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Tecolote Cafe

1203 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM - (505) 988-1362
Posted By Michael Stern on December 23, 2012 12:41 PM
When Bill and Alice Jennison opened Tecolote in 1980, they did so with a sense of mission. Their goal, stated on the back of the menu, was "to serve a wholesome, tasty meal, at a reasonable price, in a comfortable and cheerful environment." On occasion they have opened up for evening meals, but the Jennison's specialty, and the distinction of Tecolote, is breakfast. Lines of morning customers waiting to get in are testimony to their fulfillment of the mission. This sprawling roadhouse serves some of the tastiest breakfast in the southwest.

Personally, we like Tecolote's atole piñon hotcakes best of all. Made with blue cornmeal and studded with roasted piñon nuts, they actually resemble wide, low-rise cakes more than ordinary flattened-out flapjacks. Pale blue inside with a faintly crusty exterior from the grill, each cake is ethereally fluffy; and gosh, what joy it is to bite into a little lode of those roasty-rich nuts! There are blueberry hotcakes, too, made with a similar, from-scratch batter, and plain ones -- each available singly, as a short stack (two), or a full stack (three).

Lunch at Tecolote includes enchiladas, tacos, and chile, as well as hamburgers accompanied by those great breakfast potatoes. If you want a truly local meal, we recommend Tecolote's superior carne adovada, for which lean pork, marinated in chile sauce, is cubed and stuffed into a flour tortilla and topped with cheese, then served along with beans, posole (hominy corn) or potatoes.

One of the perks of eating Tecolote's good food is its good spirits. The staff is young, hip, and friendly. The art on the walls ranges from a collection of unicorn needlepoints to serious works by local artists (for sale). The dining rooms are wide and comfy, mellow and informal (paper napkins, bare tables, yellow-checked tablecloths). The coffee is good, and served with real cream.

Tecolote, by the way, is an Aztec word that means owl, chosen by the Jennisons because Bill had been fascinated by a nearly-deserted village by that name in northern New Mexico. "We like to think of him as our 'wise friend,'" says the Tecolote menu, "and hope that you will think of those of us at Tecolote Cafe that way."
5 star rating
Overall Rating
atole piñon hotcakes
Breakfast Burrito
French Toast
sheepherder's breakfast
carne adovada

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Posted By Kihm Sanders on July 9, 2008 9:42 PM
The Tecolote Cafe in Santa Fe, New Mexico is an unassuming little place that you can drive right by without seeing. Believe me, we did (several times) and we were looking for the place. Anyway, Tecolote has a nice cozy interior, a very friendly waitstaff, and a good mix of locals and tourists. Prices are very reasonable, and you can treat yourself to a hearty breakfast for about ten bucks.

You've got to try the corned beef hash here, piled with scrambled eggs and onions; fantastic flavor. The Tecolote serves a bowl of various breads, rolls, and muffins that are fresh from the oven. The best surprise is the hot, spicy goodness of the green chile stew, which many patrons were having as a breakfast side. This stuff has got incredible flavor, a nice chunky texture, and a spicy kick that'll have you craving more an hour after leaving the restaurant.

All in all, a wonderful breakfast experience that had me longing to move to the area.
0 star rating
Overall Rating

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