Baja Cafe (Tucson, AZ)

One of the shortcomings of rural New Hampshire living is that we don’t have a lot of a great breakfast options. There are some breakfast gems both locally (like Lou’s in Hanover) or regionally (like Polly’s in Sugar Hill), but when I’m really craving a good, solid breakfast, I’m generally craving something Southwestern, and we don’t have a lot of good options that way. But I travel a lot, and I recently found myself in Tucson, Arizona, craving some sort of Southwestern breakfast, and also wanting to have breakfast at 6:30 in the morning. And there was one place in Tucson I know would meet these requirements: Baja Cafe.

Baja Cafe is a longstanding stalwart for a good, solid breakfast in Tucson. The original location opened in 2014, and they’ve now got three locations around the Tucson metro area (East Broadway, North Campbell, and West Ina). I went to their Campbell Ave location this time. Baja has been well known for their breakfasts, with three particular specialties: pancakes, waffles, and Benedicts. For the pancakes, they’ve got the classic varieties, and two house specialties (Snickerdoodle and “Two Pan Sam Lemon Blueberry”), so there are a lot of options to explore there. And for waffles, they offer up a classic Belgian Liege waffle, make from a nice, thick yeasty dough with chunks of pearl sugar. And the Benedicts have an entire page in the menu with over a dozen varieties ranging from classic, to simple variations on the theme (like the Coyote with jalapeño bacon and chipotle Hollandaise), to the elaborate (the Alibi or the Roadrunner, both of which build upon tamale pie instead of an English muffin). But I came here craving something spicy, and the Coyote really spoke to me.

The Coyote is basically a spicy Benedict: English muffin topped with Hatch green chiles, jalapeño bacon, and poached eggs, smothered in a house-made chipotle Hollandaise sauce. But everything works solidly here. Nice tender slabs of well-roasted Hatch green chile, extra-thick and boldly spiced jalapeño bacon, a really flavorful and smoky chipotle Hollandaise. And the eggs themselves? Perfectly poached. This was a thoroughly splendid Benedict. I also go these served up with hash browns (another New England rarity), and these were a nice slab of perfectly-crisped and tender shredded potatoes. This breakfast was the perfect solution to my Southwestern hot pepper cravings.

Add in a friendly staff, a nice clean interior, and an efficient kitchen, and Baja Cafe is a great breakfast spot. They are definitely worth checking out if you are around Tucson.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply