new location, his preference being for 'more inventive cuisine' (laentradadetubac.com/elviras).
It was difficult to take our eyes off the vibrant designs of the dining room, but we turned to the menu while enjoying the aromas drifting in from the kitchen.

We both decided to have a light lunch and ordered the Quesadillas, described on the menu as "flour tortillas with cheese melted to perfection."
My gourmet traveling companion did not make this trip with us, so I will just say that the description was spot on. The tortillas were also crispy, which raised the humble tortillas to a starring role in this appetizer.

But when talking about raising humble components of a meal to new heights, Elvira's rice is the prime example.

"…At Elvira’s, “comes with rice” does not mean a plain scoop of rice, nor the American Mexican tradition of rice soaked in tomato sauce. Monroy starts with long-grain rice, accents it with a scattering of wild rice, and mixes in some finely diced tomato, cilantro, and Anaheim chile.

“'We lift it a little,' says Monroy, who trained at the Instituto Ambrosia, Mexico’s culinary institute (ediblebajaarizona.com/elviras-crosses-borders).
It's unusual that a "side" is mentioned as the reason to travel 40 miles from Tucson for lunch, but the experience of sampling the layers of flavor in the rice was worth the trip all by itself.

I ordered a take-out helping of rice to take home for Kate.

After finishing our meal, I walked into the bar to take these next three photos.

I would say that after seeing the bar and dining room (below) Monroy has "lifted the energy level more than a little."
And as our aunt Jo said, "Go for the rice."


eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بالدمام الشرق الاوسط متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش الجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركات النقل البري بالدمام
شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام

eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة انها الاولى فى مكافحة ورش الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة رش البق رش الصراصير مكافحة النمل الابيض بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة