It was Thanksgiving weekend 34 years ago that Ms. Karen and I were married at my parent’s Oregon farmhouse. This Thanksgiving weekend we headed to Patagonia to have a pizza at the famous Velvet Elvis at La Misión. This is the NEW Velvet Elvis, which has moved across the park to McKeown Avenue in the heart of Patagonia, Arizona. It has been open for a short two months as of this writing.
It is a much larger, and much fancier place than the former location. And well worth the hour + drive from Tucson. We took scenic Hwy 83 south to Sonoita, then the 12 miles to Patagonia. Beautiful drive in the country. We went on a Sunday early, so incoming traffic to Patagonia was light.
We parked across the street from the Elvis and made our way into the cavernous space, decorated with Mexican art primarily, with some large paper maché or ceramic statues about the place.
Initially, we went to be seated outside to get some sun and warmth. The courtyard was small and the same three tables that were at the original Velvet Elvis were out there. But they were missing butt pads, so we opted for a seat at the end of the bar with the sun coming in from the patio out back.
Ms. Karen ordered a Chicken Saltimbocca pizza: Creamy herbed cheese, roasted chicken, Prosciutto di Parma, fresh & sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, Gorgonzola, asiago, and mozzarella. I ordered a pepperoni and sausage pizza. These were 10″ pizzas, $15 each. This is maybe our 4th visit to Velvet Elvis and Ms. Karen and I are convinced that theirs is the best pizza we have ever enjoyed.
Cecilia, the owner, was there to greet us. She explained about the new murals and art on the walls. Some were created by local artists, and others from Oaxaca, Oregon, and Mexico.
When we left, we headed north a few miles and stopped at a Wildlife Preserve. We didn’t know it was there. On previous trips to Patagonia, we had stopped at the Paton Hummingbird Sanctuary and the Sonoita Creek Preserve and, of course, Patagonia Lake. And then there’s the ghost town of Harshaw in the mountains behind the town. All worthy ventures. But not this time. We needed to get home to our three-legged dog, Dozer.
The drive home was pleasant, through beautiful country, rolling hills and ranch land. We suggest you head to Patagonia. And dine at the Velvet Elvis at La Misión… best pizza on the planet. And a very unique space. It’s been years since we awarded a five saguaro rating for a restaurant, but the Elvis certainly deserved all five.
Velvet Elvis at La Misión
335 McKeown Ave, Patagonia, AZ 85624
Open Wednesdays through Sunday at 8:30 AM