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  • Writer's pictureLeslie Prichard

Dave's High Desert Grill

Dave's High Desert Grill review Albuquerque, NM
Dave's High Desert Grill Review

Today's post is a bit different from my usual blog posts. Years ago I wrote restaurant critiques, but stepped away from it for a while. However, I recently stumbled upon a restaurant that deserves a shout-out because it is truly so good...Dave's High Desert Grill located at 5200 Eubank Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM.

I'm not going to lie, I had to think twice about doing this review and not for the reasons you might think. When you find something you value and love, sometimes you’re inclined to hide it away and not share it with everyone. With restaurants, shouting praises can be a two-edged sword. On the one hand, I'm hopeful I can drive new business their way so they will stay open and I can enjoy this restaurant for years to come. On the other hand, if they become too popular, I may never get to eat there again without waiting in long lines. But I'm brave and I'm taking the chance. My convenience be damned because you all deserve to experience Dave's for yourselves.

The location is convenient, easy to park, and is the site of the old Barley Room - for all you long-time Albuquerque residents, if you know! The interior is fresh, re-painted, cozy, and inviting. There are many four tops and six tops throughout, and booths along the back wall with bright images of a sunset, the standard view from the high desert in the heights. It also boasts an expansive patio scheduled to open when the weather warms. They will feature live music on the weekend, something we all crave more of in the summer. And there is no need to worry about the New Mexico heat, the solid patio cover and umbrellas should keep us all cool as we jam along to our talented local artists who can use exposure and venues to perform. My summer plans are looking up!

I've eaten at Dave's twice now. Once for lunch and once for Saturday brunch. When I dined there for lunch, it was a weekday and the restaurant was somewhat busy but only about a third full which is always a bit concerning. At that time, I wasn't thinking about writing a review, so I only ordered soup and salad. The mushroom soup was creamy and tasty, with a light cream sauce. The salad was a standard dinner salad, so I can't say much other than the lettuce was crispy and fresh...and for salads, that is a must. My friend had the Huevos Rancheros and judging from the clean plate at the end of lunch, she had no complaints.

The second time I ate there was on a Saturday, and it was a packed house. The servers were hustling and doing their jobs expertly and with a smile. I had the quiche which came with fried potatoes and fruit. The quiche was perfection, and I am a bit of a quiche snob. The eggs were light and fluffy with a perfectly cooked crust, absent the slightest hint of overcooking. It was crispy with an airy texture and not a chewy breading that some quiche crusts end up with. The potatoes were soft and seasoned well, not too salty. The fruit cup was not at the top of my list as a favorite because it had too many sliced apples for my preference. I would have loved more cantaloupe or watermelon along with the pineapple, which was a treat. My son had the breakfast burrito and left nothing on his plate. He reported that the green chile was perfect in temperature and flavor. Again - Albuquerque - if you know!

The service on Saturday was impeccable. Our server, was a sweet and friendly young lady, and I regret not recalling her name, although she introduced herself. She was on top of our order and refilled our drinks with perfect timing in spite of working many tables which she did it with ease and a pep in her step. The manager, who is new, started a few weeks ago and was welcoming and ensured the entire restaurant was enjoying their meal and running smoothly. The price was typical of any restaurant today, $12-14 for brunch entrees. They also run drink specials. It was $10 Bloody Mary day when I was there. Perhaps we can convince them to do a Bloody Mary Bar or Mimosa Sundays. They also serve non-alcoholic beer, which was refreshing to see and I hope more restaurants follow suit with this and add the option to their menus.

Overall, I give Dave's a hearty thumbs up, to translate, that's five stars for me. I hope we all patronize this restaurant and keep it in business for many years to come. I've watched a few restaurants in this location come and go, so I hope Dave's has the secret recipe to keep this tasty fare in our neighborhood. I know we will be back and I cannot wait for the live music and the warm New Mexico summer nights.


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