Hobo Eggs at the Paradise Cafe

Eggs and salsa.  Even though I’m now in the Lone Star State, for some reason those 2 simple ingredients transport me back to Lawrence, Kansas in the 1980’s.  Lawrence was, and still is, eclectic, original and fiercely independent.  A captivating crossroads, the town has a way of attracting people on their way to somewhere else and the pull is so strong that they never want to leave once they’ve felt its energy.

As I mind-travel back through time, the first stop is the then-popular (now-non-existent) Paradise Cafe.  In the beginning, I was one of the regulars that lined up on Sunday mornings and then I waited tables there (as a friend said, I always got the groovy jobs…).  Paradise was a dining destination any time of the day, but breakfast was special.  Popular favorites were Breakfast Enchiladas and Hobo Eggs – my versions below.

 Breakfast Enchiladas

serves 1

  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • Picante sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

Heat up a large skillet over medium heat.  Mix together eggs, 1/2 cup cheese, half of the green onions.  Warm each tortilla in the skillet, place on a plate, spread with half of the egg/cheese mixture and roll up.  Butter or oil the skillet and carefully place rolled tortillas in the pan.  If some of the filling runs out as it cooks, just push it back in.  When golden brown on one side, turn over and continue cooking until tortilla is golden and filling is set and cooked through.  Transfer to a plate and top with picante sauce, cheese, sour cream and remaining green onion.

 Hobo Eggs

serves 1

  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons picante sauce
  • 1/8 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Heat  oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Peel and dice potatoes into small cubes.  Place carefully in the hot pan and cook until golden-brown, stirring occasionally.  One shortcut is to pre-cook the potatoes for about 2 minutes in the microwave to reduce cooking time and to make sure that the potatoes are tender.  Place cooked potatoes on a serving plate.

Fry eggs, place on the bed of potatoes, and top with salsa, cheese, sour cream and green onion.

Roll it back a few years before and I was a student looking for unique experiences on the cheap.  One Sunday morning a friend invited me to have brunch at a secret location.  This was no ordinary dining establishment – its location was known to a select few and each week a new name and theme determined the menu and decor.  The clandestine nature of the cafe enabled the artistic students running the place to avoid licensing and added to the word-of-mouth appeal.  We parked in front of an old building with apartments above a small shop and rang the doorbell to be admitted.  The sticker plastered above the bell identified the cafe as something like “St. Mary Magdalene of Sorrows Cafe” and we heard fiesta music as we climbed the wooden staircase.  We were shown to our table – a simple cardboard box – and took our seats on the floor.  Each table was topped with a cheap Mexican prayer candle and although the atmosphere was DIY it was cheerful and light.

The menu that day featured a few Tex-Mex dishes, and here’s one that’s easy and delicious and still brings a smile to my face.

 Hot Eggs

serves 1

  • 2 slices of whole wheat toast
  • 2 tablespoons of low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons picante sauce
  • Alfalfa sprouts

Toast bread and place on serving plate.  Spread each slice with half of the cream cheese.  Fry eggs, place on cream cheese and top with picante sauce and sprouts.

Cheap and cheerful and they’ll bring you blessings


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Edmonton Tourist
    Aug 05, 2012 @ 12:17:08

    I want to eat Hobo eggs for the name alone! Tell me my Texian friend, what is picante sauce? I imagine it to be like a puréed salsa – Texmex is newish to me.


  2. puravida
    Aug 05, 2012 @ 12:31:27

    I forgot that non-Texians might not have an entire aisle of salsas at the supermarket! Picante sauce or salsa is a hot sauce made of tomatoes, onions, peppers, chiles and spices. It can either be smooth or chunky and I like to dress up my Pace picante sauce with chopped up tomatoes and green onions.


    • The Edmonton Tourist
      Aug 17, 2012 @ 22:40:22

      So picante sauce is just salsa? huh…At any rate – it looks delicious! i have typically 3 choices of salsa on the chip aisle. 2 brands and a store brand. Nothing special. Perhaps the Hot Sauce specalty store will carry more…must check it out!


  3. jacquerose
    Aug 06, 2012 @ 18:34:59

    I have many good memories of the Paradise Cafe, as you know. I loved the food there, especially the breakfast menu. One of my favorites was the Breakfast Quesadilla. Lawrence just isn’t quite the same without them…..


  4. Judy
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 08:16:40

    Lawrence, KS – small cyber world we have here. We lived for 30+ years about 20 miles from there. Recipes sound delicious.


    • puravida
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 17:00:34

      Sorry Judy – your comment was mistaken for spam. I miss Lawrence and fall weather sometimes! And I’ll be sure to post some more recipes. 🙂


  5. cindy knoke
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 21:00:48

    I’m sending this to my daughter/soon 2b son in law. Lawrence rocks! See my previous comment for this to make sense. 🙂


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