Bianca Martinez – College of Arts & Sciences
Squeaking hardwood floors, the sound of indie music and the aroma of freshly baked muffins fill the room of this small coffee shop. For the last 16 years, this business has been serving Albuquerque locals all over town. Born and raised in Albuquerque, owner Nancy Roberts opened her doors in 1996 in the heights area. Now located east of Broadway on Central, the old-fashioned theme café goes by the name of The Daily Grind.
Tucked away between two buildings, it’s easy to miss the light orange stucco walls, dried chili peppers and lawn chairs out front. Space is limited, which gives the place an exclusive feel. Inside, the painted olive green room is the perfect spot to gaze out of its big glass windows onto the busy street of Central. Being in this room feels just like eating breakfast outside your own front door. The next best place to eat is the patio in the back. Completely hidden behind metal gates and long dark walkways, this tiny backyard looks as if you stepped right out of town. Colorful plants, huge umbrellas and a rocky landscape can be found in this area. The Daily Grind offers a different type of atmosphere to customers. It’s a spot to relax and enjoy a chai latte in the fall or an ice cold lemonade in the summer.
If the appearance doesn’t attract you inside, the food definitely will. Desserts and pastries are freshly baked daily and displayed to catch the eye. I’m more of a lunch person, but breakfast is my favorite time to come to The Daily Grind. The lite special is perfect for someone like me, who prefers a later meal to an early one. This brunch includes in-season fresh fruit, a toasted to perfection bagel and a side of mouth-watering yogurt. Now, it may not seem like much, but this meal will completely satisfy your hunger, in a healthy way too. If you are a breakfast person, this place is just for you also. One meal they offer is huevos. This dish includes an omelet on a flour tortilla, beans and your choice of red or green chile. With fluffy eggs and the flavor of New Mexican chile, this dish will leave your taste buds craving more. Not only is it filling, but the taste is like a homemade meal.
This café also offers lunch. Customers are able to create their own sandwich. The meats are sliced, veggies are chopped and the spreads are evenly distributed on the bread to create a perfect sandwich. Customers are also given the choice from a selection of salads. The Waldorf Salad is a house favorite with its diced apples and split walnuts, along with dried cranberries and mix of greens covered in vinaigrette dressing. Besides the food being delicious, it is also affordable. All plates are priced below ten dollars. This is perfect since the location is just down the street from the University of New Mexico. College students can get the best for what they pay for.
The Daily Grind has served to people of all ages. Since the move from the Heights in 2006, Roberts serves to a younger crowd and works with one too. “I love being able to work with young people, but it’s great to work with people that I care about,” Roberts said. She said both locations attracted a different crowd, but work never slowed. Downtown is unpredictable, which makes her job more entertaining.
The Daily Grind is perfect for breakfast or lunch lovers. For any Albuquerque local, specials are offered daily to ensure satisfaction. The Daily Grind is different from most cafes in town. With the unique atmosphere, affordable dishes and enjoyable meals, there’s no doubt that you’ll keep coming back for more.