March 2016 - The Cut: The Shop
This little joint has been in business for two years now. That’s the point that most restaurants are either out of business or established and set to make it. The Shop looks like it will make it.
It’s not fancy. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch. Most days, though, there’s a full house of customers enjoying the simple menu that is done with meticulous care. The Shop is the kind of operation that just may be the savior of the Albuquerque food scene: Funky and unpretentious, but with a skate-punk DIY ethic that puts quality of food over ambiance.
The walls are covered with local art (for sale) and the industrial floors hint at the theme, or lack thereof. The menu is straightforward: breakfast and lunch. However, the individual dishes are made with attention to detail, local ingredients wherever possible and plated in a style to be expected of far more expensive restaurants.
The biscuits and chorizo gravy are filling and satisfying with just enough spice to put a smile on a New Mexican face, as are the Green Chile Eggs Benedict. There is a nice list of sandwiches ranging from the Cubano (with house-made pickles) to the Duck Confit. The confit (cone-FEE) is duck poached for hours in its own fat. Rich and unctuous, it pairs perfectly with the acidic dressing.
The downside? Service can be slow, especially during peak hours. The Shop’s obviously tight margin means that often some of the dishes are unavailable. Get there early for a shot at the Duck Confit. All in all, this place has what it takes to win regular customers and show Albuquerque that it doesn’t take millions to create a place in New Mexico’s culinary landscape.
The Shop Breakfast and Lunch
2933 Monte Vista Blvd. NE (Central and Girard, behind the Taco Bell)
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.