Sunnyside Up Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sunnyside Up for Breakfast and Lunch

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us ev’ry day, it will brighten all the way
If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life.”
~Keep On The Sunny Side Lyrics

According to Statistica, a leading provider of market and consumer data, in 2019 the per capita consumption of eggs in the United States was 207.1 eggs.  That’s up from 177.7 eggs per consumer in the year 2000.  In a 2019 survey conducted by YouGov, an international research data and analytics group, respondents indicated their most preferred way to consume eggs for breakfast is scrambled eggs (36%).  Other choices were eggs over easy (18%), sunny side up (12%), eggs over medium (11%) and hard-boiled eggs (6%).

In 2021, Zippia, a resource for job-seekers, used Google Trends, to determine what egg preparation each state eats a disproportionate amount of (ostensibly the most popular way to eat eggs).  Google Trends showed that as the favorite egg dish in 18 states, scrambled eggs are the most popular way to eat eggs by far.  Sunny side up is second most popular among 14 states.  New Mexico was one of seven states (along with Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Florida, Pennsylvania, India and Minnesota)  preferring eggs over easy.

The Bright and Airy Cafe

Only Eat This, Not That!, a leading health and wellness brand, even listed huevos rancheros as an option for the most popular way to eat eggs in every state.  Using Yelp data, Eat This, Not That! discovered that huevos rancheros was the favorite way to eat eggs not only in New Mexico, but in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Minnesota.  Only omelets, which ranked highest in 27 states were more popular than huevos rancheros.

As interesting as it may be to cuss and discuss data purporting to tell us how we like  eggs, enjoying them for breakfast or lunch is a better use of your time.  Fittingly, one Albuquerque’s best restaurants in which you can do so is called Sunnyside Up.  With a menu showcasing eggs in just about any way you can have them, Sunnyside Up is an egg-lover’s dream.  Whether you’re craving huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, frittatas, egg sandwiches, egg scrambles, omelets or just about any other way to prepare eggs, you can find them at Sunnyside Up.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

For its first eight years in Albuquerque, Sunnyside Up was a franchised satellite of (and was named) The Egg & I, a Colorado-based chain.  In September, 2019, owners Jessica Tafoya and Brittany Bilek broke the chain and rebranded their restaurant as an independent. Sunnyside Up is located immediately next door to Chili’s, another popular national chain.  Literally across the parking lot is the Sheraton Uptown.   Whether you dine inside the bright and airy dining room or on its patio, you’ll be well attended to.  Katya, our server, was very knowledgeable and accommodating.

17 September 2021: You’ll find a whole day’s worth of calories in the Sweet Indulgences section of the menu.  Each item is served with two eggs made-to-order, your choice of two strips of bacon or sausage patties and warm syrup.  Choose one of Sunnyside Up’s large signature pancake breakfasts topped with butter if you’re a professional gurgitator or have an army with whom to share them.  We tried in vain to eat an apple cinnamon pancake (diced apples and crunchy granola baked into one whole wheat pancake sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with housemade cinnamon butter), but gave up after a few forkfuls.  As pancakes go it’s a good one.  As a two-person buffet the size of a manhole cover in one item, it’ll tame even the most hungry.

Mexican Omelette

17 September 2021: At the recommendation of the lovely Katya, my entree choice was the Mexican omelette (chorizo, green chiles, onions, Jack and Cheddar cheese topped with red or green chili sauce, sour cream and herbs. Served with seasoned ranch potatoes and a flour tortilla), a crescent-shaped behemoth generously encasing enough ingredients to give the chef a workout.  Despite the atrocious spelling “chili,” both the red and green have enough bite to get your attention.  Your affection will likely be more reserved for the seasoned ranch potatoes, cubed tubers dressed like a loaded baked potato.  These are terrific potatoes.

17 September 2021: My Kim’s choice was a special showcased on a table tent.  It’s too bad the Monterey Bacon and Avocado Benedict (diced bacon, green chile, onion, spinach, fresh sliced avocados piled high on two housemade jalapeño corn cakes two poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, more bacon and dressed greens) isn’t on the daily menu because it’s special–or at least it probably is if prepared the way the chef intended.  Instead of poached eggs, my have-it-her-way bride Kim asked for fried eggs.  She eschewed the Hollandaise sauce altogether.  Prepared to order at her exacting specifications, this modified Benedict dish is still a winner.

