“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” That weight loss axiom subtitles the signage at Weekdays Restaurant. As its name implies, Weekdays is open Monday through Friday, but only for breakfast and lunch, making it easy to live up to the aforementioned axiom. Located on Fifth Street just north of Lead Avenue, Weekdays occupies the site which previously housed Cafe Green, a 2012 casualty.
Weekdays has been in business for more than two decades, but isn’t widely known outside the downtown area south of Central Avenue. Because it’s not open on weekends, it’s not as much a “destination” restaurant as it is a “neighborhood” restaurant, the type of which has a home-away-from-home feel. Or at least that’s the case if playful banter is part and parcel of your homelife. To say the wait staff has personality is an understatement. From servers to cook, these folks make having a good time an inclusive process.
Another likely reason Weekdays isn’t the destination restaurant it should be–especially considering its quality and ambiance–is that its former home was within PNM’s Alvarado Square office complex on Silver Avenue just south of Central. Lifelong Duke City residents can’t tell you where that is. In its freestanding location on Fifth, diners who can break away on weekdays (apropos) are in for a treat.
Breakfast is served from 7AM through 10:45AM with a menu worth waking up to. New Mexican plates such as a quesadilla and sunrise tacos are a popular draw. So are traditional favorites such as French toast and oatmeal or you could have an omelet or scramble. There’s a section on the menu dedicated to breakfast burritos and sandwiches. Then there are Patti’s Sweet Cakes, a pastry case with fresh baked daily treats like scones, muffins, cupcakes, cookies and more. The lunch menu is segmented into four areas: New Mexican favorites, burgers, sandwiches and salads.
The green chile cheeseburger is tall and thick (half-pound of 100% natural USDA beef) with a single beef patty that’s larger than the two patties on the Big Mac (I’ve only seen them). It’s the type of burger you have to squish to eat. The next thing you notice about the burger after the shock and awe over its size is the presence of the green chile. There are green chile cheeseburgers in New Mexico in which the green chile portion of the name is a misnomer. This isn’t one of them. The chile isn’t especially piquant, but it’s got a fresh roasted flavor. The chile is blanketed by a slice of thick Cheddar and a crisp lettuce leaf. The only downside to this burger is that it’s grilled to a very well done state.
The New Mexican Cheese Steak has similar qualities. The green chile makes its presence felt immediately with the fresh, fruity, flavorful qualities that make green chile New Mexico’s favorite vegetable. As with the green chile cheeseburger, the beef (described on the menu as “seared”) is served well done. Instead of moist and juicy, it’s a bit on the dry side. Served on a French roll with melted Cheddar cheese, it would also benefit from grilled onions and chopped green peppers. Both the green chile cheeseburger and sandwich are served with your choice of sides: French fries, coleslaw, potato salad, chips or cottage cheese. The French fries are quite good.
From the pastry case it’s impossible to pass up those cupcakes. The top of the cupcake (America’s most beloved part) completely obfuscates the bottom part, overflowing with buttercream icing. The chocolate cupcake topped with a strawberry buttercream frosting sprinkled with coconut is big enough for two though you might not want to share it. The buttercream is applied thickly, but isn’t as cloying as the frosting at grocery store cakes.
If Weekdays is in your neighborhood, you’re in luck. If it’s not, visiting during a day off will have you wishing it was.
319 5th Street, S.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 23 April 2014
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: Green Chile Cheeseburger, New Mexico Cheese Steak, Chocolate Cupcake