Despite swirling rumors to the contrary, Tecolote Cafe is not closed—and never was in its 31-year tenure at the Cerrillos Road location.
Katie Adkins, who with her mom Alice Jennison and husband Chris owns Tecolote Cafe, says she had to start taking the rumor of the restaurant's closure seriously after a concierge at the Inn of the Anasazi called her to confirm it.
"I've been hearing [the rumor] over and over again," Adkins says.
She says she suspects that the closure of nearby Carmen's Chicago Pizza might be contributing to the confusion—a For Rent sign posted for the Carmen's building could have detracted from Tecolote's own signage.
The breakfast and lunch spot renowned for its hot, flavorful chile dishes has long been a weekend brunch staple, with a standing-room-only waiting area on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This summer, business was down somewhat, Adkins says, "But there were so many factors that I didn't tie it to the rumor of us being closed." Instead, Adkins figured the summer fires were a likely contributor.
The restaurant's name is Aztec Indian for Owl, hence the owl-themed decor throughout the homey establishment. The family chose the name because Adkin's father Bill was a history buff, and the tiny town (now a ghost town) of Tecolote, New Mexico, was a base camp for Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" during the Spanish-American war.
Tecolote's most popular breakfast offerings are the atole piñon pancakes and huevos yucatecos—a corn tortilla with black beans, eggs, green chile, feta cheese and, in a nod to the Aztec theme, fried bananas. The restaurant's green and red chile comes from southern New Mexico, not from Hatch but from a farm near Luna whose crop is "consistently awesome," Adkins says.
Many breakfast dishes come with a bread basket as an option—warm from the oven muffins and biscuits that are difficult to pass up. Lunch offerings include a variety of burgers, which Adkins says are "next to Bobcat Bite, one of the better in town."
Tecolote is open 7 am to 2 pm Tuesday through Sunday.