For restaurants located in downtown Albuquerque’s Arts and Entertainment district, centered along Central Avenue and Gold Avenue west of First Street, downtown revitalization, a ten million dollar infusion of energy and creativity, has been both a dichotomy and a dilemma. Daylight hours bring a diverse swathe of white- and blue-collar diners to those restaurants, but after dusk, the downtown demographic is more of a “20-something” crowd, many of whom are more interested in the area’s bustling nightlife and youth-oriented clubs than they are in dining.
While many downtown restaurants shutter their doors at dusk, others have embraced the youthful energy of the nocturnal crowd and their pursuit of bar-hopping, live music and social discourse. Among them is Adieux Cafe, a gastropub which opened its doors in June, 2013. Adjacent to the Effex nightclub, Adieux’s hours of operation–11AM to 2AM Monday through Friday and 5PM to 3AM on Saturdays–are convenient to the most energetic of party-goers and day workers as well. A shared door between Effex and Adieux allows revelers to access the gastropub when the munchies strike at unholy hours (at my age, that’s anything past 10:30).
From street level, Adieux isn’t much to look at. In fact, you might not (speaking from personal experience) immediately grasp that the window signage reading “Ac” is short for Adieux Cafe. If you don’t stumble over the sidewalk chalkboard (more personal experience) and actually read it, you’ll be treated to such iaconic aphorisms as “don’t eat the yellow snow.” Provided traffic isn’t blocking your view, take a gander across the street at the KiMO Theater, the Pueblo Deco picture palace operating since 1927. There’s nothing else like it on Route 66.
Step into Adieux and you’ll find a contemporary milieu belying the plainness of the gastropub’s exterior. There’s a lot going on within the 2,000 square-foot complex. Televisions tuned to the requisite sports channel are strategically positioned for viewing. Thankfully the volume is turned down so you can enjoy conversation instead. Periodic “meet the artist” functions are held prior to displaying artwork on the walls. Seating is more utilitarian than it is comfortable, but at least it’s not in personal space proximity.
The menu is divided into seven sections: apps (appetizers), salads, happy hour (4PM to 7PM), wraps (whole-wheat or sun-dried tomato tortillas), sandwiches (with chips), open-faced sandwiches (with chips or salad) and paninis (with chips or salad). More than a perfunctory effort is taken to appease vegetarians, too, and not just with salads. It also speaks volumes that this gastropub knows how to prepare and present its unique and creative sandwiches in more than the conventional “ingredients between bread” fashion. Even better, your server won’t balk if you want something on the wraps menu prepared between bread instead.
Perhaps shortened for the vernacular style of the Twitter culture and its economy of words, all menu items have one-word names prefacing very thorough ingredient descriptions. There are only four items on the appetizer menu, but they cover a nice range of flavor profiles. The “Anti” (short for antipasto) platter will appeal to most diners with its pleasing variety of meats (pepperoni and prosciutto), vegetables (artichoke hearts, olives, beets) and cheese (brie) served with garlic hummus, Balsamic olive oil and toasted baguettes. The only shortcoming with this appetizer is that it may leave you wanting more, especially of your favorite ingredients.
My philosophy on ingredient substitutions at restaurants is that the chefs generally know better than I do what goes best together, but on rare occasions my mind’s eye envisions something better with a slight adjustment or addition. Sometimes my mind’s eye is a Mensa and sometimes it’s a dunce. Listed on the open-faced sandwich section of the menu, the Rusty is a compilation of ingredients (agave-roasted figs, prosciutto, arugula, olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and shaved Parmesan) which should go very well together. Better even, I surmised, on the top rustic Italian bread prepared panini style. While quite good, the overwhelmingly dominant flavor is of the figs–and it would have been the dominant flavor whether served open-faced or conventionally. There isn’t enough cheese to serve as a complementary foil (speaking from lots of experiencing in combining figs and cheeses).
Much more successful in the “have it our way” modification effort is the Guido. Listed on the “wraps” section of the menu, my friend Bill Resnik determined this sandwich is too manly to be a wrap and ordered it between the rustic rosemary bread. It was a rousing success spearheaded by the pillowy soft, absolutely delicious rosemary infused bread (one of four breads available along with baguette, sourdough, ciabatta and honey wheat). The Guido, as good an Italian-inspired sandwich as you’ll find in Albuquerque, is constructed from pepperoni, capicola, salami, Provolone, pesto aioli, lettuce, tomato and onion, a melange of ingredients which go so very well together. If Bill regretted splitting sandwiches as we usually do, he was too kind to say.
