H&H Cafe & Car Wash

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

Three tables, topped with blue boomerang-pattern Formica, provide a fine view of vehicles being soaped, scrubbed, and towelled just outside the H&H dining area, but despite the undeniable interest of the automotive scene, we recommend counter seats. Here you have a view of the pint-size food-prep area: the grill, the wash sink, and the half-dozen women who cook and assemble plates of food. They are busy peeling chilies and tomatoes, brewing sauce, stirring refried beans, and chattering among themselves and with customers in a language that is approximately 2/3 Spanish, 1/3 English.
They give us a once-over, confer about the heat level of the huevos rancheros, then inquire if we want ours “Muy caliente.”

“Si,” say we, and as the eggs fry, one brings out a plastic cup filled with salsa along with a couple of warm-from-the-griddle flour tortillas, each folded into quarters. The salsa is olive green, chopped fine. It is made of jalapeno peppers — muy caliente, indeed! — and has a zest that plays reveille on the tongue.

Huevos rancheros are smothered in a cheese gravy flecked with incendiary bits of green chile pepper. Hot as they may be, though, their beauty is their balance. The peppers’ buzz is cushioned not only by the eggs’ elementary white and yellow parts, but also by the pad of a soft tortilla underneath, as well as by the mound of smooth refried beans and starchy discs of griddle-fried potato that share the plate.

Amused by the tears of hot-pepper joy in our eyes, a waitress turns to a cabinet and fetches a plastic bottle, like those used for squeeze margarine. It is filled with some house-brewed pink salsa, and she carries it towards the counter as cautiously as a pyrotechnician toting pure nitroglycerine. She sets it before us and whispers with conspiratorial glee, “¡Mas Caliente!”

What To Eat

Chiles Rellenos

DISH
Huevos Rancheros

DISH
Hot Salsa

DISH

H&H Cafe & Car Wash Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of H&H Cafe & Car Wash?

One Response to “H&H Cafe & Car Wash”

Trevor Reynolds

July 22nd, 2021

I’ve been going to H&H for 40+ years. Now that I live out of state it’s one of my have to’s when I go to ELP and visit family. So sad that they are closing tomorrow. I’ll miss the Chile verde.

Reply

Nearby Restaurants

Little Diner

Canutillo, TX

Chope’s | New Mexico Spells Chile With an “E” | Las Cruces

La Mesa, NM

La Posta de Mesilla

Mesilla, NM

Mesilla Valley BBQ

Las Cruces, NM

Nopalito

Las Cruces, NM

Nellie’s

Las Cruces, NM

Article’s & Guides Tagged Nellie’s

The Chili Trail

By Jane and Michael Stern Originally Published 1995 Gourmet Magazine In West Texas and New Mexico, chiles are a way of life. Long green ones soak up the sun...

×

Connect with us #Roadfood