By Robin Garr
Don’t stop me if I’ve told you this before, but breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, and I’m happy to enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
What’s more, Con Huevos is one of my favorite places for breakfast, although to my occasional sorrow, it’s open only for breakfast and lunch. If I want it for dinner, I have to get by with takeouts picked up earlier in the day.
What do I like so much about Con Huevos? As simply as I can explain it, it’s a happy place. Each of this growing local mini-chain’s properties is bright and colorful, and the people who work there seem to smile all the time. It specializes in breakfast, as I mentioned, but it does lunch too.
It’s Mexican, with the aromatic, attention-grabbing flavors of Mexican cuisine. If you speak only English, you have nothing to fear: The menu speaks your language, and so do the friendly folks who take your orders. But if you want to try a few remembered words from high-school Spanish, they’ll put up with that, too.
In short, the husband-and-wife ownership team of Jesus Martinez and Izmene Peredo does everything right, and that has helped drive the growth of Con Huevos from a tiny Clifton storefront to an expanded original shop and four more properties from a grab-and-go spot in the Omni Hotel downtown to a soon-to-open fifth shop in Norton Commons.
I have a special place in my heart for the Clifton location, having been a regular customer since it opened early in 2015. I like to check on its newer locations, though, and I’ve been happy to find their food and service right up to the quality of the original shop. This time we settled in at the Holiday Manor branch on US 42 and enjoyed an excellent meal
The bill of fare is divided into brunch, sandwiches, and Mexican classics lunch categories, but all items are available throughout operating hours. Menu prices have gone up a bit – a couple of bucks on most dishes – since I last got a curbside-pickup meal early in 2021. Considering the reality of rising food prices, I can’t quibble with that, and pricing remains well south of the special-occasion category. with virtually all dishes priced between $9.99 and $1.99.
I often get huevos rancheros ($13.99) here, but for a change of pace decided to fill up on a hearty ration of chilaquiles (pictured above; $13.99, or $4 for a small side dish). This classic Mexican dish, according to tradition, traces its roots to the Aztecs. It comes in many regional variations, but Con Huevos’ version is typical: Corn tortillas are cut into quarters and cooked in a bath of spicy salsa verde until they soften. Then this comfortable bed becomes a home for two bright sunny-side-up eggs, grated queso fresco cheese, stripes of tangy crema, crisp, pink pickled onions, and snipped chives. It’s quite a hefty combination, and I have to stop and think about how best to eat it – usually a mix of fork, knife, and fingers – but all the disparate flavors come together in an appetizing mix.
We considered an order of breakfast tacos filled with scrambled eggs, chorizo, and fried shoestring potatoes, but decided to stick with tradition via a trio of carne asada tacos from the lunch menu ($14.99). Each taco was served on a single corn tortilla, sturdy and thick models that held up the ingredients with no need for doubling. They were loaded with grilled beef cubes left pink at the centers, and topped with plenty of fresh cilantro and pink pickled onion dice. Lime wedges and spicy green and red salsas came alongside.
Just about every culture on Earth has some kind of sweet treat made with fried dough, from the elegant beignets of France (and New Orleans) to Indian balushahi, Chinese mahua, German Berliners (the pastry that got JFK into amusing linguistic trouble when he told a German audience that he was one), American state fair elephant ears, and of course our beloved donut, which history traces back to 17th century Dutch settlers in New York, er, New Amsterdam. Mexico’s entry in this genre is the churro, and Con Huevos makes a worthy version. Extruded as long tubes with many lengthwise ridges – the better to impart crispness – an order of six churros ($6.50) are dense and hyper-crisp, dusted with crunchy cinnamon sugar, and served with a cup of thin but deliciously sweet caramel-scented dulce de leche sauce.
With a Mexican Coke ($3.50) straight out of the bottle and a big mug of steaming, strong black Mexican coffee from Chiapas ($3.50) a filling and delicious brunch for two came to $45.03, plus a 20 percent tip.
Other locations: 2339 Frankfort Ave., 384-3027; 2125 Hurstbourne Pkwy., 384-2432; Con Huevos Craves in the Omni Hotel’s Falls City Market, 210 W. Liberty St,; and, coming soon, 10639 Meeting St., Norton Commons.
Noise Level: This place is popular, it’s usually full during brunch hours, and conversation can be a challenge. Average sound level during our visit was 76dB, roughly equivalent to a vacuum cleaner.
Accessibility: The restaurant appears accessible to wheelchair users, although the doors are a bit heavy.