I Can Eat 50 Eggs: Dart Bowl Cafe

 
In honor of Paul Newman and “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ll review 50 days of eggs from 50 different restaurants.
 
Day 6: Dart Bowl Cafe
4700 Grover Ave. 5459-4181, www.dartbowl.com.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday. 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. or later Friday-Saturday. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.06.12
 
The first Robert Earl Keen song I ever heard was “Front Porch Song,” and it plays in my head every time I’m at Dart Bowl: “This old porch is just a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas, with lots of cheese and onions...”
 
He didn’t write that line about Dart Bowl, but it fits their fabled enchiladas. Three corn tortillas rolled around yellow cheese, drowned in brown chili gravy with ground beef. They show up on a steel plate inside a black plastic charger with handles to stave off that Tex-Mex condition called “hot plate.” The comically small steel plate can barely hold them, seething like a living thing ready to mix it up with your memories and your constitution, testing whether you’ve had too many bowling-alley beers or smoked the cigarettes that lend the lanes their hue and aroma even though it’s been years since anybody lit up a Pall Mall in here.
 
The only way to make Dart Bowl’s enchiladas better is to add a pair of eggs sunnyside-up, like smiley faces blessing your $6.95 guilty pleasure. When you break up the eggs and swirl them with the dirty sundown still-life of enchiladas, it’s beyond coyote ugly. But scoop up it all up with Dart Bowl’s dense, sweet homemade toast and it’s a plate that writes its own anthem, with 10-pin percussion for full effect, with iced tea and a waitress who will smile every time.
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
 
I Can Eat 50 Eggs index