The sign outside says it loud and clear:

$3.99 breakfast

. The Pantry has been one of the city's favorite diners for more than half a century. The coffee is hot, flowing and strong, which is especially important if you're one of the early risers who show up for breakfast here at 6:30 am. At the 10-seat counter, folks hunch over bacon-laden plates of


waffles, pancakes, breakfast burritos, omelets and



But take your time if you order the stuffed pancakes; folded over and stuffed-really, really stuffed-with a choice of blueberries or strawberries, they're a special treat. Just don't order more than two of these at a time unless you're training for an eating competition. The small lunch menu is nice and simple, with the selection of burgers and sandwiches one demands from a diner. The green chile stew, full of chunks of pork, chile, potatoes, onions and tomatoes, is just hot enough to be a perfect cold weather treat. Fresh desserts change daily, so if you have room, or if you're just in the mood for an afternoon pie and coffee, The Pantry is the place to go.

1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022. Breakfast and lunch daily. $