El Paso, TX
If you go to H&H Coffee Shop, you will find out that it is actually the “World Renowned H&H Coffee Shop” because of its popularity with visitors and the reputation it has gained over the Internet. I would argue that this reputation is well deserved, but also that there are many other places in El Paso that are probably just as good or better at serving down home style Mexican food. The unique feature of H&H, though, is that you can have your car washed while eating breakfast or lunch. I think the food at the cafe is good enough, though, to consider it as its own destination.
H&H Coffee Shop consists of a limited number of tables and a counter complete with stools. It is purposely downscale with cheap prices for the food. Standard Mexican food items are served, with both a breakfast and lunch menu available. Perhaps H&H’s popularity lies in the fact that it looks like a diner from any city in America, but with the style of Mexican food that is only served in El Paso and the immediately surrounding region.
Until my visit in 2009 all of my meals at H&H had been for lunch. In trying the Huevos Rancheros, though, I found what I thought to be the best food here so far. Many places in El Paso make memorable huevos rancheros, but even more do not. I was happy to find out that H&H serves some of the best ones, with one of the keys being the sauce (it looked like a type of cheese sauce with onions and green chiles). I have to say, though, that I probably would have enjoyed the eggs if they had come plain, being cooked the way I liked them.
I thought the Refried Beans were greasy compared to most in El Paso, and this was not something my body was craving for breakfast. The Potatoes were better, but I did not think they were anything that lived up the H&H’s “world renowned” reputation. The flour tortilla was good, but in the end I thought all the side items paled in comparison to the eggs.
The beans were indicative of the type of food I remember from my past visits years ago– very greasy. I know that not all of the food is this way, but it is the impression I gained on one or two visits and the reason I did not make more visits over the years.
The owner did offer some suggestions about items to try if you go for lunch, including the chile relleno, taco, enchiladas, and hamburger steak. I do not remember what I tried, except that I am sure it included the enchiladas. It also seems to me that the enchiladas were one of the items I enjoyed.
For now, though, I can say for sure that the breakfasts are worth experiencing (and I also think they did a good job when they washed my car). After trying the huevos rancheros, I am sorry I have not had the chance to try more of H&H’s food to find other exceptional examples of El Paso’s border cuisine.