My Favorite Breakfast Spot in Albuquerque: Copper Canyon Cafe


Copper Canyon Cafe on Gibson Blvd SE in Albuquerque, NM

I love food. I love New Mexico. I love food in New Mexico. So I want to highlight some of my favorite places to eat in New Mexico. Here is one of the best breakfast restaurants in Albuquerque: Copper Canyon Cafe

Copper Canyon is located on Gibson Blvd SE across from the VA Hospital. My wife and I recently stopped into the establishment and had breakfast. The service was amazing! The food was unbelievable.

I ordered the corned beef hash and overlays eggs. I added green Chile and onions to my hash which was a great choice. The food came out quickly and I have to say that it was the best hash that I have ever tasted.

The sourdough bread was also the best I have ever had. The slices were thick and the bread was toasted perfectly.

We have returned to Copper Canyon multiple time since our first visit. My new favorite dish is the polish sausage breakfast with overlays eggs and papitas. The sausage is cooked just right and full of flavor. I mix the papaitas (potatoes) and eggs and put a small dab of Chalula on it. My mouth waters just thinking about it.


Awesome sign at the door

We stopped at Copper Canyon on a Sunday at 11:30am and we did not have to wait. We were seated immediately and the food was served quickly.

If you live in Albuquerque, you know how rare it is to find a Sunday Brunch place that does not have a wait.

So check out Copper Canyon if you get a chance. I think you will love it as much as my wife and I do!

***They have a Veteran/ Military Discount too!***

New Mexico’s Hungry ask “Please, NM, can we have some more?”

In Charles Dickens’s classic novel, Oliver Twist, a nine year old Oliver famously asks, “Please, sir, I want some more.” Oliver is described as nine-year-old orphan residing in the parish workhouse where the boys are “issued three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Sundays.”The master he is requesting the food from “was a fat, healthy man.” In reaction to Oliver’s audacity Dickens writes:

The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,

‘Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!’

There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.

‘For MORE!’ said Mr. Limbkins. ‘Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?’

‘He did, sir,’ replied Bumble.

It is amazing how prophetic this amazing tale may have been. Today, we have hungry children and adults all over the great and powerful United States. These vulnerable and suffering citizens are offered minimal assistance by the fat and the rich, yet they are condemned if they ask for more. “Don’t we already give them enough?” or “You don’t qualify for more help” are common phrases spit from the mouth’s of the masters. We live in a country of abundance, yet so many people live with so little. Food should be a basic human right and nobody should ever go hungry.

Hunger is a major issue facing many American’s today and the issue is magnified in New Mexico. Recently New Mexico was named the second worst state in the United States for food security overall and the worst in child food security. A large portion of the population lacks in the basic necessities of nutrition on a daily basis.

Some people may argue that the government provides programs to hungry individuals, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps). The program does reach a majority of individuals who are eligible for the benefits, but there are still many individuals, including children, who do not receive the benefit because they have either not applied or are income ineligible. The benefit provided by the program is also inadequate to provide a family with 3 nutritional meals per day for an entire month.

Food Insecurity

Food insecurity refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecurity is not necessarily a constant and can change from time to time. Many individuals who live in a food insecure household may have to decide whether or not to pay their bills or purchase adequate food.

Feeding America recently published the Map the Meal Gap 2013, in which the organization estimated the food insecurity rates at state, country, and congressional district levels. The organization used food insecurity indicators that included: unemployment rates, median income, poverty rates, homeownership rates, percent of the population that is African American, and percent of the population that is Hispanic.2The data is combined to develop a coefficient which can then be applied to each state, county, and congressional district based on data for those specific areas.

New Mexico Overall Data

The Map the Meal Gap 2013 statistics were based on data collected in 2011. The overall average food insecurity rate for the United States was 16.4%. The results of the data place New Mexico as the second highest percentage of food insecure individuals in the country at 20.1%. The only state with a higher food insecurity rate was Mississippi at 21.4%.

