El Cisne translates to “swan” in English. This restaurant is definitely upscale, which in Tucson means they serve on table cloths with cloth napkins. Also, the lights are low (bring a flashlight) and the background music is soft. It's located in a nondescript shopping center on the northeast side of Swan & Sunrise.
We met our longtime friends, Ms. Gini and her husband Gary, who go there often, for lunch one Saturday . They were not busy and we were seated right away. Our drink orders were taken soon afterward. Gini & Gary ordered a red wine, the Cline Zinfandel. Ms. Karen & I ordered margaritas.
While awaiting our lunch orders we enjoyed our drinks and tried unsuccessfully to avoid political conversation. Then it was time to order. Gini ordered ceviche from the appetizer menu. Gary ordered the Omelette de Espinaca (spinach and pico de gallo stuffed omelette) $9.
Karen ordered the Cisne Verde (Spinach enchilada, green corn & chile tamale, rice & and black beans) $10. I ordered the Burro de Birria (Braised Angus beef, marinated in it’s own juices & Mexican spices) $11.
Gini said that she had tried the ceviche everywhere and this was the best she’d tasted in Tucson. Karen tried it and agreed that is what she should have had. Gary found his spinach omelette to his liking, proven by the empty plate.
Karen enjoyed her spinach enchilada and chile tamale, a great combo. Each plate came with black or refried beans. Karen chose the black beans. She usually finds black beans boring, but these were flavorful, spiced just right.
My Burro de Birria was enormous and filled with the best tasting marinated beef. For those of you who might not know, Burrito is a little Burro, so when you order a Burro, as opposed to a burrito, be prepared.
Karen and I, however, both commented that our margaritas lacked something, alcohol perhaps? No real punch there.
El Cisne's prices were quite moderate for the amount and the quality of the meals. The atmosphere was pleasant, no loud music or reverberations. If you are on the eastside and desire Mexican / Spanish, do try it.
We award El Cisne four saguaros: very good!
El Cisne Restaurant & Tequila Bar
4717 E. Sunrise