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Tecolote Cafe

1203 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM - (505) 988-1362
Posted By Michael Stern on 12/23/2012 12:41:00 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."

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
atole piñon hotcakes
sheepherder's breakfast
Breakfast Burrito
carne adovada
French Toast
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The French toast is made with Tecolote's homemade bread.  The inside pair is orange poppyseed, the others are honey blue corn.
"The French toast is made with Tecolote's homemade bread. The inside pair is orange poppyseed, the others are honey blue corn."
Cliff Strutz





You can order the atole pinon hotcakes in stacks of two or three, but these are thick enough that even one is a meal.
"You can order the atole pinon hotcakes in stacks of two or three, but these are thick enough that even one is a meal."
Cliff Strutz


Yogurt and fruit
"Yogurt and fruit"
Carol


It is well worth it to pay an extra couple bucks to get real maple syrup.
"It is well worth it to pay an extra couple bucks to get real maple syrup."
Cliff Strutz


Some hot muffins and jam
"Some hot muffins and jam"
Carol


A half order of the cinnamon raisin French toast
"A half order of the cinnamon raisin French toast"
Cliff Strutz


In another example of how Tecolote does the little things right, the orange juice here is fresh-squeezed.
"In another example of how Tecolote does the little things right, the orange juice here is fresh-squeezed."
Cliff Strutz


Waiting for breakfast
"Waiting for breakfast"
Carol


Lovely waitresses at Tecolote
"Lovely waitresses at Tecolote"
Carol


Since Tecolote means owl, you will find owl figures and symbols throughout the building.
"Since Tecolote means owl, you will find owl figures and symbols throughout the building."
Cliff Strutz


A Santa Fe breakfast destination since 1980
"A Santa Fe breakfast destination since 1980"
Michael Stern


Outside the Tecolote
"Outside the Tecolote"
Carol



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