One of my favorite hidden Plano restaurants is in a Tom Thumb parking lot next door to a Liquor Mart. Lily’s Cafe, a family-owned business that opened about two years ago with basically no fanfare. When I stopped by for the first time several months ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the small, warm interior. Rich warm tones bathe the quiet booths and tables. It always feels like morning there.
Lily’s Cafe serves breakfast all day, lunch and dinner, whipping up cinnamon French toast, two-egg combos and burgers, sandwiches and Chef’s salads—your basic cafe food. But the real reason to go to Lily’s Cafe is the smaller Guatemalan menu that hides inside the American one.
Guatemalan cuisine, sister to Spanish and Mayan cuisine, features lots of corn, chilies, beans and characteristically thick tortillas. Lily’s Cafe is one of the few places around where you can enjoy real Guatemalan food like Camarones en Crema de Hongos (a tantalizing plate of shrimp in a mushroom cream sauce), truly amazing tamales, and even Mojarra Frita.
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The Guatemalan breakfast menu is simple, primarily eggs, tortillas, beans and plantains. Huevos con Salchichones is a popular option and my personal favorite: two eggs, grilled pork sausage, black beans, cheese, Guatemalan cream and fried plantains, plus a side of homemade corn tortillas, still hot.
It might not be the most beautiful arrangement of food, but it’s delicious. The plantains are just right. They aren’t too sweet or ripe, but hearty and rich in color. The Guatemalan cream alongside them is just barely tart and the color hints at orange, a fresh addition to the plate. The black beans and savory pork sausage bring it all together on a dense tortilla. Simple, filling and satisfying, this is one of the world’s perfect morning meals.
Lily’s Cafe | 3100 Independence Pkwy., Plano | 972.312.9732