Monterey Bacon and Avocado Benedict with Fruit

Visit Sunnyside Up on a Saturday and you might think the restaurant is celebrating the University of New Mexico’s homecoming.  You’ll certainly be seeing red.  On Saturdays, the entire staff is wearing the red and silver colors and emblems of UNM.  Guests who are similarly attired receive a ten-percent discount.  Alas, staff members who don’t wear a UNM shirt don’t receive a discount.  It’s a lesson learned for this employee of New Mexico’s flagship university.

21 October 2023:  Espying a “Classic Reuben” on the menu, I immediately studied the ingredients that make up one of my very favorite sandwiches in the universe: corned beef (or turkey), melted Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing and Bavarian sauerkraut on grilled rye.  It’s so rare to find a Reuben actually made with Russian dressing that the term “Classic” has a more liberal interpretation.  More often than not, most Reuben sandwiches are made with Thousand Island dressing.  So,, what’s the difference? Russian dressing features horseradish and chili pepper, making it spicy.  Sweet pickle relish is a key ingredient in Thousand Island dressing, which makes it sweet.

Classic Reuben with Seasoned Ranch Potatoes

Though Sunnyside Up’s “Classic” Reuben is made with Thousand Island dressing, not Russian dressing, you wont mistake it for anything but a Reuben…a very good Reuben.  Layers of moist, thinly sliced corned beef, perfectly grilled light rye, tangy Bavarian sauerkraut and a generous amount of Thousand Island dressing make it a wonderful (albeit not Classic by definition) Reuben.  It’s one of the very best you’ll find in Albuquerque.  As with all sandwiches on the menu, it’s available with seasoned ranch potatoes, chips or dressed greens.  The seasoned ranch potatoes are very good.

21 October 2023:  For some reason it rankles me when a menu lists its turkey sandwich as an “Albuquerque Turkey.”  Sure, it rhymes but save for the city’s criminal element, there aren’t many turkeys in the Duke City.  It didn’t bother me at all that Sunnyside Up named its turkey sandwich “Arizona Turkey” (turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, mayonnaise, Jack and Cheddar cheese on grilled sourdough).  Every element on this sandwich works like a well-conducted orchestra.  The crispy, salty and sharp bacon more than makes up for the turkey (which, let’s face it, is rather bland).  The moistness of the mayo and richness of the avocado complement the just slightly tangy sourdough.  It’s one of the very best turkey sandwiches we’ve had in New Mexico.   Maybe this one would even be worthy of being called “Albuquerque Turkey.”

Arizona Turkey

21 October 2023: You may have noticed the salad partially obfuscated by the Arizona turkey sandwich.  It’s a sald that should be up front and on display.  The chicken spinach salad (spinach, all-natural chicken, bacon, cranberries, raisins, feta, red onions, diced apples and toasted walnuts tossed in a lemon vinaigrette dressing.  If you like a multitude of flavors–salty and sharp (feta), sweet (cranberries and raisins), smoky and salty (bacon) and tangy (diced apples and lemon vinaigrette dressing), this is a dressing that will appeal to you.  No one ingredient or flavor profile dominates.  Instead, the combination of flavors works in harmony to give you one of the best salads in Albuquerque.

For eggs eggsactly the way you want them and portions large enough to feed the UNM Lobo football team, Sunnyside Up is an eggcellent choice.

Sunnyside Up
6909 Menaul Blvd, N.E., Suite A
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 888-3447
Website | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 21 October 2023
1st VISIT: 17 September 2021
COST: $$
BEST BET: Monterey Bacon and Avocado Benedict, Apple Cinnamon Pancakes, Mexican Omelette, Classic Reuben,  Arizona Turkey, Chicken Spinach Salad
REVIEW #1239

4 thoughts on “Sunnyside Up Cafe – Albuquerque, New Mexico

  1. Tried their Biscuits and Gravy today and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I’m not talking Chef Marie Yniguez quality biscuits, but compared to other mere mortal offerings they were very palatable. Hot and crispy, not doughy. The copious (yes!) sausage gravy had a nice flavor. The dish comes with two eggs and diced potatoes mildly spiced; a lot of food for the price. The restaurant was so busy when I arrived that I almost went elsewhere. I’m glad I didn’t. The wait for a table and later the food wasn’t long. In spite of the craze, the staff were all calm and professional. I’m accustomed to not always being treated well when I am dining solo. (A waitress friend told me once that women are reputed to not tip well.) That has never been the case here; I have always received excellent service. Kudos to the owner and staff.

      1. Either that or travel with a pint of Mary & Tito’s red sauce. If you have to jump start your heart, it might as well be flavorful.

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