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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 27: The John Wayne Breakfast at Gold Rush Cafe

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“Behold,” she says as the plate drops. Lisette Stewart, who's worked at the Gold Rush for a couple of decades, has been pouring coffee and bouncing between tables with energy. This is a breakfast joint where you sit with a cup of coffee, hangover thumping in your skull, and people-watch before your egg pile arrives. Lasagna lives side by side on a menu (that's shaped like a vinyl record) with golden hash browns soaked in green salsa.

Let's talk about what in the world the John Wayne Breakfast is: It’s a meat painting. It's breakfast art. It doesn't matter why it's named after John Wayne because it's a flour tortilla topped with a crispy potato hash, smothered in red salsa, lightened by onions, run through with a sunny side up egg (give it a whack to let loose the golden yolk) and shredded cheddar, saddled up next to two slices of good, greasy bacon. Get extra tortillas and use them as utensils. I plucked at salsa, bright as a garden that’s brimming with cilantro and jalapeños, with tortillas and gripped bacon, and any hangover that lingered dissolved like cotton candy. It's a peaceful thunderstorm of a breakfast. You'll feel a wave of comfort at one of Dallas' oldest diners.

Gold Rush Cafe, 1913 Skillman St.

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