It is often off the beaten path that the best food is made and served. Occasionally, it is right in the middle of everything. Such is the case for The Plaza Cafe, smack in the middle of downtown Santa Fe. Yum. In the early part of the day, as the artisans are setting up their tents to sell the day’s wares, we dip into this little diner for delectable huevos rancheros. We have been pointed in this direction by a local even. Well, trust is good in this case. Diner meets Santa Fe style meets traditional New Mexico.
Diner perfect eggs are nicely set among green and red chiles, tasty fresh potato hashbrowns and whole pintos, a bit of cheddar cheese and lettuce and tomato garnish. It is important to note what is underneath: blue corn tortillas atop a skillet that keeps the huevos meal hot throughout the time it takes to eat as much as possible.
I’m glad I start with the green chile. It is hot at first bite, but eases into a reasonable heat with a light taste. Fresh chopped and lightly roasted, a nice late summer green with overall medium to hot heat that mixes deliciously with the eggs and doesn’t overwhelm. The red is another matter. Whew! Not for the timid. A bright and thick, almost tomato-paste consistency, peppery red with big lingering heat takes over the top and back of the mouth keeping the napkin busy. Good thing the sides exist. Neither color of Christmas today is what I’d consider “traditional”, yet intriguing on the whole. Like Santa Fe itself.
Overall these are very good huevos rancheros, and they are served with a tasty above-average flour tortilla on the side. Honey is appropriately on the table, coffee is fresh, and service is good. Now: artful shopping and people-watching, right outside the doors of The Plaza Cafe.