Only have a minute? Listen instead
HARLINGEN — The quiet of morning greets me as I enter a dining room with tables filled by the breakfast hour.
“Anywhere you like,” says the kind waitress at Koffee Klatch at 101 S. 77 Sunshine Strip, and I must search for a table because most of them have been taken.
Anywhere I like? I think about that as I take my seat. The statement seems to be a code for warmth and generosity and friendship and the authenticity of those things.
The advanced ones with the gray hair and the tired eyes and the lines across their faces work slowly on their breakfast plates. A woman nibbles on toast while her male companion looks outside into the foggy air.
Meanwhile the air of the dining room is filled with Dion and the Belmonts’ timeless recording of “A Teenager in Love.”
The menu before me has a long and enticing list of breakfast options. I could have migas and eggs but I had those recently. I think on the potato and egg plate, the weenies and egg, sausage and egg, chorizo and egg … all with their unique combinations of flavors served with beans and country potatoes and a choice of tortillas or toast.
The breakfast combinations also look good. I can choose the huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict with hash browns or grits, or a country breakfast with eggs and pancakes or a waffle and a choice of bacon or sausage.
But my eyes keep bouncing back to the omelets. Koffee Klatch has quite a few different omelets: ham and cheese, veggie, Texas omelet, Colorado omelet, western omelet, Spanish omelet, sierra omelet … hmmm.
They all look good. So many choices create some misery for me. In these situations, I feel somewhat like a mosquito in a nudist colony. It’s like turning my back to a dartboard and then tossing a dart at that dartboard still with my back turned and the dart landing wherever chance takes it.
I have to pick one, and my confused compass with the arrow spinning all over the place lands on the Colorado omelet. It looks pretty good; roast beef and onions and green onions feel like a good fusion of flavors, so when my young waiter appears at my table I place the order.
Having placed my order, I now take in more fully my surroundings. Ritchie Valens now performs “La Bamba” over a speaker: “Para Bailar La Bamba! Para Bailar La Bamba!” And a waitress approaches a man and woman and says, “When you all are ready. No rush” and the woman sips her coffee. At another table five state troopers in spotless uniforms talk about the coming day over breakfast.
“Here you go buddy!” says my waiter as he sets a plate of hash browns and cheesy omelet before me.
“Any hot sauce or ketchup?” he asks.
No, thank you.
I dive into the omelet and enjoy this fine joining of tastes. It’s nice and warm and filled with flavor and the crispy hash browns are delicious.
I realize now my timing is perfect, for the restaurant previously packed is now filled with the sounds of tables being cleared as the breakfast crowd leaves, perhaps for church or perhaps for home or maybe some other activity. More customers trickle in but not with great magnitude. I think now there is no place I would rather have breakfast than at the Koffee Klatch.
My only complaint is the sign saying it is serving lunch and breakfast all day when in fact it is only open until 2 p.m. I wish it was indeed open all day because I think I would like to have dinner here in the late afternoon or evening and sample the chicken fried chicken sandwich, the chef salad, the beef fajita, the fish tacos, the …