Atomic Grill (Santa Fe, NM)
On our first full morning in Santa Fe, we headed down to the historic Santa Fe Plaza for breakfast and a little sightseeing. We’d gotten a recommendation for the Plaza Cafe, so we parked the truck and walked over to the cafe…to find it was closed and under renovation. This was not a happy discovery at 10:30 a.m., after a tough morning workout, to two hungry folks craving breakfast food. We quickly Googled for nearby breakfast spots that weren’t tourist-priced and happened to find the Atomic Grill.
The Atomic Grill is a little spot located behind the Plaza, at the corner of Don Gaspar Avenue and Water Street. Although it was too cold during our visit, the restaurant has an enormous patio area for dining. The interior was quite small, with perhaps only 10 tables and some counter seating, but includes some fantastic art on the walls and an intricate oven covered in mosaic tile. They serve breakfast all day…including into the wee hours of the morning since they stay open until 3 a.m. Monday-Saturday.
Edie opted for the breakfast burrito – a flour tortilla stuffed with scrambled eggs, black beans, cheddar-jack cheese, and hash browns, topped with your choice of chile and a little more cheese, plus some lettuce, red onion and raw jalapenos on the side. She chose green chile to top her burrito and had some sausage added inside, too.
Stuffed does not do this burrito justice – it was practically bursting with the ingredients wrapped into the tortilla. Miraculously, the hash browns inside still maintained a surprising level of crunch that mixed well with the soft beans, spicy sausage and scrambled eggs. The green chile sauce on top had a great kick, too – not too hot to leave you gulping down water, but just enough to add a little heat to each bite.
Scott went with the huevos rancheros – two eggs cooked to your liking atop a corn tortilla and smothered with cheddar-jack cheese and your choice of chile, served with black beans, hash browns and a flour tortilla on the side. Scott went with red chile, his eggs over easy and a corn tortilla instead of flour on the side.
It is hard to imagine a more flavorful breakfast than huevos rancheros, and the offering served up by the Atomic Grill does not disappoint. The eggs were cooked as requested, there was a good helping of cheese melted on top, and the red chile sauce covering the dish had an amazing flavor without being overpoweringly hot.
Although they were just your basic black beans, they were well-flavored and soft. They made a great addition to the Huevos Rancheros.
Again, there were pretty standard hash browns – shredded & fried potatoes. Luckily, these had a good amount of crunch thanks to an expert fryer.
Corn tortillas have a tendency to be a little dry and rubbery when they are served alongside a dish instead of stuffed with fillings and topped with sauce. The ones served with the Huevos Rancheros were thankfully moist.
Our server was Philler. He was efficient and knowledgeable – answering our questions about the cool artwork in the restaurant and being quick to ask about gluten allergies when Scott asked to sub out his flour tortilla for corn. [Don’t worry, no gluten allergies here! Scott just prefers corn to flour tortillas!]
Total cost, including tip, was $25.00. A little pricey for breakfast in our opinion, but considering that this little spot is around the corner from the historic Santa Fe Plaza and that the restaurant next door charges $13 for huevos rancheros and $15 for a breakfast burrito, this place was one of the more budget-friendly options around.
The Doggy Bag, By Knox
Scott and Mommy opted for an indoor dining experience (unlucky folks don’t have fur coats for the low 40s temps!), so I was left to curl up in the sun inside the truck. Trust me, this is better than being left in a hotel room all by your lonesome.
My alone time also gives me the chance to ponder what yummy food will come my way when they return. So while they ate, I dreamed of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon.
Imagine my extreme surprise and disappointment when they returned empty-handed. I should have spent my time pondering their anguish when I bite their toes while they sleep!