Michael's Kitchen was the perfect place to start our first day in Taos. I was pleased to find a place we could walk to from the hotel and a restaurant that was packed with locals.
Beams and Poles
So many of the buildings are old in Taos, but their age is somewhat masked by the painted stucco and adobe. You have to step inside sometimes to see the old ceiling beams or warped floors to feel the age. It turns out this building was built in 1957 (young for Taos) but I'm a big fan of that year since I was born in it. I loved seeing the log beams on the ceiling. I also loved the way they built a table right around the wood pole that seems to be holding up the building. Cozy. And look at the sweet server with her hair in a braid and her arm resting on the chair. (or shoulder) The folks working here were very friendly.
Breakfast Counter and Bakery
We didn't sit at the counter, but I love a breakfast counter with stools that swivel. Maybe it's just a childhood nostalgia thing, but I'm always tempted to swivel back and forth when I'm eating. These men were politely eating without any motion. They must have had a grandmother who hinted "Honey...don't." when they were small. If I'd been them, I would have spun all the way around every third bite, just to have a quick glimpse of the case of sweets behind them!
If we hadn't stuffed ourselves on monster pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns and oatmeal, we could have had room for some of these on the way out.
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Charlie's Spic and Span won my vote for best breakfast spot. I love the silly éclair on the front of the blue and white building. The restaurant is named for the owner Charlie, but the spic and span part refers to the fact that this building once housed a Laundromat! I love it that Charlie honors that piece of history.
We didn't get to meet Charlie, but a chalk drawing of his face is behind the counter. Our server Nicole did point out Charlie to us. He was rushing around quite a bit. I love an owner who pitches in. Nicole by the way was the most delightful, upbeat and efficient server we had on our 13 day trip. I told her that on the way out.
Lots of color and lots of locals. I love the muted pastel walls, pink cushy booths and colorful murals. Even the dishes were multi-colored. You could tell most of the diners in this colorful atmosphere were locals by the way they chatted with servers or each other. Regular diners don't stare at the walls and study the menu for hours. (Like some of us)
The Bikers Arrived
I pretended I was taking a photo of Don as he stood to pay, but really I was capturing a glimpse of the line up of about 20 bikers who had just entered the restaurant. (You can only see the last of them heading into another room) I had to chuckle at the way they paraded in with little fanfare after skillfully backing their bikes up to the curb in a very choreographed manner. Charlie must have been expecting them because minutes earlier, he
opened the doors to a private room, allowing the group in black leather to march in like important VIPS.
Stuffy for Breakfast!
I was planning on eating some oatmeal or something less filling when I sat down. But when I saw stuffy on the menu, I became quite curious. My homemade sopapilla came stuffed with eggs and bacon, smothered with red chiles and cheese and served with papitas! Don's macahaca with shredded roast beef, eggs, tomatoes, green chiles and onion was equally filling. Nicole surprised me with a piping hot tortilla, fresh off the machine. "Here!" she said as she slapped the rising upper layer down with a fork. "You have to at least try one of our tortillas!" I wish I could have taken leftovers with me in the car. There's no way I could even eat half of this crazy feast.
I'm not sure what possessed us to purchase one more thing on the way out, but we bought a giant brownie to go.
Many, many hours later, as we drove into Texas, we fondly dug into our chewy brownie while we reminisced about Charlie's Spic and Span. Hope to go back!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.