chilaquiles in santa cruz
so a friend recommended the chilaquiles at cafe puerto escondido (139 water street, santa cruz - corner of water and river, i think) and i went there (for the first time) with a group of 4 a couple of sundays ago. for those who don't know, chilaquiles are tortilla chips drenched in sauce and usually topped with cheese, sour cream, onions, and a type of meat or eggs. (here's a pic and explanation on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilaquiles) ... so we all love 'em and were eager to try. we got there around 11am on sunday- there was only one other person eating in there and the waitress came over quickly with menus (i think you can just order at the counter too if you know what you want). they brought us chips and salsa, and we all agreed the chips were really good- homemade, crispy and delicious (if a little greasy... but that's how homemade chips tend to be, right?). the salsa was not chunky but it was spicy and delicious. we all ordered coffee, which we weren't sure would be any good, but it was strong and tasted great. 2 of us had chilaquiles verdes (made with a green tomatillo sauce) and the other 2 had the rojos (made with a red sauce) - all with eggs (i think they also offer them with chicken) . they were served in huge, nice-looking square bowls and came topped with onions, sour cream, and eggs scrambled to perfection with cheese (tasted like cheddar). i thought they were really quite good, and for about $6 per order, you can't beat it. no one was able to finish their meal- we all had at least 1/3 of the dish leftover. You could probably split it between 2 people and be satisfied. I ordered the green chilaquiles, and i liked them- a medium spicy sauce- but i found that the red sauce was a little more complex and to my liking. it looks like they have a couple of special weekend dishes that would be worth trying (the chiles rellenos stand out in my mind). it was a nice quiet atmosphere and it seems to be a family-run place that could use a little more business. they have parking too out front, which is nice. if you like chilaquiles - you should definitely give them a try! let me know what you think.
re: Carb Lover
no i haven't, but i haven't been looking either. I have enjoyed the meals i've had at el chipotle in downtown soquel (shrimp tacos are really great there), and i saw that they have chilaquiles on their menu, but i live on the west side of santa cruz so i don't go down to eat around there too often. how about you? oh, there was one other thing about those chilaquiles at puerto escondido, on the menu it said they came with "bean sauce," and none of us were particularly thrilled by the sounds of that (we assumed it would just be like refried beans or something... but weren't sure?) so we asked for them without the bean sauce. if you did want beans on the side and didn't want 'bean sauce,' i'm sure you could just ask for regular beans.