There’s a lot of charm in old cafes with the design and the patina of generations where ever you gaze. Perhaps not as appreciated is the tiny footprint of these cafes that rolls everyone, from the waitstaff to the cooks to the managers to the customers to the delivery folks, into a single community for a moment in time. There’s a regular getting a piece cake with a quick out-of-tine happy birthday, there’s the Top Gun pilot with a plate of eggs and bacon, there’s the grumpy regular snorting about this and that, there’s the line cook banter and the ting of metal spatulas on the griddle.
After seeing the Waffle & Pancake Shoppe written up in New Mexico Magazine (and falling in love with those unique chairs), I rolled down the mountain from Cloudcroft to check the place out, sitting in the chair on the far left shown above, right in front of the grill and next to the register. Immediately, despite having never been there, I was part of the family, bantering with the now-new co-owner Abbey (who was popping-tomorrow pregnant), the line chef, waitstaff, and folks paying their tabs. There were too many enticing choices on the menu, so I went with Abbey’s recommendation to try George’s “Burn the Town” Get Downs, a pile of diced ham, mushrooms, diced onions, bell peppers, sliced jalapenos, and Mexican green sauce mixed in with hash browns and scrambled eggs ($9.25). Whoo-eeee did that plate, as promised, deliver the heat. By the end, I was dabbing the sweat off my brow cursing with joy with every sip of hot coffee.
The menu is a bit of a hoot with Porky’s Revenge, the Chicken Fried Whaaa?, the S.O.S., and George’s Butt Burner Omelette. George’s name is sprinkled like pepper across the menu. He was the original patriarch of a chain of restaurants in the region. He leased then bought the Shoppe, the only remaining restaurant from his original empire (operated, it seems, by his son until the recent hand-off due to family health issues).
I’ve only been here once, but I’m hooked. Stay tuned for more photos in the future as I stop in for a bite.
Waffle & Pancake Shoppe, 950 South White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo, New Mexico; https://www.facebook.com/waffleandpancakeshop/