Waffle Review #1 – Harry’s Roadhouse, Guy’s Favorite

Belgian waffle, plate sized, distinctive violet gray color from blue cornmeal
“Guy’s Favorite” – Blue cornmeal waffle with hickory smoked bacon cooked in, served with bananas, syrup, and garnished with an orange slice, Harry’s Roadhouse, Santa Fe, NM

I’ve been on a waffle kick lately. I don’t even really know why except that I love the crisp shell with a fluffy interior. They’re usually only slightly sweet and often come with fruit. Also, surprisingly enough, waffles can be among the lowest calorie items on the breakfast menu. (Depends entirely on what else you slather on.)

Since I’ve been going out most Saturday mornings – either with the hubs, a friend, or whatever book I’m currently reading – and trying different places for the perfect waffle, I thought it might be fun to start a Waffle Review.

Today I went to Harry’s Roadhouse, a Santa Fe favorite, and a place we go often for meals and drinks. I ordered “Guy’s Favorite,” which is a blue cornmeal waffle that has hickory smoked bacon cooked inside. It used to be called “roadhouse style” and I don’t know why or when that changed. (That’s the bacon you see sticking out of the sides- not poor waffle formation.) I’ve had it before and it’s a solidly satisfying waffle. 

Presentation: Very nice. The blue color makes this waffle stand out.

Texture: Reasonably crisp. Because the cornmeal is moist and dense, this waffle never gets that perfectly crunchy crust, but they do a great job. It wasn’t at all soggy.

Substance: Heavy – the blue cornmeal makes for a dense waffle. Definitely sticks to your ribs. 

Syrup: Just your standard sugar-water syrup. Nothing exciting, but that’s not why you get this waffle.

Extras: The bacon inside is always enticing to me, and it adds a delightful bit of crunch and savor. In the end, though, I don’t think it adds all that much to the waffle experience.

Garnishes: I love the bananas on top. 

Butter: They serve it with a honey butter that is most excellent.

Overall: A delicious, satisfying waffle!

Meet Bunny Rodriguez

Harry’s Roadhouse is one of our favorite local restaurants, just up the road from our house. It features prominently enough in my life that I already had a subject tag for it on the blog. Well, last Friday night, we went to Lobster Night at Harry’s.

They do this in the summertime on Friday nights. They fly in fresh-caught lobsters from Maine and cook them that night. Major treat for us landlubbers. You have to make reservations ahead of time because they want to be sure of the exact number of plane tickets needed for the lobsters. I’ve long been meaning to sign us up, but never quite got around to it.

Well the weekend before last, we went to Harry’s for breakfast and I saw the sign on the door saying that Labor Day weekend would be the last lobster night of the season. I said to David that we should do it and he said great. I told the host when he seated us that we wanted to sign up and he promised to send the signer-upper to us.

She visited us during breakfast, wrote down the reservation name (David’s last name) and my credit card number. She put us down for two lobsters and reminded us that we were reserving lobsters only and would have to wait for a table, as is always their practice. All is good.

When we got home, we saw neighbor Doug out walking his dog. We’ve barely seen Doug and Susie all summer – another thing we’ve meant to do – so I suggested that we invite them along to Lobster Night. I go chat with Doug, give him the scoop. Amazingly they’ve never been either, though they’ve lived here much longer, and he’s excited to go. I tell him to call, reserve their lobsters and maybe mention they’ll be joining us.

So, later that same day, Doug calls me and says Harry’s doesn’t have our reservation. He told them Dave, Jeffe, David’s last name – nothing. But he made their reservation. He says for me to call Kathleen and make a new reservation. I don’t want to do this, because I know they already have one for us. I figure Doug somehow failed to communicate the proper information, so I blow it off.

The next morning, Kathleen calls me. Smitty, she says, invited us to join him and Susie at Lobster Night, but she needs a reservation from us. Now, Doug’s last name is Smith and everyone calls him Smitty, even Susie. But he’s never asked us to call him Smitty, so we don’t. I tell Kathleen we already have a reservation and had invited them to join us, in fact. Oh ha ha ha, Smitty said something like that, but she can’t find my reservation anywhere and will we be joining Smitty or not?

