Anyone that’s been reading this blog for a while knows, for as long as I’ve been doing the blog I’ve had periodic trips to Yuma, since it’s the Army’s premiere spot for, well, throwing crap out of airplanes (I’ve got several projects at work that involve parachutes and parachute guidance systems). I’ve now been to Yuma enough times that I’ve got a lot of favorite restaurants (more on that when I do the next installment of my taco adventures), traditions (getting a Route 44 cherry limeade at Sonic to celebrate successful testing after a long day in the desert), and places that I keep meaning to try (Mar Azul, for example). Brownie’s Cafe I discovered on my first trip to Yuma years ago (it’s hard to miss, being on 4th Ave/I-8 BL/Old Highway 80), with a most distinctive storefront (which I’ve done a mediocre job of capturing with this 2008 image), and I usually go there for breakfast once every trip.
Stepping into Brownie’s Cafe is like stepping back into a classic 1950s-era coffee shop. The waitresses and owner (“Bobby”) greet everyone enthusiastically and make you feel comfortable, and chit-chat with you if they aren’t busy. The decor is formica, rotating pie cases, a lunch counter, and those little mint dispensers for local charities that are $0.25 on the honor system. Really, the place just feels homey.
To be honest, I’ve generally not been all that impressed by Brownie’s, and most of the breakfast selections are your basic run-of-the-mill diner fare, albeit with very good prices (as opposed to the absolutely ridiculous gouging I’ve gotten over at Penny’s Diner on the east side of town), reasonably quality, and served with a smile. But with the basic items I always feel a bit underwhelmed. But I’ve found two little gems on the menu here that have me come back.
The first is the chicken fried steak. Unlike a lot of places like this that’ll just pop a Sysco item in the deep fryer, the chicken fried steak I had here was obviously prepared with some care and love. Good crust, good tender interior, and it tasted like beef instead of some random meat product. A decent gravy with it, and it was a solid breakfast.
The other attraction is the Chorizo and Eggs special. It’s basically that, scrambled eggs with chorizo, served with beans, salsa, and some tortillas. But, unlike the vast majority of chorizo dishes I get, this wasn’t greasy, the chorizo was nicely seasoned, and the eggs perfectly scrambled. A very good breakfast, and under $5.
I’m still hoping that there’s another hidden gem here, but for now, Brownie’s is still on my list of breakfast joints for Yuma.