Iconik Coffee a classic with great patios, good food » Albuquerque Journal

Iconik Espresso a basic with nice patios, good meals » Albuquerque Journal

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The newly expanded patio at Iconik Lupe is a superb place for laptop computer loungers or an informal lunch date. (Molly Boyle/For the Journal)

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Even previous haunts the place you’ve memorized the menu could make for uncomfortable out of doors eating choices today, relying on the feng shui of their patios. Not too long ago, nevertheless, the verdant exterior setups at each of Iconik Espresso Roasters’ Santa Fe places have made me really feel extra at dwelling than ever.

The al fresco areas at Iconik’s industrial-chic Lena Avenue flagship and at Iconik Lupe, its newer, baroque-bohemian Guadalupe Avenue outpost, benefit from their completely different environs. At both café, beside rafters and planters vining with flourishing flora, it’s doable for laptop computer loungers or informal lunch dates to absorb a relaxed sense of socially distanced well-being. That feeling of safety is aided by constantly attention-grabbing meals and well-made drinks from menus that share the identical DNA, however have advanced into completely distinct experiences.


The unique Iconik menu has expanded and contracted over time because it opened in 2013, although it hasn’t run too far afield of its most heavy hitters. Breakfast consists of such requirements as a burrito or a Benedict alongside veggie-celebratory standouts comparable to shakshuka or a ratatouille breakfast bowl. Lunch and dinner characteristic salads, sandwiches and gussied-up classics: sliders, tacos and a patty soften. However on two visits over the previous month, it was a fleet of newer, Asian-inspired entrées that stood out.

One afternoon in midtown, wildfire smoke and gusty winds may need dominated out patio eating elsewhere. However the concrete rectangle alongside Lena Avenue has grown into its landscaping to really feel like a vined oasis and the shaded portal offered ample shelter from the chaotic climate.

A few steaming bowls of noodles positioned on a small desk have been completely executed, too. A heap of silken ramen ($10) in a miso-coconut broth was topped with pink peppers, mushrooms, kale and a poached egg. The Malaysian laksa ($9) went one other means with rice noodles, a verdant coconut curry, and fibrous greens accented by cilantro, pea shoot sprouts and lime.

A rosy-pink salmon filet ($12) was completely cooked and well-portioned below a candy sprinkle of ponzu sauce and black sesame seeds, alongside a frivolously buttery mélange of toothy cauliflower, broccoli and carrots over fluffy white rice. A facet of citrus-spiked shishito peppers ($6) have been buttery and piquant, and each plates have been quenched by Iconik’s delicate iced teas (lavender mint and apricot brandy, $3.50).

Throughout city, on the fringe of the Railyard, Iconik Lupe was carved out of a cavernous Catholic faculty and opened two years in the past. The café’s newly expanded patio spills from its Artwork Deco, wrought-iron-lined concrete ter

The Okonomiyaki waffle at Iconik Espresso Roasters makes for an uncommonly good savory breakfast. (Molly Boyle/For the Journal)

race right into a grassy, shaded out of doors annex of tables. In every single place you look, makeshift planters sprout a riotous jungle of tomatoes, sunflowers and herbs.


The inventive hybridity of the 1929 constructing’s structure appears to encourage its small breakfast-lunch menu, which is equally eclectic. That interprets into feats of fusion delicacies, suhc because the Okonomiyaki waffle ($10.50), derived from a Japanese pancake containing shreds of cabbage, waffled with thin-sliced ham right into a crisp delicacy.

The horchata latte at Iconik Espresso Roasters is made with Mexican rice milk scented with cinnamon. (Moly Boyle/For the Journal)

It’s ribboned with tangy mayo and soy sauce, scattered with scallions and radish, and topped with a yolky poached egg – and it’s an uncommonly good savory breakfast. Pair it with one other triumph of hybridity – the horchata latte ($5.25), a cinnamon-scented elixir of the Mexican rice milk and sprightly espresso.

A Lupe fan favourite is the Egyptian dukkah avocado toast ($8), which quantities to a savory salad of combined greens and juicy cherry tomatoes over a dense slab of natural multigrain sourdough. The bread is slathered with avocado chunks and showered with a heady spice mix that features dusted pistachios – add one other impeccably poached egg for $2.

With Lupe’s new tacos ($4.50 every), you’ll be able to go in two instructions: Mexicana, a fluffy scrambled egg, chorizo and Gruyere striped with chipotle aioli or Bim Bop, with a bit of Korean BBQ beef over a tuft of white rice with sprouts and sriracha. A extra virtuous fill-up, nevertheless, is the Grainbow Bowl ($12), which appeared like three nourishing mini-meals in a single. Its medley of grains and veggies is anchored by beautiful pearls of gluten-free tabbouleh, a dollop of red-chili-flavored hummus, cucumber, tomato, feta, slivered almonds, pistachios, parsley and yellow-curried cauliflower.

Evidently many Iconik loyalists got here for the attention-grabbing espresso and stayed for the wonderful meals – relaxation assured, nevertheless, that the espresso has not suffered. Iconik roasters put third-wave espresso brewing methods on the map in Santa Fe, and the corporate continues to chart new territory, beanwise. The Lupe and Lena places are at the moment the one locations in America to quaff the brand new Costa Rica Honey F1 Hybrid, a barista instructed me excitedly. Her enthusiasm was infectious as she eagerly described the complexities of this honey processed espresso, through which espresso cherries are left to dry with their fruit coating on, permitting them to retain sure sweetnesses and acidities.

A smart Folgers drinker would possibly scoff at Iconik’s wild-sounding tasting notes (for the Costa Rica, it’s inexperienced apple, blackberry jam and puff pastry). However a brewed cup ($3.25) of the Costa Rica from Lupe jogged my memory why folks hunt down specialty espresso within the first place. One sip was startlingly brassy on the entrance, then mellowed right into a extra caramel, sticky toffee place. Towards the top of the cup, I tasted the puff pastry precisely.

That is nerdy stuff, however it’s price stepping into for those who dig complexity. Like a well-designed patio, a cup of espresso can comprise multitudes.