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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Downtown’s Cafe Poca Cosa is anything but quaint

    Downtowns Cafe Poca Cosa is anything but quaint

    The name Café Poca Cosa may evoke the image of a quaint little eatery serving espresso and scones, but this bistro in downtown Tucson is a whole different animal. Located on Pennington Street, Café Poca Cosa serves upscale Mexican and Latin American cuisine.

    The café has a modern look with vermilion walls and white-branched trees lit by the sparkling lights that frame the bar area. The white leather furniture is complemented by black floors and ceilings, and though the restaurant is clad in a contemporary, edgy style, its atmosphere is relaxed.

    As evening arrives, however, it’s soon bustling and full of chatter. Dressed in black, staff members greet customers with poise and a smile. Their detailed knowledge of the cuisine gives the bistro a level of professionalism often missing in other restaurants.

    The complimentary tortilla chips and salsa are nice, but with strong hints of cilantro, the salsa tastes about the same as any other salsa or pico de gallo in the city.

    However, the birria de laurel, a slow-cooked shredded beef dish in a mild burgundy sauce, is another story. Served with corn tortillas, fluffy rice, pinto beans and a mix of finely shredded fruits and vegetables, this dish is sure to be a hit. The shredded beef is tender and flavorful; the slightly sweet taste of the burgundy sauce mixes well with the leafy greens and shredded pear. The sweet and savory flavors of rice, pear pieces, pinto beans, cabbage shreds and bay leaf all complement each other well.

    For the college student who’s used to being stuck with a microwaved cheese quesadilla, going to Café Poca Cosa will be a breath of fresh air.

    Beware, however — it is pricy.

    The menu consists of about eight items and is changed twice daily. The menu isn’t written on paper, either; instead, the day’s fare is written on chalkboards propped up around the restaurant. When the server came to our table holding a chalkboard, she explained every dish so quickly that it was difficult to keep up.

    Just tell the server to give you a minute to think it over, and take the time to walk around the restaurant to look at a couple of the chalkboards. It’s never good to feel rushed when deciding on your meal; food should always be a relaxed, enjoyable experience.

    Despite small inconveniences due to the menu style, Café Poca Cosa is an excellent restaurant, and the more often you go, the easier it will be to choose an entrée. Just be sure to split your meal — there will be enough for two.

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