Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe

Review by: ayersian

Teresa’s was recommended to us by friends Jacque and Janice, who explained that if limited to one meal at the Mosaic Cafe, 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 a “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 a good choice. Two simple eggs covered in a salsa-like sauce and served with warm tortillas, it is hard to go wrong; but Teresa’s version takes the top prize. We cannot pinpoint exactly why, but 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.

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 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 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.

Directions & Hours

8am - 8pm
  • Monday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

What To Eat

Huevos Rancheros

DISH
Breakfast Combination Plate

DISH
Homemade Lemonade

DISH
Homemade Tortillas

DISH
Guacamole (small)

DISH
Mini Chimichangas (6)

DISH
Chile Pasilla

DISH
Green Corn Tamales

DISH
Menudo

DISH
Machaca de Tres Chiles con Huevo

DISH
Mole Enchiladas de Huevo

DISH

Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe?

2 Responses to “Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe”

Donna Sanchez

January 12th, 2013

Oh, so good! I’ve been going to Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe practically since it opened and have yet to find anything that I feel is over-priced or I don’t like. If you had visited the cafe back when it first opened, you would never believe this is the same one, as it has expanded so very much and the clientele has more than quadrupled.

With persons such as myself, who pay attention to all the quiet changes going on around you, maybe you wouldn’t be so grumpy about paying $4.00 for the avocado. If they charged you what the stores sell them for, they couldn’t stay in business long. Why didn’t you ask the price before ordering? I’m certain they don’t get that order often and weren’t prepared with a price.

I had to make a career change to NC, but do go back home quite often to Tucson and this is one restaurant I never miss visiting.

Reply

Jane S.

March 22nd, 2008

I went to Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe with my son one morning while waiting for my tire to be fixed. I ordered an egg and potato burrito, enchilada-style with avocado, one cup of coffee and one whole avocado to mash and feed to my son. The burrito was $7.50; $1.50 extra for avocado in the burrito.

There were two slivers of avocado with some overcooked (dark brown) egg and mushy potatoes inside the burrito. The coffee ($2) was weak and cheap-tasting. The meal did not come with any extras; just a burrito on a plate for $9.00. I was charged $4.00 for the whole avocado. The going grocery store rate for an avocado is $1.00. That’s a 400% markup. The total was $16.00.

I spoke to the owner, who was sitting by the register when I paid. I told her that the avocado was for my baby, but she said “the price is right because I need to pay for my office, my desk; I have to charge you.” Very rude, and low quality food. I won’t return.

Reply

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