Breakfast Burrito Supremo

October 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Very hungry midday so off to he HG standby in Pojoaque, El Parasol (there are six El Parasols–in Santa Fe, Espanola, Los Alamos–but the Pojoaque branch is the HG favorite). The Pojoaque branch is under the supervision of veteran restaurateur Jose Atencio (his family has run the renowned El Paragua in Espanola for generations). His wife, the lovely Alicia Atencio, is also frequently in attendance. Their personal touch insures that the welcome is warm, the service swift, the premises sparkling clean and the food consistently good with true down home Northern New Mexico flavor. Alicia was on duty today and HG inquired if it was too late for a breakfast burrito. Big smile from Alicia. “Of course not.” Soon a generously (to put it mildly!) sized breakfast burrito appeared. Perfectly scrambled eggs nestled inside a tortilla with loads of crispy bacon, green chiles, and roast potatoes. Smothered with mucho, mucho green chile — hot and spicy but not ridiculous. A green chile burrito for gourmands, not masochists.

When HG finished the last scrap of the burrito it was time for contemplation. How did this breakfast burrito rank with other winners in that category? HG had never tasted a breakfast burrito until HG and BSK’s move to Colorado some 27 years ago. Tenderfoot HG had his first BB at Pete’s Diner in Denver and was overwhelmed. Breakfast for the gods. New Mexico friends sneered. Wait until you taste a BB smothered in New Mexico green. Then you will know how a BB should taste. They were right. My first taste of a BB at Tune Up Cafe in Santa Fe knocked the Pete’s version out of the box. Enter the El Parasol BB. HG will end the suspense. This is the Numero Uno BB. Freshness, balance of ingredients, levels of flavor, perfection of the green chiles. Thank you, Jose. Thank you, Alicia. You rule.

Tune-Up Cafe, A Santa Fe Gem.

October 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It has always been HG”s belief (shared by SJ) that the breakfast burrito at Pete’s Diner on Denver’s gritty Colfax Avenue was state of the art. A big time, flavorful belly buster.

Well, move over, Pete. HG and BSK lunched on breakfast burritos at the rollicking Tune-Up Cafe on Hickox Street in Santa Fe and this is the new champ. The Tune UP serves a Breakfast Burrito that dreams are made of: Organic, thick cut bacon. Perfectly scrambled eggs. Crisp and not greasy fried potatoes. All wrapped in a tortilla and smothered in possibly the best green chili sauce in all of New Mexico. Yes, HG knows this is an inflammatory statement that may provoke disdain and anger among serious green chili heads. But, Tune-Up’s green chili is extraordinary. Dark. Smokey. Just enough heat to tickle but not bludgeon the tongue. Multi-level flavors.

There’s lots more on the menu. Salvadoran pupusas. Mediterranean pasta. Burgers of local, non-biotic-injected beef (served on a brioche bun with garlic mayonnaise). Flatiron steak. And, a long list of Mexican specialties ranging from fish tacos to enchiladas, chicken mole and tamales. You can accompany it all with fairly priced wine. Open all day (seven days a week) from breakfast to brunch, lunch and dinner. Very casual atmosphere, Friendly service. Affordable prices. But, the cooking is serious. Real talent elevates comfort food to new levels.

HG has come late to the party. Tune-Up has been discovered. Guy Fien of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” visited and did a program (you can see the segment here).

When in Denver…

July 31st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Do not miss the two Pete’s Kitchens on gritty Colfax Avenue. The original Pete’s Kitchen on Colfax and Race stays open 24 hours a day and draws — to say the least — a varied crowd. Hookers (and their business agents); cops, criminals, rock musicians, lawyers, bankers. Everyone. Specialties are a breakfast burrito (preposterously large) and a very good feta cheese omelet (a bow to the founder’s Greek origins). Pete’s Breakfast Burrito contains eggs, onions, fried potatoes; bacon, ham or sausage. It is generously smothered in tangy green chile with big chunks of pork shoulder. This is a meal for the day. Eat one on Monday. Dine again on Tuesday. (SJ would like to add that these breakfast burritos exert a powerful grip on one’s memory. This had led to SJ experimenting for many fruitless hours to reproduce Pete’s exact ratio of crunchy home fries to eggs and so forth. This left SJ with only one option which has been to beg unwary Denverites heading to NYC to please bring him a Pete’s Kitchen Breakfast Burrito. Offer still stands!)

The other Pete’s is on the same side of the street (south) but further west. It’s a small place that features giant omelets (with some creative ingredients) and the best pancakes you will ever taste. (You can also try the Satire Lounge, owned by Pete’s and adjacent to the Race Street location. Pleasant Mexican food).

If fine dining is your taste, Denver has great spots like Fruition and the Japanese fusion great, Bones, but for classic and authentic diner food with a Western twist, the Pete’s can’t be beat.

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