Posts tagged ‘breakfast’
Webster House’s loss is Cafe Tempo‘s gain. Tim Johnson, former chef of Sebree and Crestwood Galleries and Webster House, is now running the kitchen in the Nerman cafe, which sits on the Johnson County Community College campus. Though not the menu is not as high brow or upscale, Johnson continues to emphasize quality and freshness (but he can’t fully utilize his talents in this setting).
The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. After standing in line to place an order, you wait for your number to be called. There are salads and sandwiches, including panini, most of which can be mixed and matched. We had a very pretty but typical cobb salad (with canned olives, which always ruins a salad in my book), and a tasty mango chicken salad.
The description, which indicated grilled chicken on greens with fruits and a mango curry vinaigrette, was in fact a chopped chicken salad with those fruits tossed in with the chicken. Though not what I thought I ordered, it was a successful dish and I enjoyed it. Light and flavorful, leaving just enough room for dessert. Which we didn’t order, but should have–the carrot cake looked fabulous.
If you’re in western Johnson County, Cafe Tempo is a pleasant place to enjoy a bite. But parking is not easy–the JCCC campus is packed, so allow extra time if you’re meeting someone for lunch, you’ll need it.
Breakfast is not usually my favorite meal of the day, but that indifference disappears when I am in Santa Fe where the red and green chile sauces cast a magical spin on traditional breakfast fare.
In the past I always put Cafe Pasqual at the top of my list for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but a recent visit to Santa Fe revealed some new spots that are equally captivating AND easier on the wallet. Pasqual’s has, unfortunately, raised prices to the point that it’s more frequented by tourists than locals these days. Hopping in the car instead of simply walking to the Plaza opened up a new world, full of local hangouts that captivated me AND my stomach. (For additional options, including Tecolote Cafe, check out my archives.)
Chocolate Maven Bakery and Cafe. Here’s a classic example of not judging a book by its cover. Driving up to this out-of-the-way warehouse, one would never imagine that inside is a beautiful bakery and white-tablecloth restaurant. Ask to sit on the first floor so that you have a clear view of the bakery in action. (You’ll need to get there early on the weekends to have that option). We were fortunate enough to sit by the huge picture window, where we watched bakers forming pastries and rolling out dough for decadent croissants as we enjoyed a very civilized breakfast. Though the menu is dotted with traditional New Mexican breakfast items like the ubiquitous breakfast burrito, the strength of this restaurant is in its modern twists on those old-time specialties. You won’t find the very best red or green chile here, but Chocolate Maven makes the finest rendition of chilaquiles and migas that I have ever had. Normally, chilaquiles are soggy tortilla chips that have been baked in a ranchero sauce, topped with a fried egg and cheese. But here, an astonishing array of flavors and colors graced the plate. Fresh tortilla strips had been sauteed in red chile sauce, topped with fried eggs, avocado, lettuce, tomato, queso fresco and black beans. Each bite did a little dance in my mouth. The migas, eggs scrambled with tortilla strips, tomato, serrano, onion, cheddar cheese and fresh tomatillo salsa, were as compelling and a bit lighter. Not interested in a Mexican-style entree? Pancakes, caramelized French toast and even scrambled tofu with spinach are all prepared with a deft hand.
The bakery has pastries, breads, sandwiches and even salsas to go, and the cafe has started serving dinner, as well as breakfast, brunch and lunch.
The Pantry may not have the panache of Chocolate Maven, but it knows how to deliver solid, satisfying New Mexican fare. Breakfast is served all day, but it’s open for lunch and dinner as well. Both the red and green chile sauces have a kick, the service is friendly and efficient, and the portions are generous, which is a bit of an understatement. Tamales smothered in red chile, cheese enchiladas Christmas-style (red and green sauces), heuvos rancheros, chorizo breakfast burritos (which my nephew put in his top five list of best breakfast burritos ever)…the Pantry deserves its coveted place as a Santa Fe institution.
Jerry’s Woodswether Cafe is a longstanding diner in the West Bottoms. If you don’t know where you are going, you could easily drive right by–look for a huge mural on the side of the building, the only identifying mark to direct you.
Breakfast runs the gamut from humongous pancakes and eggs any way, to biscuits with sausage gravy. Lunch is also light on the wallet, but not the waistline.
We tried the signature hot-pepper cheese burger with grilled onions on Texas toast, a Reuben, fries and onion rings. The burger barely fit in my son’s mouth and he enjoyed every bite. Though I have not eaten every Reuben in the city, this would definitely make my top 5 list. The onion rings were excellent–crisp, with as much onion as batter. And the fries had potential, but needed more time in the fryer.
Woodswether is the epitome of what a diner should be. Hearty, well-executed food. Competent, no-nonsense staff, and a no-frills setting.
It’s not open for dinner, or on Sundays, so keep that in mind before venturing out.
So I was delighted to walk in the door of Succotash‘s new location at 26th and Holmes, and feast on an open, uncluttered, and cheerful new space. Nothing fancy, certainly not pretty, but all the chairs match. And based on just one experience at this new venue, the service is vastly improved as well.
I was also happy to find that my favorite spinach salad in town is back. Taken off the menu years ago, owner Beth Barden decided to revive it, and it was as good as I remembered. Fresh spinach, wilted by a warm mustard vinaigrette resplendent with thick chunks of bacon. Add pear, walnuts and blue cheese, and it’s a full meal.
Their version of a Cobb salad, with a fried egg on top and succotash mixed in, is another favorite. Sandwiches are also plentiful, with interesting combinations and ingredients. And of course at breakfast, there are some great egg dishes to be devoured.
Once a liquor license is secured, Succotash will be open for dinner as well as breakfast and lunch. I will look forward to it.
Looking for a quick but special breakfast over the holidays? If you have a waffle iron, waffles are very easy to make. Dress them with fresh fruit and you’ll have a dazzling presentation. I like recipes that use buttermilk–the batter will be light and fluffy, as will the final product.
Or how about scrambled eggs with chorizo and cheddar cheese wrapped up in a tortilla and topped with salsa or green chile sauce? Or light and fluffy pancakes bursting with fresh or frozen berries?
Check out The Joy of Baking website. It has wonderful breakfast recipes, including rich and buttery coffeecakes, muffins and breads. You can also find pies and cakes. Take your pick, it’s hard to go wrong.
You never want to go to a restaurant four days before it closes. But that was the situation I found myself in several days ago, when I suggested to a friend that we go to Succotash in River Market. As we walked in, there were boxes everywhere and the casualness that usually reigns here seemed downright sketchy. We could have walked out, but since I’ve never had a bad meal at Succotash, we persevered and weaved our way through the mismatched chairs and wobbly tables. When we sat down, there was a tent card on the table indicating that the restaurant is moving to 2601 Holmes on November 1. That explained the piles of food and supplies that laid about; clearly moving day was approaching.
Fortunately, the kitchen was operating just fine and lunch was delicious. I had the cobb salad– theirs is an unusual variation with succotash, a fried egg on top, and buttermilk pesto dressing. The menu has other interesting salads as well as a long list of sandwiches. Or, if you’re in the mood for breakfast, it’s served all day. The “Burrito of Love” is a humongous pancake wrapped around eggs, bacon and cheese.
Succotash is going to leave a big void when it vacates its current location. Summer weekends will not be the same without a trip to the City Market and brunch on Succotash’s patio, sipping coffee and people-watching. I’m anxious to check out their new digs, though. I hope the new space retains the funkiness of the original, albeit without all the boxes.