Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Teresa's Mosaic Cafe

2456 North Silver Mosaic Drive, Tucson, AZ - (520) 624-4512
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on 1/29/2008 9:16:00 AM
Teresa’s was recommended to us by friends Jacque and Janice, who explained that if limited to one meal at the Mosaic Cafe (as all are reportedly fantastic), the choice should be breakfast. Fans of Mexican desayuno, we eagerly took this suggestion and made the early morning trek to west Tucson. When you walk into Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe, you may not necessarily get the “Roadfood vibe.” The dining area is immaculately festive, the large picture windows provide a perfect view of the Catalina Mountains, and the tables (adorned with ceramic mosaics) appear to have been borrowed from a local art gallery. Have faith. We promise that this is a place where the attractive décor does not dare substitute for the culinary delights you are eager to be served.

Everyone has a “test meal”—that one particular dish by which to compare one type of restaurant to all of its competitors. Often the test food is something simple—a menu cornerstone such as a grilled cheese or hamburger. The point is to judge how well one particular restaurant is able to cook up a classic dish. When it comes to Mexican food, huevos rancheros is often a good choice. Two simple eggs covered in a salsa-like sauce and served with warm tortillas, it is hard to go wrong, but in some places this simple dish is just so right. And although we have encountered many contenders, the verdict is in and Teresa’s version takes the top prize. We cannot pinpoint exactly why, but are sure that it has something to do with the crunch of the crispy tortilla slyly peeking out from under the eggs, the intense flavor of the chunky red sauce, and the basket of just-made tortillas provided alongside.

Aware of the fact that we would be unable to visit Teresa’s during the lunch or dinner hours, we also decided to order one of the breakfast combination plates. On this particular dish, eggs are accompanied by a cheese enchilada and green corn tamale. The cheese enchilada is stuffed with a very mild Mexican cheese, which serves to complement the thick, semi-spicy red sauce that covers half of the plate (the other half being taken up by delicious, creamy refried beans). Although we have sampled many-a-tamale in our travels, we had never tried one of the green corn variety, and were surprised to find how different it tasted. As we later found out, green corn tamales are made with fresh corn instead of dried, thereby explaining their more organic flavor.

There are so many things that make Teresa’s the ideal stop for a Mexican meal that it is hard to choose. For instance, the large glass barrels of homemade horchata and lemonade are not to be missed. However, if there was to be a central selling point for Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe, it would have to be the handmade tortillas. You may have seen women making tortillas in restaurant storefront windows before, but such a stage show cannot compare to the experience of watching tortillas being made at the back of Teresa’s dining room. From the time that we sat down ‘til the time that we left, we watched as hundreds of tortillas were hand-flattened from small balls of dough, thrown on the griddle until perfectly browned, and casually tossed into a growing pile to be plucked and placed into serving baskets by members of the waitstaff.

21 out of 22 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Huevos Rancheros
Homemade Lemonade
Breakfast Combination Plate
Horchata
Homemade Tortillas
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Teresa's version of Huevos Rancheros takes the top prize in our book!
"Teresa's version of Huevos Rancheros takes the top prize in our book!"
Chris & Amy Ayers





The best of all worlds--scrambled eggs, a cheese enchilada, a green corn tamale, and creamy refried beans.
"The best of all worlds--scrambled eggs, a cheese enchilada, a green corn tamale, and creamy refried beans."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Green corn tamales are moist and earthy, striped with chile peppers.
"Green corn tamales are moist and earthy, striped with chile peppers."
Michael Stern


Tucson claims to be the place where chimichangas were invented. Whether or not that is true, the city sure has some good ones, including these crisp mini-chimi appetizers, which you can get filled with shredded beef or chicken.
"Tucson claims to be the place where chimichangas were invented. Whether or not that is true, the city sure has some good ones, including these crisp mini-chimi appetizers, which you can get filled with shredded beef or chicken."
Michael Stern


We don't normally think of mole as part of a breakfast dish, but couldn't resist these enchiladas filled with scrambled eggs and covered with rich mole sauce and sesame seeds.  Excellent!
"We don't normally think of mole as part of a breakfast dish, but couldn't resist these enchiladas filled with scrambled eggs and covered with rich mole sauce and sesame seeds. Excellent! "
Cliff Strutz


An Oaxacan treat, smoked pasilla peppers are kept in a big jar at the back of the dining room. They arrive in their perfumy liquid, and will add a rich rich, leathery flavor to whatever they touch.
"An Oaxacan treat, smoked pasilla peppers are kept in a big jar at the back of the dining room. They arrive in their perfumy liquid, and will add a rich rich, leathery flavor to whatever they touch."
Michael Stern


Fresh from the griddle, these homemade flour tortillas are among the best we've had!
"Fresh from the griddle, these homemade flour tortillas are among the best we've had!"
Chris & Amy Ayers


We fell into a trance watching hundreds of tortillas being made right before our eyes!
"We fell into a trance watching hundreds of tortillas being made right before our eyes! "
Chris & Amy Ayers


When I asked the waitress for a suggestion, she recommended the machaca de tres chiles con huevo. This excellent dish features shredded beef, green chiles, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and poblano chiles, mixed into scrambled eggs.
"When I asked the waitress for a suggestion, she recommended the machaca de tres chiles con huevo. This excellent dish features shredded beef, green chiles, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and poblano chiles, mixed into scrambled eggs."
Cliff Strutz


Best known as a hangover cure and usually only served on weekends, Teresa'a has menudo available everyday!
"Best known as a hangover cure and usually only served on weekends, Teresa'a has menudo available everyday!"
Cliff Strutz


At Teresa's, homemade lemonade and horchata are served from large glass barrels.
"At Teresa's, homemade lemonade and horchata are served from large glass barrels."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Homemade corn tortillas are the perfect way to sop up any remaining sauces.
"Homemade corn tortillas are the perfect way to sop up any remaining sauces."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Teresa's dense guacamole is fine to scoop up with regular tortilla chips, even better when gathered with Sonoran cheese crisps.
"Teresa's dense guacamole is fine to scoop up with regular tortilla chips, even better when gathered with Sonoran cheese crisps."
Michael Stern


Each table has a unique mosaic underneath glass.
"Each table has a unique mosaic underneath glass."
Cliff Strutz


The mosaic theme is everwhere at Teresa's, including on this back bar behind which the tortillas are made.
"The mosaic theme is everwhere at Teresa's, including on this back bar behind which the tortillas are made."
Michael Stern


It's not my habit to take pictures of urinals, but I couldn't resist reporting on this one in Teresa's men's room. I have never seen one placed so low on the wall.
"It's not my habit to take pictures of urinals, but I couldn't resist reporting on this one in Teresa's men's room. I have never seen one placed so low on the wall."
Michael Stern


Although artfully done, it is easy to miss this small sign for Teresa's Mosaic Cafe!
"Although artfully done, it is easy to miss this small sign for Teresa's Mosaic Cafe!"
Chris & Amy Ayers


Hidden behind a McDonald's, Teresa's unassuming storefront cannot prepare you for the spectacular food within!
"Hidden behind a McDonald's, Teresa's unassuming storefront cannot prepare you for the spectacular food within!"
Chris & Amy Ayers


Despite the GPS taking us to the right address, Teresa's is a bit tricky to access. Even this sign is hard to see unless you are looking for it.
"Despite the GPS taking us to the right address, Teresa's is a bit tricky to access. Even this sign is hard to see unless you are looking for it."
Michael Stern



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com