I say we are and all is, once again, good.

We get there Friday night and it’s a gorgeous evening. David and I get there first and he puts our name in for a table. He comes back and says they asked if we were with Smitty. We have wine and sit outside to wait. Doug and Susie arrive. We have a lovely time.

The lobsters were absolutely amazing. As good as being in Maine.

As we leave, Kathleen asks us how everything was. She is the same lady who came to our breakfast table. I say amazing, wonderful and I hope I just don’t get charged for a second set of lobsters for the lost reservation. She laughs and says oh no, no, no – that one disappeared.

We get home, I pull my phone out of my purse and there are two voicemails, missed calls from a local number. Yeah, I knew what this would be. Both are from Kathleen, the first saying they hadn’t seen us and to be sure to come or we’d lose our lobsters. The second, about 45 minutes later, saying something similar and to please call.

I call, ask for Kathleen. She gets on the phone and I say, hi, I was just there eating lobster and on our way out we chatted about this lost second reservation that you left me two voicemails about.

Oh! she says. Oh! I started to wonder about that after you left. The thing is, I had your reservation attached to the name “Bunny Rodriguez.”

And no, David’s last name isn’t anything CLOSE to Rodriguez.

But it’s all good. She sold the lobsters to someone else and she apologized for the confusion.

All of these various names. Plus, I have a new secret identity now.

Bunny Rodriguez, at your service.

Serendipity and the Whole Enchilada

“Is soup for lunch okay with you?” David asked me.

I said that sounded fine.

“But is that what you really want?”

“No, I want Harrys blue corn turkey enchiladas, but soup is fine.”

David jumped on the idea, though and soon we were in the car headed to Harry’s Roadhouse (thanks to roadfood.com for the pic!), just down the way. Never mind that I’m supposed to be on the post-holiday diet. Or that we ate at Harrys only a week ago. In fact, we’ve been eating there about once or twice a week. We were both feeling blue for no good reason. I’d dreamed the night before that one of the agents who has my manuscript told me all the reasons it wasn’t any good and would never sell. David is watching his last few days of vacation slip by before the semester cranks into gear again. We both felt like a bug was working on us.

So we went to Harrys and waited only a few minutes for a table.

The hostess seated us in front of a window and began scrolling down the shade to cut off the southern sunlight streaming in.

“Don’t do that for us — we like it,” I said. She looked startled and said “okay,” but left it down. So, I opened it again. The man at the table next to us was staring hard at me and started to get up. David and I both thought he was going to be mad at me for opening the shade again.

This has happened before. No, really. I’m a sunshine kind of gal. I love nothing better than to sit in the sun. It’s a mystery to me why people in restaurants ask to sit by the window and then ask for the shade to be drawn. An even greater mystery: the shade pulling request is always accomodated over the shads open request. Why? Why? Why? People act if I’m unreasonable when I say I’d like them open. Shade closing always trumps other desires. Rodent people rule the world.

But I digress.

I realized I knew the man staring at me — had known him all my life. I called them Uncle Tom and Aunt Susan when I was a little girl. Their third child, Andrew, is the “envy baby” — born nine months after I was, because next-door neighbor Susan on the base in Selma was so inspired by my birth.

My “what are you doing here?” was quickly replaced by the realization that, duh, they were on their way from Colorado Springs to Tucson, to the house they’re renting for three months, once again next door to my mom and her husband, Dave.

We talked over lunch — no need to move our little two-tops even. We were all amazed at the serendipity of meeting up. Though I told them I hadn’t missed that they planned to blaze on through Santa Fe without saying anything to us.

I called my mom to tell her on the drive home, but she was already on the other line with Susan.

Tom and Susan pronounced it a good omen for their sojourn to Tucson, that so many pieces fell into place for us to be at lunch next to each other. David and I returned home, much lightened for the good company.

It’s something for me to remember, that for all the times I’ve feared I’ve missed opportunities, for all the rejections that seem like the end of the trail, that the universe delivers gifts also.

When it’s meant to be, it will be.