This week, Neighbor Roy couldn’t decide what kind of meal he wanted, so searched for a menu that was eclectic, a dish that I was certain he would find to his liking. Turns out, Baja Cafe on Campbell Avenue had just such a menu. Their menu was heavy on breakfast, but also Mexican and American dishes.
We arrived at noon. There was a crowd outside waiting to be seated and I thought, “Oh, Oh!” But while the patio seating was full, there were still a few tables inside. We were seated at one immediately. We waited a bit for our drink orders to be taken, but not as long as the huge crowd would indicate.
When our server did arrive at our table, Roy ordered his usual, hot tea. I ordered my usual, a margarita. Our drink orders came up surprisingly fast. I don’t know about Roy’s tea (it was English Breakfast tea), but my margarita ($9.00) was delicious. One of the best I have enjoyed in Tucson.
Then it was time to order lunch. Roy ordered a cheeseburger with fries. This was DON’S ALL AMERICAN BURGER. A toasted brioche bun layered with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, two seasoned flat-grilled ground chuck burger patties, special sauce, and American cheese. Served with French fries, hash browns, or pureed black beans ($15.00).
I ordered scrambled eggs, sausage, and hash browns with a side of Liege waffle. This waffle looked to be something special. Named after a town in Eastern Belgium, they are made with a batter more like bread dough; thick and sticky. The dough contains chunks of imported Belgium pearl sugar made by Couplet, which caramelizes and forms a crispy crunchy golden coating. It is a denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Classic Liego waffle ($ 10.00).
I’ll let Neighbor Roy tell you about his experience.
“This week Jim and I decided to try a new (to us) restaurant near the U of A called Baja Cafe’. We were able to park in front of the restaurant. We did note several people waiting outside, turns out they were waiting to be seated in the large outside dining area, We decided to go inside, were met at the door by a wait staff, promptly seated, menus presented, and drink orders taken. The inside is large, with numerous large tables set up and full, as was most of the inside. Our waiter was quite attentive, despite serving several tables, each with many patrons. We noted the interior was decorated in a sports bar manner and that it was full. The wait staff seemed quite busy with the full house of today’s patrons. I looked at the menu, which seemed heavy on Mexican items, but I found some Anglo items on page four, selecting a double burger with fries and my usual hot tea.
As the restaurant was full, mostly a large crowd of college-aged patrons, I expected a long wait. I did note the wait staff, given how crowded the restaurant was, moved quickly to deliver orders, were polite to inform us of the progress of our orders, and how quickly they responded to clear out several tables as they became vacant. If for no other reason, I would compliment the staff and management for a well-managed operation. Our orders arrived and my burger turned out to be a double cheeseburger, piled high with two burgers, 2 or 3 slices of cheese with lettuce and tomato. I was amazed at the burger, one of the best I have been served in Tucson, also impressed by the wait staff– the end result is my rating of 4 saguaros–and 4 well-deserved saguaros.”
I thoroughly enjoyed my eggs, sausage, and hash browns, but the stunner was that Liege waffle. Best waffle I have ever had and I have enjoyed a lot of waffles in my 79 years.
While Neighbor Roy rates Baja Cafe with four Saguaros, I give it four and a half based on an excellent margarita, superb service, and that extraordinary waffle. Well done, Baja Cafe.
2970 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
Hours: 6am-2pm daily