Welcome to the photo series Eater Scenes, in which photographers visit some of the world's great restaurants to capture them at a certain, and very specific, point in the day. Here now, Daniel Krieger at El Paso's 56-year-old car wash/lunch counter H&H Coffee Shop.
In October 1958, Maynard Haddad's father opened H&H Coffee Shop — a hybrid car wash, shoe shine, and lunch counter — on the very same block where his family lived. Today, Haddad and his brother continue the family business, where for the past 56 years, patrons have been able to drop off their vehicles and enter the diner space for traditional American breakfasts and what some locals call the best Tex-Mex food in the region: plates of chile colorado, caldillo (a green chile steak soup), and burritos stuffed with chorizo, eggs, and picadillo.
But many of H&H's regulars stop by to chat with Haddad himself, a beloved figure in the local community despite of (or more likely, because of) his proudly grouchy personality. As Haddad admitted in a 2011 CBS interview, "I'm not politically correct. I don't play any games, and I don't say things nice. I just tell you the way it is. You either like it or you don't." Eater photographer Daniel Krieger visited H&H on a recent Friday morning, where Haddad and his wife were working at their familiar posts. Krieger confirms Haddad's charmingly "crotchety" demeanor, but says, "When he sees a baby he turns into a sweetheart. I had a great time talking with him over my visit." Catch a glimpse of H&H in the photos above.