El Huevo’s Spicy Savor
Eggs go Southwestern at Hal Smith’s Mexi-diner
Photos by Scotty O’Daniel
If you’re looking for breakfast or lunch with an extra pop of Tex-Mex spice, El Huevo Mexi-Diner anchors a new development at Tecumseh and 24th Avenue NW, just a bit south of the border – that’s appropriate – between Moore and Norman. Its sign is a big white ovoid shape with yolk dripping from a slight crack, so I am being quite serious when I say that “Egg marks the spot.”
El Huevo represents the newest addition to the Hal Smith Restaurant Group’s portfolio of tastes. Managing partner Ryan Springer told us that Smith has been wanting to do a Mexi-diner for the last several years, and I think they’ve found an ideal location. A lot of care and planning have visibly gone into this brand-new space, from the east side being mostly windows – the better to let in a ray or two of morning sunshine – to the brightly colored and cheerfully decorated interior. Expect plenty of warm shades of yellow, peach and red, adorned with wall art both big (a pair of much-larger-than-life macaws roosting near the bar) and small (a half-wall creating a bit of separation between booths and tables has a border carefully painted to resemble decorative tiles).
There’s also some great stuff coming out of proprietor Tanner Nickell’s kitchen: For spicy breakfast options – which I think you should call Tex-Mex-Brex – guests should be more than satisfied with the green chile pork of the Huevos Rancheros; the Gordo Benny’s poached eggs, smoked ham and grilled Cuban bread; or the meat-stuffed and ranchero-topped Carne Loco omelette. Or, for that matter, anything that includes chorizo gravy. The dishes, especially the Huevos Rancheros, are genuinely spicy without the heat overpowering the flavor, but it couldn’t hurt to treat yourself to a glass of juice; they serve hand-squeezed grapefruit and orange juices, and the strawberry-orange blend is something special. For a sweeter meal, the cornflake-crusted French toast is drizzled with Mexican chocolate, and served with fresh fruit and magnificent caramelized bananas.
You’re even set for lunch options: daily soup, taco salad, carnitas or catfish tacos, a burger with a beef-chorizo blend patty (yes, please) or simply a heap of chips, queso, steak and ancillary deliciousness so big it’s called “Torre de nachos” (“Nacho tower”).
These are all bueno options, along with many more … but if I could make just one recommendation, it’s wholeheartedly the Hangover Burrito. Springer calls it “by far our most popular menu item,” and it won me over immediately. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, chorizo, cheese, black beans, smothered in queso and salsa – it’s basically the burrito of my dreams, and I’m delighted to have been introduced to it. You might not find true gustatory love at El Huevo, but the odds are good, and a trip south is a great way to spice up your morning.
3522 24th Ave NW, Norman