Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quince, Jerome: The Breakfast Spirits Rise Up!!

We had breakfast in Jerome, Arizona, at Quince (keen-say, Spanish for 15). While not immediately bicycle-related, we did see three devotees grinding up and over the mountain, which presents a combination of elevation gain, narrow roads with tight switchback turns, and automobile traffic that is not for the faint of heart or the fragile of spirit. The route is popular with a certain hardy, spirited road cyclist for just those characteristics. Check it out, and grimace:

17 miles of spirit-sapping delicious mountain climbing

Art for sale in the bathroom, possibly a view of the inner struggle of a cyclist grinding up Mingus Mountain

These are reputed to be customers who left poor tips

Me, I just drove up for breakfast. The food at Quince was outstanding, inspired by New Mexico, faithful to its origins but also interpreted into something unique. The breakfast burrito was fantastic, constructed around a chorizo of mountain-scaling power, and covered in a perfect green chili sauce. Many breakfast burritos I've eaten have been very good and very filling, jammed with potatoes, eggs, onions, and various meat products, and I think of the good ones as dense packages of power-punching flavor to fill an empty belly. Quince's breakfast burrito was something else entirely, though, possibly like dancing with Salma Hayek: hot, tasty, ineffable, you never want it to end. 

Unlike cycling up Mingus, I imagine, which has to cause you to start wondering what you've gotten into, somewhere around mile 11. I may give it a try some day. Cycling up Mingus through Jerome, I mean. Dancing with Salma Hayek is pretty unlikely. Although I've heard they crank up the music at Quince on Friday nights, and with food and decor like that, I suppose anything's possible. The pancakes were also excellent, fluffy and silly-huge, and the scrambled eggs with cheese blend also made me want to go back for more. And, it would not be complete if I didn't mention that the coffee was excellent, with top-notch service, too. Master Chef Valdimir Costa's cuisine left me feeling ready to do the impossible. 

Quince: one more thing to love about Jerome. Get up. Go ride. 

Skullies in the window next door


  1. Jerome!! I LOVE Jerome! That is one place I thought I could see myself living in, other that the area I live in today. The climb in is great, as well as its history. I remember it with fond memories, though I don't remember exactly where we ate. There is a plaque there that mentions how they imported coal from Vancouver Island, 'way back when... I marvelled at that, moving it all of that distance and then moving it inland.

  2. The skulls give the "Spirits" part of "Spirits - Food - Entertainment" a whole different flavor...

  3. Ahhhhh. Fond memories of Jerome. Driving down there on Friday nights ... sleeping in the bed of the pickup because I was too ... er ... "full of the spirit" to risk driving back up the 89A switchbacks back up to the home in Flagstaff.

  4. PaddyAnne, the lengths that people went to (or go to) in order to extract copper from the earth were (are) of a scope and scale that defy imagination. I've never been to Bisbee, but it's next on the list of interesting old mining towns to visit.

    Steve, the collection of crucifixes made from odds and ends covering the walls also.

    BluesCat, 89A is not to be underestimated, and I wonder how many have seen dawn over the Verde Valley from Jerome and decided to stay.

  5. No longer in Jerome. Moved to larger place in Cottonwood, down the hill. Still excellent, and now with more colorful steer skulls on the walls.


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