I recently found myself at work early, long before the sun rose over a still-empty office parking lot, plugging away on never-ending list of to-do’s that I really needed to get done before the day was out.

The morning slogged on, and right about the time stomach suggested to my mind that it was time to start pondering lunch, I found that instead of a sandwich, salad or burger, I was looking for something else: breakfast from the Southwest Diner.

Southwest Diner’s menu hits many of the high points of New Mexican cuisine, from green-chile cheeseburgers to breakfast tacos. But, I’m particularly taken with their breakfast burrito, stuffed with potatoes, fluffy scrambled eggs and a personal favorite - additions of hearty slab bacon and calabacitas (a mixture of squash, onion and corn).

The dish is potent at any hour, but those in the know will ask for it served up “Christmas style,” resting atop opaque pools of smoky red and spicy green chile sauces that capture the soul of this unique and beautiful Southwestern state. Looking to go all out on this dish? Ask for it “enchilada style” as well to ensure the burrito is smothered in sauce and cheese - a gut buster of the highest order.

Yet, as good as this burrito is, I find it gets even better if you order up a side of onion rings as well. The rings, cut thick and fried golden brown, may arrive tableside on their own, but I’ve found them to be tailor made for alternating dips into Southwest Diner’s chile sauces. Unorthodox? Maybe just a little. Right at home when you’re eating breakfast for lunch? You bet.

Southwest Diner, 6803 Southwest Ave., Ellendale, 314.260.7244, southwestdinerstl.com

Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.

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