2 October, 2022, 02:19

10 Facts You Might Not Know About Elvira’s Restaurant

Downtown Tucson is excited for its new neighbor. Elvira’s Restaurant, a beloved Tubac classic, is opening a second location in downtown Tucson at 256 E. Congress St. on Saturday, April 16. Now you don’t have to drive an hour south for the signature variety of molé. Below are 10 facts.

Owner and Chef Ruben Monroy painted the original Tubac location. He also has degrees from a school in Guadalajara for graphic arts and interior design.

Chef Ruben Monroy (Credit: Elvira's Facebook Page)

Chef Ruben Monroy (Credit: Elvira’s Restaurant Facebook Page)

As an energetic person, he opened and operated a nightclub called Cucarachas for about seven years, then went to culinary school in Mexico City.

(Credit: flickr.com/photos/nait)

(Credit: flickr.com/photos/nait)

His main influence is southern Mexico City cuisine, which differs from the Sonoran influence you typically find in Tucson.

Elvira's "Frida Kahlo" dish (Credit: Ricardo Mosso via Elvira's Facebook page)

Elvira’s “Frida Kahlo” dish (Credit: Ricardo Mosso via Elvira’s Restaurant Facebook page)

Not all molés have chocolate. The term ‘molé’ can refer to a variety of Mexican sauces with a chile pepper base. Elvira’s Restaurant in Tubac offers five types of molé: negro, Atocpan, dulce, hazelnut, and poblano. New molés are in the works for the Tucson location.

(Credit: flickr.com/photos/mmees-photography)

(Credit: flickr.com/photos/mmees-photography)

The restaurant is named after his grandmother, Elvira.

(Credit: Elvira's Facebook Page)

(Credit: Elvira’s Restaurant Facebook Page)

It’s pronounced El-VEE-rah’s.


He catered for the film Traffic, with a quick shout-out by Benicio Del Toro after the Academy Award win for best supporting actor.

(Credit: flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore)

Benicio Del Toro (Credit: flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore)

Chef Ruben also catered for the films Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Bordertown.

Scene from Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (Credit: Lionsgate Publicity)

Scene from Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (Credit: Lionsgate Publicity)

Bernie Sanders ate at Elvira’s on his way to Nogales.

(Credit: Imgur)

(Credit: Imgur)

The lights for the ceiling glass raindrops at the Tucson location change color.

Elvira's dining room a few days before the grand opening (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Elvira’s Restaurant dining room a few days before the grand opening (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For more information, visit Elvira’s Restaurant on Facebook.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.