Friday, November 28, 2008

Cafe Pasqual's

Having been warned that the lines at Cafe Pasqual's could be excessive (and since we both hate to wait in line), we arose in the darkness to wend our way through the streets to snag an early table. Well, perhaps that's a bit dramatic. We got up around 6:30 (not so hard, since we were still kind of on East Coast time) and by the time we'd made the 10 minute walk to Pasqual's, it was about 7:15. Fortunately the crowds had decided to sleep in and we were immediately ushered to a table in the half full little dining room.

Pasqual's has the kind of menu where it is very difficult to choose because there are so many interesting possibilities. It is also the kind of place where an unsure hand in the kitchen could lead to disaster because of the wide variety of dishes attempted. But for breakfast we stuck to rather standard fare. Michael had the huevos motulenos which was recommended by our friendly waiter. I must say the description was rather offputting as I am quite sure that I have never seen bananas and green peas in the same dish before. Not to mention the usual New Mexico choice of red or green chile sauce. However, somehow it all worked (personally, I think the peas were superfluous but they certainly weren't bothersome).

Meanwhile, having cast a thoughtful eye on the corned beef hash, always a favorite of mine, I decided to go for something a bit less common and tried the smoked trout hash. It was really good, not a hash at all but more like eggs over hash browns with pieces of smoked trout scattered on top. I am not sure where the trout came from although it was quite reminiscent of the trout you get from Ducktrap Farm, firm and heavily smoked. Whatever the source, it was quite delicious. I even got Michael to try a bite despite his long antipathy toward smoked food in general and smoked fish in particular. He liked it so much he even had a second piece, which I considered a great triumph. I will work on cultivating this new taste at home. First smoked trout, perhaps ultimately I can convert him to smoked salmon (although I'm not optimistic -- too many bad memories, I'm afraid).

As is generally reported, Pasqual's is a bright and cheery place with eclectic and rather busy decor, a welcoming atmosphere, and delicious food. It's not cheap -- breakfast entrees are mostly in the $11-13 range -- but that's not out of line given the quality. Probably the tourist-friendly location has a bit to do with this as well. It is a perfect breakfast place and I can see us becoming regulars if we were to spend more time in Santa Fe.

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