BREAKING NEWS: Santa Claus feared dead after sleigh was shot down by North Korean surface-to-air missles while flying over Pyongyang.— Slakingfool (@slakingfool) December 24, 2013
It was early on the morning before Christmas Eve when I composed that tweet. I had just fed and watered the cats and was tiring of the time spent out of the local news broadcast spent covering a nonexistant event. A quest for breakfast would brighten my spirits.
I had set out for a long walk around the neighborhoods of northwest Las Vegas, enjoying the cool breeze and relatively blue skies; a stark contrast to the winter storm that was dumping ice and snow across the Midwest. Spying a cake shoppe I couldn’t resist more social media tomfoolery, this somewhat NSFW.
I had walked a good two-and-a-half miles before I stumbled across BabyStacks Cafe, hiding out away from the road in a L-shaped strip mall on the northeast corner of Buffalo and Smoke Ranch. A special of the day - the Chili Moco - enticed with the joining of two of my favorite things for breakfast: a Loco Moco and chili-atop-anything.
The Loco Moco is a popular Hawaiian dish consisting of steamed rice with hamburger patties, eggs (generally fried), then covered in brown gravy. Its a specialty on BabyStacks menu, but on this day they offered it with chili and cheese in place of the gravy. I had been fastidiously counting my carbs for almost a month; but this I could not resist.
Neither could I ignore the lure of a short stack of Red Velvet pancakes, topped with freshly whipped cream and chocolate crumbles, with a side of cream cheese syrup. Even more emboldened I ordered up a side of Portuguese sausage.
I was in love with the Chili Moco upon first gaze. The first forkful sealed the romance. Savory chili, a well-done hamburger, and runny egg yolk paired so well with the starchy, well-defined grains of rice.
The Red Velvet pancakes at BabyStacks are their most popular item and I could tell why after a taste. You ever tried a Red Velvet something-something only to find the flavor of cocoa lacking? I sure have, so it was revelatory to find these pancakes deeply imbued with the flavor and aroma of cocoa. In short they were magnificent.
The cream cheese syrup was equally as intoxicating but I found the sweetness rather distracting. The dollop of whipped cream on top, slowly melting from the heat of the pancakes, was much more complementary.
As if I didn’t need more seduction, the Portuguese sausage was appropriately zippy Tasty, heart-murdering protein! Achingly I left behind most of the rice, and a good half-portion of the pancakes.
Fueled for exploration, I tramped about a mile-and-a-half seeking out a bank for pocket money and tip change. And by tip change I mean golden dollar coins. I always pack a roll for traveling as they keep my wallet from bulging over in ones, and they make a neat-looking tip. I started the custom years ago on a trip to El Paso–Juárez and have kept it up since.
With breakfast settled in and four miles of distance covered, I was feeling desirous for libations. I popped into Steiner’s Pub on Cheyenne for a spicy, citrusy, peppery Bloody Mary. I also got an unwelcome lungful of second hand smoke from the douchebag who plunked down right next to me at the bar, and lit up a cigarette.
Its still legal in Nevada to smoke in bars that have gambling, but I wish smokers would have the courtesy to avoid sitting next to non-smokers, when there's room, and lighting up. I welcome the day when Nevada legislators grow the balls to protect the rights of non-smoking citizens and visitors. That said, Iowa still allows smoking inside casinos. Gambling revenue overrides public health in this matter.
On the long, winding walk back home I came across Johnston's Stables on Gowan – a weird, creepy looking dump, embellished throughout with all manner of cobbled-up detritus. The horses appeared well and fed, but sure looked like they were devoid of attention. One bay fella came up to greet me. I talked to him a bit, but with the chain link fence between us there's not much more interaction.
Christmas Eve was spent with the cats while Barb and Al had one last evening in the hospital, before his release the next day.