Cafe Poca Cosa chef/owner Suzana Davila doesn’t do Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

So she was a little surprised that her downtown Mexico City-inspired cafe crushed The Melting Pot 127-63 in the first round of Candlelight Madness in mid-January. The Caliente contest is decided by online voting, with tiebreakers like the second-round battle between Caruso’s and Feast being decided by a vote on Facebook.

Davila says the cafe’s fans helped Poca Cosa’s advance through the bracket to last weekend’s finals against Oro Valley’s Harvest restaurant, which ultimately beat Poca Cosa 83-34.

The upscale yet comfortable cafe had long secured its reputation as one of Tucson’s most romantic dining destinations.

“It really is lovely. It is a beautiful ambience,” said Davila, whose cafe features a trio of blazing flourescent trees on the bar,and candles on the tables alongside fresh flowers. The walls, colored a burnt orange, create an enchanting ambience.

“The music is good, the lighting is perfect. And we get so many compliments of the way we serve the food. It’s beautiful, it’s colorful and it’s healthy,” she said.

Davila, a former model and a native of Guaymas, Sonora, has earned a reputation for her very particular ideas of great food and how to serve it.

She opened Poca 28 years ago in a small South Scott Avenue storefront, then moved a few years later to the much bigger Santa Rita Hotel at 88 E. Broadway. When the hotel was demolished eight years ago, she moved into her third and current location at 110 E. Pennington St.

Little of what matters most has changed.

The chalkboard menu still changes twice daily and is written in English and Spanish. Huge mixed salads of greens, fruits and veggies decorate every plate.

And it remains a go-to destination for couples celebrating anniversaries and other special occasions. Plenty have also gotten engaged there over the years.

“I always have been a romantic,” Davila said. “Who isn’t? I think everyone is and if they are not they are just lying to you.”

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.