We begin this year’s Naturalist Journey’s Southeast Arizona Tour this Saturday, May 5th, timed well for Cinco de Mayo celebrations and for Migratory Bird Day. Highlights of this popular tour include scenery of Arizona’s Sky Island mountain ranges, a host of birds and mammals more aligned with Mexico and living here at the north of their range, and… breakfast at the Casa!
Waking up at the Casa de San Pedro is a delight, with smells of fresh coffee brewing and brilliant jewels of birds like their mascot, the Vermilion Flycatcher, right outside the door. With coffee in hand, we watch hummingbirds at the feeders, or stroll over to the San Pedro River, a vital corridor for migratory songbirds. Never are we too far from smells waifting out from the kitchen. When birders ask their guides “can we go back now” at the peak of migration, you know that good food is calling. Served in their southwestern-style dining room at two hand-carved tables where conversation flows freely, we relish hearty fare prepared with care from scratch.
They always start with fresh seasonal fruit cup, some wonderful tempting hot, homemade muffin, scone or buttermilk biscuit, and juice, tea (lots of choices), and coffee.
From here, one would need a week to sample their secrets. As this is one of Naturalist Journey’s all-time favorite lodges, blogger and company owner Peg Abbott has eaten breakfast at the Casa dozens of times, yet she says it would be hard to pick her favorite entrée. Here is a sample of some of what a fine Casa morning may hold:
- Eggs Casa with a side of Ham and Salsa: Eggs Casa is their signature dish – a crustless egg and cheese pie with mild green chilies, corn – a very satisfying dish.
- Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes with link sausage: Their most requested recipe – the Oatmeal gives the pancakes a slightly toothy texture, light and fluffy too. And, they serve it with real pure maple syrup (warm).
- Lavash Eggs – the Casa’s version of eggs benedict – lavash flat bread with sour cream, cheese, bacon strips topped with poached eggs and hollandaise. Decadent!
- Baked Oatmeal – oven baked oatmeal baked with shredded apples, walnuts, craisins and cinnamon. Served with link sausage and scrambled eggs.
- Spinach Quiche: A traditional quiche with flaky crust, spinach and a touch of nutmeg, which they serve with bacon.
- Mexican Eggs: They start with a freshly made tortilla, top with a stripe of non-fat refried black beans, bacon strips, cheese (melted), topped with scrambled eggs, green enchilada sauce, and diced tomatoes, chopped olives and sour cream.
Proprietors Karl Schmitt and Patrick Dome have hospitality down to a science. Their Inn gets a LOT of repeat business, and to no surprise, many of the guests (including Naturalist Journey’s owner Peg Abbott) put in their requests for favorite breakfasts.
While fabulous birding brings us to the Casa next week, we can highly recommend the Casa de San Pedro year-round. In the non-birding season, we linger longer at breakfast!
By the way, plan ahead and come enjoy this – next year’s Naturalist Journey’s tour is open for booking, May 4-11, 2013.