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A Review from Southern Arizona Guide

May 21st, 2016 by Betty Ross

frontswingDesert Dove Bed & Breakfast Inn

Does Southern Arizona Guide recommend Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast? Indeed we do!

Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast Inn

11707 E Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730

(520) 722-6879

We are happy to announce that we found just the right one. I know that if you stay at Desert Dove, you will thank us for this recommendation.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

Desert Dove is located on four acres in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains on the far-east side of Tucson adjacent to our magnificent Saguaro National Park East. In fact, the Inn is so close to the Park, you can easily walk to it. On the other hand, the patio gardens are so beautiful, you might just want to hang out in the backyard and watch for the dozens of bird species that frequent this quiet, restful place: Cardinal, Oriole, Roadrunner, Gila Woodpecker, Pyrrhulaxia, Gambel Quail, Western Kingbird, Phainopepla, Cooper’s Hawk, a variety of Owls, several species of Hummingbirds, and so many more.

Nearby are biking and hiking trails, as well as horseback riding through our Sonoran Desert, the most bio-diverse desert in the world.

This adobe home was built as a B&B and decorated with the innkeepers’ extraordinary array of collectibles and antiques that are on display throughout. I easily could have spent a couple of hours just marveling at this wonderful collection of memorabilia. I am certain there is a story behind every one. I was particularly taken by the ornate 1927 wood burning stove in the kitchen and the 1910 upright piano.

The Inn consists of a parlor, kitchen, great room, utility room, two good-size guestrooms; a covered porch overlooking the extensive gardens, and a hot tub. The starry heavens observed from the warm waters of the spa alone would be worth the stay.

Both guest bedrooms have garden and mountain views; a comfortable queen size bed; private bathroom, desk, radio & CD player, a hair dryer, and soft bathrobes. Each bedroom has it own unique collection of antiques and collectibles. No TV in the guest bedrooms, but there is a flat-screen television in the living room if you need to watch that once-in-a-lifetime sporting event.

Just beyond the guestrooms is the multi-purpose room with microwave, refrigerator, KEURIG coffee maker, laundry and other things you might need at any time of the day or night. The innkeepers begin serving coffee and tea at 7:30 AM. Breakfast is at 8:00 or 8:30 AM. Special “treats” might be served in the late afternoon if you’re good.

The Innkeepers

So, who makes this delightful desert hideaway so special? Harvey and Betty built Desert Dove in 1997. Their son was the architect and they were the general contractor. Harvey’s hobby is restoring classic automobiles, such as his 1929 Model A Ford. He’s currently working on a 1929 Hupmobile. Betty’s hobby is restoring antique dolls and quilts. Many are on display throughout the Inn.

Harvey showed me around the gardens. He is particularly knowledgeable about things that grow in our Desert. And both he and Betty are well-versed in Tucson’s culinary scene and are ready if you need recommendations for lunch or dinner. They are also well-traveled, so if you need assistance deciding what to see and do while in Southern Arizona, they can be most helpful.

Can they arrange for a licensed massage therapist to come to the Inn and relax all your tense muscles and aching joints? Of course. Whatever stress you arrived with will vanish into the desert air.

The Ross’ are a lovely couple: well-educated, articulate, and friendly. As professional innkeepers, they don’t come any better. In addition to admiring the myriad collectibles and antiques that seem to pervade the entire Inn, I could not help notice just how amazingly clean their place is. While Betty told me that she has a system for keeping everything clean, I still imagine a team of merry maids sneaking into the Inn every night just to dust off all the objects on display.

The Breakfast

Betty’s breakfast is one of the finest in Tucson and, in keeping with the Inn’s antique theme, her gourmet morning meals are served on vintage tableware. On any given morning during your stay, you might be served Spinach Egg Nest, Southwest Eggs Fiesta, Baked Blueberry French Toast, Baked Oatmeal, Fresh Baked Scones, Yummy Muffins, Waffle Toast; all of which is accompanied by Homemade Salsa, Organic Jams; Fresh Fruit, Fresh Ground Coffee, Tea and Juice. Do you have special dietary needs, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free: no problema.

When I dined at Desert Dove, I enjoyed a light and fluffy Potato Ranchero Quiche and fresh fruit with sourdough toast and delicious organic jam from one of their neighbors. And then there was this other thingy. It was about the size of a muffin, but was in the shape of a rose blossom. I had never seen anything like it … at least not that was edible. Betty told me that it is an apple rose tart made with puffy pastry and sliced apples. Extraordinary in both taste and presentation!

If you would like Desert Dove recipes, check out the “Recipes” section of their blog.To the extent we found fault with anything, it is that Desert Dove is a bit hard to find. I passed it three times before deciding that one particular driveway had to be it. This is not an oversight on the part of the innkeepers. For reasons that surpass logic, Pima County would not give them a sign permit. Go figure.

We suggest you pay close attention to the very specific directions on their website.

Nightly rates range for $130 to $145 depending on the season. Two-night minimum February and March. Check the website for availability and to make reservations.

Tucson Downtown New Restaurant

April 14th, 2016 by Betty Ross

You may wish to dine at Tucson newest restaurant. Elvira’s downtown!

elviraDowntown Tucson is excited for its new neighbor. Elvira’s Restaurant, a beloved Tubac classic, is opening a second location in downtown Tucson at 256 E. Congress St. on Saturday, April 16.

