Brownie’s Cafe (Yuma, AZ)

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.

3 Responses

  1. Ann 16 Jul 2009 at 13:52 #

    The hash browns at Brownie's are generally outstanding – nice and crisp with just the right amount of grease.

    Also, if you haven't tried Kamman sausage, it is a Yuma original and they serve it at Brownie's (you can also get it at the county fair and at a huge sausage fry at the civic center every December). It's pretty plain, but nice if you like peppery porky sausage. Try it with eggs and the excellent hash browns.

    At lunch, my favorite is the Big Bird sandwich, which has actual turkey (not turkey roll), bacon, cheese, tomato grilled on sourdough – again, nice and crispy.

    Brownie's is a classic "greasy spoon" in the good sense of the word … if you sit there long enough, you'll see a fairly amazing cross section of Yumans. It's also a free WiFi hot spot, though more utilized by salesmen transmitting orders to the home office than hipsters surfing food blogs!

    I'm a big fan of Ed from Yuma, glad to discover another like-minded voice.

  2. kaszeta 16 Jul 2009 at 13:55 #

    Thanks for the comments, Ann. I'll have to try the Kamman sausage next time.

    And I should've mentioned the Wifi, since I like reading the New York Times on my iPod Touch while having breakfast.

  3. Doc 18 Apr 2012 at 15:43 #

    Brownies is the to go place for biscuits and gravy and any other breakfast foods you want. It is just your mom’s cooking all over again–nothing more, nothing less. I always enjoyed my mom’s cooking and miss it since she is not able to cook any longer. We enjoy Bobby and his fine staff’s hospitality often.

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