First visit: November 28, 2009
Most recent visit: February 11, 2012
The locals tell me that Happy Belly serves the best breakfast in town. The place was filled with locals chowing down on great looking food. Do they know something?
Yup. They sure do.
I had a breakfast burrito with chorizo, eggs, potatos, green chile strips, and a bit of tomato. Among the very best I’ve had anyplace, including at Mad Max’s in Rio Rancho. Offered with a plain flour, spinach flavored, or tomato flavored tortilla wrap, I chose the plain one. I don’t trust yuppie tortillas. Jane had scrambled eggs with sausage, potatos, and sourdough toast. The eggs were somewhat dry, but the rest was really good. We like our scrambles wet. Want them wet? Ask.
The pour-it-yourself coffee is made in small batches, so it is always fresh and very good. Good, friendly service.
I agree with the locals. Don’t even think about having breakfast anywhere else. [Well, maybe White Coyote Café....] We got a 10-percent-off coupon at La Paloma. Ask around.
Two-and-a-half years later…
We wanted to verify that Happy Belly is as good as we remembered it from our first visit.
Well, it isn’t—it’s better!
We had a soak at La Paloma and rushed right on over here, two blocks away. Again, the place was loaded with locals and we had to wait. A guy named Larry was just finishing his coffee and gave us his table. Right friendly folks down here. While waiting for our order to be up, there was a continual stream of patrons in and out, and the staff addressed each by name. Ah, the blessings of a small town.
I decided on a large breakfast: Eggs, chorizo, home fries, sourdough toast, and a side of two pancakes. That’s a lot of food, and I rationalized the choice by promising that I would obey my ukan Diet rules and just sample everything.
Once I dug in, I couldn’t stop. The chorizo was nicely cooked and neither greasy nor mushy. The potatos were beautifully crisped on the edges and neither mealy nor hard — just right. The pancakes are slightly better than those my mother made for me. Perfect.
Jane exercised her usual restraint and had a ebb-bacon-cheese sandwich on a really good three-seed bagel. Scrambled eggs, nicely done, and not too dry. She declared this to be an absolute smash hit (I concur). She saved half for a snack after she had a massage from André Soulé (the great hands) back at la Paloma.
Our charming and voluble server, Destiny Mitchell, is an encyclopedic storehouse about not only T or C, but also all the backroads and little historic towns for miles around. She has a master;s degree in Geography. She promised that she would outline a backroads trip for the next time we visited these parts. Wanna bet that she will remember my name next time I walk in the door?