Everyday Eats: Chilaquiles at The Mission

This savory dish is a lot like a breakfast burrito, but with a smoky, slightly spicy kick.

Everyone needs a dependable spot for breakfast, the unfussiest of meals, when what often matters most is efficiently delivering food to a growling stomach. For me, that's The Mission. The cinnamon swirl French toast is legendary, but for those times when I don't want to fight the urge to immediately crawl back into bed after a carb-heavy, sugar-loaded breakfast, I'm all about the chilaquiles ($8.50).

It's a dish that's never exactly the same from one restaurant to another. Some places go heavy on the salsa, while others shellac the whole plate with a layer of melted cheese, turning it into what looks like a Mexican lasagna. The Mission takes a more measured approach. The chips are lightly coated with a roasted tomato-ginger sauce--not so much that they get soggy, but just enough to soften them--making it taste like they've been reversed to their original state (corn tortillas). There's some seasoned black beans on the bottom, scrambled eggs and chipotle crema on top, along with a few scattered pieces of diced tomato and scallion. Another bonus: because it's savory, yet still contains eggs, it perfectly straddles the breakfast/lunch dividing line, making it equally great for an early or mid-day meal. 

With the eggs, beans, scallions, and tomatoes, this dish shares a lot of common elements with a breakfast burrito, but swapping out the flour tortilla for some chips with a slightly spicy kick (and a gob of smoky chipotle crema to tie the whole thing together) really makes all the difference. If you need a bit more protein, or want to split a plate among two people, you can always add chicken and avocado. 

The Mission is located in North Park, Mission Beach and downtown, in the East Village see themissionsd.com for a full list.

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