Best of Burque Restaurants 2016
The best reason to wake up hungry.
The best reason to wake up hungry.
The much-celebrated Albuquerque/
When it comes to breakfast food in Albuquerque, we want it fast and filling. Blake's Lotaburger, an institution since 1952, has been instrumental in popularizing this hunger-smashing, hangover-curing miracle food. Make ours a #2 with extra Hatch green chile!
2) Golden Pride
Readers were unable to choose between the flapjacks at Albuquerque's ever-expanding empire of “bigger than your head” breakfast dishes and those served up at Downtown's trendiest casual eatery. At Weck's you can get 'em in a pancake sandwich, stuffed with bacon and eggs. Filling! At the Grove, they're served with fresh fruit and crème fraîche. Fancy! Just depends on your mood, we guess.
It kinda goes without saying that a full-fledged “waffleria” has an advantage over other so-called “restaurants” that only dabble in the crisp batter-cake category of foodstuffs. Tia B's has sweet waffles, Tia B's has savory waffles. There are six different waffle batters to choose from (wheat/buttermilk, blue corn/buttermilk, buckwheat/sour cream, rye/sour cream, multigrain/milk, rice/coconut). And don't even get us started on the toppings. It's enough to make your waffle-loving head explode!
French toast, mench moast. There ain’t no winners here. Know why? Because you’re all winners.
It's an egg fight! (Which sounds like a particularly messy way to start your day.) But The Egg & I and Le Peep, our city's two most ovoid-obsessed restaurants, have tied. So, whether you like your eggs scrambled, over-easy or whipped into an omelette, there are at least two great choices in our fair city.
Bacon, bacon, bacon! The perennial fave in this category continues to be Gold Street's gold standard of morning munchies—the mouth-watering red chile-glazed bacon. If that doesn't get you out of bed in the morning, we don't know what will.
Egg white fritattas? Greek yogurt and house-made granola? Steel-cut oats with quinoa and buckwheat cooked in almond milk with banana, dried blueberries, walnuts, coconut, cinnamon and brown sugar? Goodness gracious, that does sound healthy! We'll have two, thank you.
Evidently, Downtown's newest, hottest, third wave café (honestly, we're still not totally hip to what that means) is the best place to get your bean on. There, you can order an espresso flight, sit on a dodecahedron, surf Wolfram Alpha on your laptop and gaze up at a really cool mural by Thomas Christopher Haag. It's like you're living in San Francisco. Without the Uber surge pricing.
2) Zendo ArtEspresso
3) Michael Thomas Coffee/Epiphany Espresso
Can't decide between breakfast and lunch? Back we go to Downtown's sunniest cafe/market. Thought those steel-cut oats sounded good? What about an open-face prosciutto and burrata sandwich with housemade sauerkraut, salsa verde, sunny-side up egg and sesame seeds on toasted whole wheat? Heck, we're just gonna go over there right now and be super indecisive.
We have another Highlander-style battle on our hands. A lot of our readers say Range Cafe is the best place to carbo-load on fluffy biscuits drenched in gravy. An equal number say Weck's is the only breakfast nook in which to add those extra calories. Who will emerge as the victor? You can watch the knock-down, drag-out fight. We'll be over here scarfing down both orders of biscuits and gravy.
Murphy's takes the blue ribbon for best chicken fried steak without much argument. Why? Because you don't argue with a deep-fried steak the size of a fat baby, covered in enough gravy to drown a professional swimmer. Question: Where does such a chicken fried steak sit? Answer: Anywhere it damn well wants. And you certainly don't question its right to the crown. Not if you want to keep that pretty face. From what I hear, all of the contenders took one look at the monstrosity and said, “Thanks, anyway. I'll try again, next year.”
According to experts, hash browns and homefries actually come from the same place: a humble tuber known as the potato. Although less flashy than its peers—like the overzealous turnip or the presumptuous carrot—the potato has been a starchy, down-to-earth staple for humans for at least as long as Weck's has been open. And according to our readers, nobody slings hash like Weck's. Hell, after making our taters to order for 25 years, they couldn't help but learn a few tricks. Smother them in chile, cheese, onions, whatever. No one will stop you. It's madness!
If you're one of those people who's too good to eat a pancake at 9pm, then we don't want to know you. We don't even want to pretend we notice that smug, nose-in-the-air attitude you carry around like some gold-plated badge. It's weighing you down, kid! Let it go! As a start on your long road to humble re-education, we recommend an easy segue: huevos rancheros at Range Cafe. Sure. It's basically just scrambled eggs, but here they dump on some blue corn tortillas, cheese, fries and beans—meaning you could easily mistake it for dinner. The perfect gateway drug.
Really? No one had anything to say about the best cure for a hangover? We found it odd, to say the least, considering all the painfully dried out people one finds wandering throughout Downtown on any given Monday morning. We suggest a raw egg and Tabasco, or a greasy breakfast, or a ton of water. Of course, the truth is you probably already know one, but have decided to wait and talk about it behind our backs when we leave the room. Typical.