Restaurant of the Week: Elvira’s Mexican Grill

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Elvira’s Mexican Grill, 373 E. Foothill Blvd. (at 4th), Upland; open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner but closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Elvira’s opened early in 2013 in a strip mall in Upland and has received strong ratings online. Twitter follower Original Pechanga (!) also advised me to check it out and recommended the flan. So, in the area for lunch recently, I dropped in.

It’s a sit-down place, everything new and tidy, with neat touches in the decor. The menu notes that they make their chile rellenos and tamales daily. Accordingly, I got the No. 3 combo ($9.49, above), with a chicken tamale, cheese enchilada, rice and beans. Excellent, and I liked the green salsa on the tamale. The complimentary chips and salsa were fresh and delicious.

Only after I left did I remember the flan. Well, a repeat visit was not exactly an unpleasant prospect. A couple of weeks later, I returned for another lunch. This time I got the No. 2 combo ($9.49), with a chile relleno, cheese tamale, rice and beans. Also very good. The chile relleno was light despite being fried.

At this point I didn’t really need the flan ($4.59, below), but I got it anyway. Served on a plate, the flan was a disc an inch high, practically the dimensions of a quarter pounder, firm and creamy, whipped cream on top. It would be better for two or three to share, but I’m not ashamed to say I finished it solo. Well, maybe a little ashamed.

It’s a family run restaurant, named, because you are no doubt dying to know this, for the family matriarch rather than for the Mistress of the Dark. Many of the recipes are hers. Based on the results, she’s now my favorite Elvira. And a tip of the sombrero to Original Pechanga for the advice.

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  • http://originalpechanga.blogspot.com OriginalPechanga

    Thanks for the h/t David and there is NO shame in finishing a flan by yourself. Late on Friday’s (when they have a very good singer, Hector Ceballos performing) we actually call to “reserve” a couple of flan’s. Their shrimp wrap is a favorite and their chicken taco’s are excellent also. Last mention, their breakfast hash browns are the best I’ve ever had and steak and eggs both delicious…and affordable.

  • Tom Thomas

    David, Thanks for doing this excellent review! Since the closing of Las Cazueltias this is our new favorite Mexican restaurant! I have now tried all of their burritos and each one has its own excellent flavor and each one was delicious! We can’t recommend this restaurant too highly and we are becoming regular customers!

    • davidallen909

      Tom, glad to hear you and Ann have found a local replacement for Las Cazuelitas. I’m looking forward to more meals at Elvira’s myself.

  • John Clifford

    Happened to be in Upland near that area yesterday after I read the post and decided to try it. Had the #2 combo with enchiladas and Chili Relleno. The beans and rice (what I usually use to judge a Mexican restaurant) were terrific. The rice had a bit of garlic and the beans were done well. I love Chili Rellenos and these were very good with lots of cheese, a good size chili, and the breading was light and fluffy, not too dense.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    • davidallen909

      What are the odds a blog reader from Pomona would happen to be near a restaurant in Upland the day my piece appeared? Long, I would imagine. I’m happy to hear that post was both timely and useful for you and that you were impressed by the restaurant!

    • http://originalpechanga.blogspot.com OriginalPechanga

      John, what did you think of the salsa? Chips and salsa are usually my first indicator of what we have in store for us. We think the salsa is …addicting…and believe me, my wife makes great salsa of her own.

      • John Clifford

        Salsa was good (I should have mentioned that–the reason I’m not a restaurant reviewer). It was very fresh and chunky. I’m not a fan of thin salsa and this stuff stuck to the tortilla chips so you got a god bite. Not too hot, but enough jalapeno to make it interesting. I like to put some on the rice and this one was a good complement.

  • http://originalpechanga.blogspot.com OriginalPechanga

    David, we were at Elvira’s yesterday and the foursome behind us were there because they read about it here! One couple had come on Friday and were back on Sunday. The SHRIMP WRAP is the new favorite for my wife. The Steak Salad is also very good if your readers are looking to keep the carb count down…

    • http://originalpechanga.blogspot.com OriginalPechanga

      Gee, it feels like we are cheating on Pueblita, also in Upland, also excellent….

      • davidallen909

        Hey, that was nice to hear re my having lured a foursome to the restaurant, two of them having liked it enough to already be on their second visit a couple of days later.

  • Denise Pappas

    We had an appointment in the area last Thursday and decided to try it. The chips and salsa were marvelous, we all enjoyed our meal immensely… and you were right about the flan. We can’t wait to go back.