Adrian N. Carver is the marketing director and writes on policy & politics at The Paper.

Many Burqueños who frequent Albuquerque’s Downtown were disappointed to see 218 Gold Ave. SW sit empty. The building, formerly home of the Gold Street Caffe, is actually a big reason why Acre owner and chef Shawn Weed decided to expand his NE Heights restaurant to a second location downtown. 

You can tell Shawn is comfortable there as he launches into fond memories from high school getting “a cool brunch with an interesting menu and lots of that ‘90s purple. It was kind of a scene,” he says. That’s why, during the pandemic, Weed seized the opportunity to secure the spot after seeing a for lease sign in the window.

Like the NE Heights location, Acre serves a menu of what Weed calls “vegetarian comfort food.” Posole, bacon, cornbread, chili, apple crumble: a wide variety of the foods that give you that warm feeling of nostalgia. It’s all on the menu. Shawn learned to cook from his grandmother in Indiana, who he says taught him to cook more meals by the time he was 10 than most adults. By the time he was in high school and making memories Downtown, he gained a penchant for cooking professionally. 

Late last month Acre did a soft launch where they featured small versions of their new specials.  The chickpea curry dish, which Weed describes as his take on a chicken curry, comes tossed in a homemade curry sauce with some green vegetables, potatoes and celery for a little crunch. The chickpeas act as that savory kind of rich “chicken,” if you will. It’s delicious, and they plan to serve it in a wrap so you can grab it and be on your way. The posole, which admittedly could never square up to my mama’s, has the flavor of that can only come from local ingredients and red chile. Dessert was a ginger, peach and blueberry crispthe crispy part coming from a delicious and soft vegan sugar cookie.

The brunch menu at Acre is sprinkled with the classics: pancakes, omelets, enchiladas, nachos, burgers, mac and cheese, and there are plans for more! Also serving beer and wine, Acre has the potential to join other downtown brunch greats like Three Sisters Kitchen, Sister Bar and others. It all comes wrapped up in a healthy, fresh, vegetarian bow. Don’t forget to try the carrot bacon!

The Acre—Downtown

218 Gold Ave. SW

$$

Vegetarian

theacrerestaurant.com

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Adrian N. Carver is the marketing director and writes on policy & politics at The Paper.