The majority of individuals that are food insecure are eligible for some type of SNAP benefits, but unfortunately there are food insecure individuals that are ineligible for assistance.  In the state of New Mexico, 39% of food insecure individuals are above the Other SNAP threshold of 185% of the federal poverty level.

Even if an individual is eligible for SNAP, the program does not provide enough support to feed a family for one month. According to the data, the average cost of a meal in New Mexico is $2.48. A family of 3 that is eligible for the maximum SNAP benefit will receive $526 per month. When using the data from Map the Meal Gap 2013, a family of 3 would need approximately $669 per month to have adequate and nutritional food. Therefore, the SNAP recipient is receiving $143 less per month than they need. That shortfall amounts to 57.6 total missed meals; 19 missed meals per person in a family of 3; and a total of 6.5 days without food per family of 3.

Food Insecurity by NM County

Food insecurity is more prevalent in some counties in New Mexico than others. There is a 14.8% difference between the most insecure county and the least. The ten county’s with the highest percentage of food insecurity are: Luna 25.4%; McKinley 21.2%; Guadalupe 19.4%; Torrance 18.7%; Cibola 18.2%; Mora 18.2%; Dona Ana 18.1%; Roosevelt 18.1%; San Miguel 18.1%; and Taos 17.7%.

Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation

Overall SNAP participation in the state of New Mexico is 21.2% of the total population while the percentage of food insecurity for the state is 20.1%. There are 442,570 SNAP recipients in the New Mexico as of May 2013. The data collected in the Map the Meal Gap 2013 states that there are an estimated 417,780 food insecure individuals in New Mexico.  Therefore, there are roughly 25,000 more SNAP recipients than food insecure individuals.

 The SNAP participation rate is higher than the food insecurity rate in all but two of the top ten food insecure counties in New Mexico. The chart below identifies the data:


NM County Food Insecurity % 2011 SNAP Participation % May 2013


















Dona Ana






San Miguel






  • Highlighted sections indicate lower SNAP participation than food insecurity

There are six other counties that have a lower SNAP participation rate than food insecurity rate:

Los Alamos












Santa Fe






The food insecurity rate in Los Alamos County is 10.6% while only 2.7% of the county receives SNAP benefits. That means that 7.9% of the food insecure individuals are not receiving food assistance through the SNAP program. Data indicates that there was an estimated 1910 food insecure individuals in Los Alamos County and 72% of them were income ineligible for SNAP. Over 1375 hungry individuals in that county alone cannot use a public benefit because they are ineligible. In Harding County, the food insecurity rate is 13.6% while the SNAP participation rate is 5.2%. Therefore, 8.4% of food insecure individuals are not receiving assistance through the SNAP program.

Between May 2012 and May 2013, The SNAP participation rate decreased in a few counties that were already underserving the food insecure population. The participation rate decreased in: Union       (-45.9%); Harding (-28.8%); Mora (20.4%); and Otero (-1.0%).

 Child Food Insecurity

New Mexico was ranked as the worst state for child food insecurity. There is an estimated 156,930 (30.6%) food insecure children in the state of New Mexico. The state that previously held the number one spot is Mississippi which currently has a 27.4% food insecurity rate for children. The National average is 22.4%.

That means that roughly 1 in 3 children in the state of New Mexico lives in a food insecure environment. What is more startling is that 22% of the food insecure children are not eligible for SNAP. Even though here are 197,054 New Mexico children receiving SNAP benefits as of May 2013, there are 34,525 children that lack access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life but are income ineligible for assistance. Therefore, there are more income ineligible hungry children than the entire city populations of Espanola, Taos, and Las Vegas combined.


The food insecurity rate in New Mexico is an alarmingly high percentage. The public assistance programs put into place to address the issue are inadequate and do not provide enough money for a family to eat proper, nutritious meals. Although the SNAP participation rate is greater than the food insecurity rate, there are some obvious problems in the system.

There are many counties in New Mexico that do not provide enough assistance to the food insecure population. The reasons for the lack of assistance are not clear and could involve many factors. Many hungry children are ignored in the current system. All children should be eligible for assistance regardless of their parent’s income.