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One Dish Wonders: Chilaquiles at Las Cazuelas

Mike Sutter
The chilaquiles, top photo, with chips, green salsa and cheese, are moist and crunchy at Las Cazuelas.

Chilaquiles Verdes ($3.95)

A spiritually connected colleague tells me that if something comes up three times, the universe is trying to tell you something.

My spam filter is set to block messages from the universe, but somehow Las Cazuelas got through.

Message 1, from a friend: ‘Please don't write about Las Cazuelas. I don't want people ruining it.'

Message 2, from our own M.O. blogger Matthew Odam: Las Cazuelas has a new next-door neighbor, Your Mom's Burger Bar.

Message 3, from me, because it's breakfast time: Chilaquiles from Las Cazuelas.

I like chilaquiles, especially here. It's a simple thing, just thick chips layered with tangy salsa verde and mozzarella cheese melted under a broiler, but it's satisfyingly moist and crunchy at the same time, nachos moved one step closer to tortilla casserole.

The plate comes with a few fried potatoes and good refried beans, and the waitress brought a bonus bowl of stewed charro beans, all of it set off by chips and two salsas worth mentioning. One is a spicy red served hot, the other is a creamy green with sharp jalapeño heat.

The heat and carbs make this a fine hangover breakfast, but Las Cazuelas seems fine if you want to start on tomorrow's hangover, too. Signs offer a free Lone Star or Bud with an entrée, or you can buy one for $1.50.

The outside of the place is as bright as daybreak, a striped canción of yellow, bright green and red. A Winnie-the-Pooh jump castle beckons from across the street. Inside, beer pennants crisscross the room and conjunto plays from a jukebox.

The menu is an Encyclopedia Mexicana, five pages of huevos, tortas, tacos, enchiladas, seafood and meats of all kinds: goat, pork, tongue, brains, even liver and onions.

Weekday lunch specials run $5.99. I'm hoping the universe will help me decide between chicken mole and carne guisada.

Las Cazuelas. 1701 E. Cesar Chavez St. 479-7911, lascazuelasaustin.com . Hours: 7 a.m. to midnight Mondays-Thursdays. 7 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Fridays-Sundays.