Gonna eat that bacon?" A man with a bushy beard and dirty bandanna wrapped around his head peered over the top of his booth, eyeing either me or my plate of food. He was sitting in the booth in front of me with a woman, three other guys and about 20 empty Coors bottles. It was Sunday at noon; I was hungry, hungover and just wanted to eat in peace.
"Yeah, I'm gonna eat my bacon," I replied flatly.
He turned around, slumped back down in his seat and rejoined the raucous conversation he and his friends were having.
About fifteen minutes later his head popped up over the top of the booth again.
"I don't know," he said with suspicion. "That bacon's still sitting there. Sure you don't wanna share a piece with me?"
"I always save it for last," I told him.
"Yeah, they've got gooood bacon here," he said, nodding his head.
Just then, one of the waitresses walked by, presumably on her way to refill my coffee. But she never quite got to my table, as one of the other guys in the booth in front of me preemted her with another beer order and a pat on the ass. My new friend turned back around to join in the fun.
The waitress never did return with their beer and in unspoken terms, the group was "asked" to leave.
Despite the incident, I was glad to be back in my favorite Manitou diner, Mo's.
Back before summer got into full swing, I feared that the place had shut its doors for good. Action around the tiny establishment ceased and things were eerily still. The parking lot sat empty, the windows were covered with thick brown paper and they began ripping the place to pieces. Sections of counter tops, booths, stools and other restaurant refuse sat out front.
The dismantling of Mo's continued for weeks. Fearing the worst, I said my silent goodbyes.
Turns out, much to my relief, Mo's was just undergoing a slight personality change. Mo's Diner is now Mo's Diner and Drinking Establishment. A new counter has been installed; round, red vinyl booths have been added; and a happy martini glass adorns the freshly painted awning.
So Mo's is back, bigger and better than ever. Thus far, I like the diner-by-day, watering-hole-by-night theme.
Occasionally I slink into one of the new red vinyl booths for a bedtime bourbon. It's a nice option. And the purplish blue hue that illuminates the bar as a result of a few strategically placed neon signs is soothing. But I still prefer Mo's for breakfast. It is, in my opinion, what they do best.
Mo's breakfast menu doesn't quite fill a page, but don't be fooled. They've got all the staples and then some.
My usual is eggs, hash browns, toast and bacon, but lately I've been on a hash browns and green chili kick.
All I have to say is, if that guy thought the bacon was good, he'd probably love the hash browns. Cooked to crispy, buttery perfection, it's hard to go to Mo's and not order at least a side of these babies.
The tourists are loving Mo's this summer too. It's got that cute little diner look going on: Cool J-shaped counter, red booths, assorted white-topped, chrome-trimmed tables scattered about, mismatched coffee mugs and lots of local flavor.
Last time I was in there for breakfast, at about 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday, the place was packed. I ended up sitting in the back room, next to a couple from Texas. Because Mo's was so busy it took the waitress a while to get to us. She apologized profusely and bought everyone's OJs and coffee to make good. The Texans gushed about how nice people were out here. At which point they started to talk to me.
I got my food before the Texans got theirs, my latest usual -- with a side of bacon.
The Texnas were still talking to me, staring a my giant plate as I lifted the first forkful to my mouth. So I did what we nice folks often do. I offered them a piece of bacon.