This past weekend, I got the chance to visit Tucson. There were plenty of trifles to treasure, including meeting Jake’s family for the first time and a black and orange, raging thunderstorm over the desert on the drive home. There was also plenty to eat, and among those places was Café Poca Cosa.
I had already been told about this place by a Phoenix real estate agent. She said I had to eat at Café Poca Cosa. Honestly, I don’t think she was giving me an option; I think she was giving me an order—an order that, in hindsight, I was happy to accept.
Café Poca Cosa is located in downtown Tucson on East Pennington Street. It’s a random restaurant on a somewhat deserted street, vacant of other restaurants. Upon entrance, it felt like we were in the middle of some hip artist’s frontal lobe. I glanced outside. Nope, we hadn’t been teleported to a Frida Kahlo painting. We were still in the desert, still in Tucson. Yet, the inside felt so … warm. Comforting. Stylish. Red. It felt like a place I would love, and I did, as soon as I sat at the bar, waiting for a table.
“You two want to get drunk?” a cheerful, attractive Mexican woman chirped at Jake and me. I laughed, but for a second, I thought, With the overabundance of expensive tequila over your shoulder? Would LOVE to, lady. I would soon learn, this lady was the owner and chef—Suzana Davila. We were escorted to our table. And yeah, I had a margarita at 1 PM.
So the way it works at Café Poca Cosa: the menu changes twice daily. There are no “menus” to look at. (Well, there’s a drink menu, but with all that tequila, there had to be a drink menu). Instead, there is a chalkboard. Your server will bring a chalkboard to the table and tell you about the options of the day. Me being 1) a Midwesterner 2) a previous habitant of the Lowcountry, this Mexican food was foreign to me. I know about enchiladas, tacos, burritos…but outside of the norm, I’m a lost puppy. So, of course, I went with the Plato Poca Cosa—three dishes from the chalkboard, chosen at random by the chef.
I have no idea what I ate.
I know it was straight out of my wildest dreams.
One of the dishes had pineapple. There was steak and tomatoes to the left. OH! I recognized a Mole sauce on chicken. And as I mentioned, I recognized the tequila in my fancy margarita glass. Other than that, beats me. What I do know? It was amazing. Every bite. Every morsel. Every dish.
Café Poca Cosa is a place you just gotta see to believe. The ambiance is sensual and delightful. The margaritas will put you on the floor. The food made me wanna do a little dance down the streets of downtown Tucson. And Suzana Davila was a chick I hope I meet again someday. In fact, I’d love to buy her a drink.
You have to go. Not a pleasant suggestion; that’s an order.