The upscale Mexican restaurant will open its second location in the former Saint House Island Bistro and Rum Bar at 256 E. Congress St. After about a year of renovations, the restaurant is slated to hold a soft opening April 15.

Elvira’s owner, Rubén Monroy Jr., is moving up to Tucson so he can work the kitchen and front of the house. He plans to keep all of the classic Elvira’s dishes, but will revamp about 30 percent of the menu. Right now, he’s tinkering around with new mole flavors like pine nut, almond and dried fruit.

“We’re gonna play a little bit,” he said. But “you end up giving people what they want.”

Elvia’s

Enjoy a stay at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast. We will serve you a delectable breakfast! We have a wonderful desert garden, you may wish to enjoy the spa under the stars with a glass of wine.

What could be better!

potatoquiche Cacti 1Yard art

Wildflowers

Saint Patrick’s Day

March 11th, 2016 by Betty Ross

saintpatrickThe wearing of the green is nearly upon us, and so the season of green beer, bagels and milkshakes has begun. While there’s nothing particularly Irish about shamrock-shaped cookies or green-frosted cupcakes, you might be surprised to learn that the traditional St. Paddy’s meal—corned beef and cabbage—is no more authentic. Like many aspects of St. Patrick’s Day, the dish came about when Irish-Americans transformed and reinterpreted a tradition imported from the Emerald Isle.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Dublin but in New York City, in 1762. Over the next 100 years, Irish immigration to the United States exploded. The new wave of immigrants brought their own food traditions, including soda bread and Irish stew. Pork was the preferred meat, since it was cheap in Ireland and ubiquitous on the dinner table. The favored cut was Irish bacon, a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon. But in the United States, pork was prohibitively expensive for most newly arrived Irish families, so they began cooking beef—the staple meat in the American diet—instead.

So how did pork and potatoes become corned beef and cabbage? Irish immigrants to America lived alongside other “undesirable” European ethnic groups that often faced discrimination in their new home, including Jews and Italians. Members of the Irish working class in New York City frequented Jewish delis and lunch carts, and it was there that they first tasted corned beef. Cured and cooked much like Irish bacon, it was seen as a tasty and cheaper alternative to pork. And while potatoes were certainly available in the United States, cabbage offered a more cost-effective alternative to cash-strapped Irish families. Cooked in the same pot, the spiced, salty beef flavored the plain cabbage, creating a simple, hearty dish that couldn’t be easier to prepare.

After taking off among New York City’s Irish community, corned beef and cabbage found fans across the country. It was the perfect dish for everyone from harried housewives to busy cooks on trains and in cafeterias—cheap, easy to cook and hard to overcook. It was even served alongside mock turtle coup at President Lincoln’s inauguration dinner in 1862.

Far from being as Irish as a shamrock field, this St. Patrick’s Day classic is as American as apple pie.

Desert Dove will be serving something green for breakfast! Our popular Spinach Egg Nests, and some yummy Irish Soda Bread!

Wild Flowers and Birds

March 1st, 2016 by Betty Ross

verdinMelody’s Birding Adventure 

So Many Birds, So Little Time

We have great birding here at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast.  Click on Desert Dove to see just a few of our birds. All the pictures were taken on our property.

If you wish a personal birding guide, Melody is the one to call. Take a look at her website. You can call Melody or send her an email to set up the day and time. She will pick you up here at Desert Dove and experience a wonderful birding adventure!

hummingbird_4796016_smnewflowers3

Desert Gardening

August 21st, 2015 by Betty Ross

One of the most rewarding experiences of gardening and landscaping is viewing the wildlife that your garden attracts. Butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, insects, rabbits, squirrels and other wildlife find refuge in backyard gardens. Some seek shade, others hunt for food, and some species make our gardens their homes. While rabbits and squirrels may not be the gardener’s favorite wildlife, the vibrant colors of fluttering butterflies and the graceful dance of hummingbirds feeding on nectar producing flowers add greatly to the beauty of a garden in bloom.
Gardens and landscaping can be purposely designed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, literally bringing your garden to life. By planting a combination of flowering plants, native grasses and leafy shrubs you can create a beautiful garden with color and balance that is pleasing to the human eye, and also attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
Many of the same colorful, fragrant, nectar-producing blooms attract butterflies as well as hummingbirds. It’s important to create a host environment for larvae and caterpillars as well, which later transform into those butterflies. Good host plants are leafy and can provide shelter and food for larvae and caterpillars.butterflybush hummingbird_4796016_sm

Tucson Botanical Gardens

February 22nd, 2012 by Betty Ross

Tucson Botanical Gardens presents Barbara Smith: Landforms and Lepidoptera – March 1 to April 8

Tucson painter Barbara Smith knows what she loves – and what she loves is what she paints… color, is evident – through richly imbued oils and watercolors – blues and oranges that will forever change your impression of the high chaparral of the Sonoran Desert and the creatures that reside within its range.

Join the Gardens for a public reception on Friday, March 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Garden admission | 8:30 – 4:30 daily | Adults $8 | Children 4-12, $4 | Children 3 and younger and Gardens’ members free |

So many wonderful things to see and do in Tucson, while staying at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast!

Don’t you just love this great weather!

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