Given the option, eschew chips and opt instead for a salad. Constructed from crisp, fresh greens, chopped tomatoes, a sliced cucumber, what makes this salad special are the housemade dressings: Ranch, blue cheese, Russian, thyme red wine vinaigrette, champagne vinaigrette, Balsamic vinaigrette, raspberry vinaigrette and lemon Parmesan. The blue cheese dressing, though applied a bit penuriously, is excellent, offering a lively sharpness that accentuates the freshness of the salad ingredients.
The Adieux Cafe offers a number of enticing food and adult beverage specials. On weekdays, it’s eight dollars for any sandwich or wrap, including an iced tea or soft drink. Appetizers are half-priced on Mondays. Taco Tuesdays mean two dollar tacos and two dollar Pabst Blue Ribbon (this will get Bob of the Village People’s attention).
The Adieux Cafe isn’t solely for wise night owls jonesing for a great sandwich. It’s a breath-of-fresh-air departure from the all too commonplace bastions of Boar’s Head products which lack the ingenuity to create sandwiches with imagination.
420 Central Avenue, S.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 8 May 2014
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: The Guido, The Rusty, Anti
7 thoughts on “Adieux Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)”
El Brute: appreciate your giving a shot at the ‘d’ in ‘fridge’ per Frigedaire. Alas, maybe the guy/gal had a touch of dyslexia as do I, cuz the “d” is well after the “g” in contrast to ‘fridge’. Otherwise, there is no ‘hidden’ meaning!
~ No I do not read Vogue…altho there is nothing wrong with that…but the news that was battered around all of the other day was about an article Monica had written about her previous experiences in life which “news” experts of all stripes were having a field-day playing psychoanalysts as they often are erroneously prone to do, including real live psychiatrists and psychologists who have no research based evidence to back up their blatherings…off the top of their heads. I.e. hearing ‘Monica’ repetatively, my New England accent slipped using “monickah” instead for the word ‘name’.
Be all that as it may, the Dedicating ceremony this AM for the 9/11 museum was exquisite and is well worth watching newsplays in the hours ahead and a visit lest anyone be going to NYC…Lest We Forget.
Will try Adieu out but on a related note, did Mr. Sushi go “adieu”? There is new signage at their place on Juan Tabo. Wondering if it is a new place/new folks running it.
Bobo, the term fridge comes from the brand of refrigerator called the Frigidaire (notice the “d”?)
I know you go back to the original icebox era so I’ll excuse you this time.
You have once again caused more head scratching with your question ” how come there is no “D” in refrigerator?”.
I don’t know B-A-L, you tell us, and at the same time tell us what meaning, hidden or otherwise, is there.
Do you read Vogue to hone your sense of fashion?
I would have guessed Motor Trend with its article “Dressing to match your old Firebird, achieving the 60’s look on a budget”.
PBR?!?! Ya must be yankin me chain!!! Gastropub…by Merriam: “a pub, bar, or tavern that offers meals of high quality.” Obviously she meant that it goes without saying ya serve high quality beer with “meals of high quality”…otherwise, why have a distraction which might keep Folks like El Brute away? (Speaking of Whom: I was able to buy a single bottle a Beck’s Dark last eve and it is chillin in the fridge for later taste testing…say how come there is no “d” in refrigerator?)
~ Indeed, the monicker (sorry, been watching too much repetative “news” about an article in Vogue of late) “Adieux” is enough to make me want to go to query about it. To me there is a certain finality to “Adieux”, given a more common translation being “Farewell” in contrast to “Au revoir” having a bit of “See ya later or again!” Along those lines, you’d think someone would’ve named their New Mexican restaurant “Hasta la vista!” or “Bienvenidos”…closest to the latter being in Lancaster, Texas…LOL
(Except for missing their hours, nice KISS website http://adieuxcafe.com/ showing additional descriptive pics and offerings to be contra to one’s perceptions of today’s ‘downtown’. A further lure, if one’s never been, is it being a reason to drop into the KIMO http://tinyurl.com/aucq8ne across the street (Wednesday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)for a free looky-see of the Pueblo Deco decor, which is, IMHO, worth an “Oooo & OMG !”
Sorry Gill …. Adieux translated means “goodbuy”? Gastropub brings to mind pickled eggs and beer. I’m sure their food is better than that. Just kidding … RFS
FYI…Dieu is French for God and Dieux means Gods. The word adieu comes from “à Dieu”, and is used to mean basically “see you in heaven”. The original intent was definitely that the people would never see each other again. I have heard that it was used frequently by emmigrants leaving France for the New World when they said goodbye to their friends and family.
Adieux translates as “Farewell” in Google Translate. Adieux is also a surname.
Possible meanings to the restaurant name:
Food of the Gods?
See you later (or not)
Damn fine cafe in downtown Albuquerque <==
Perhaps the owner of the place would like to weigh in?