Secret City Kitchen to expand operations at UNM-LA

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Since the Secret City Kitchen opened a café in the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Student Center in November 2016, students, university employees and community members have enjoyed the convenience of having a restaurant on campus.

Owner Jeremy Varela’s menu of breakfast and lunch items has a regular following of customers, and draws new customers every day.

Initially, the Secret City Kitchen operated the café as a satellite service, with their main catering kitchen in a different location. Recently, Varela centralized his operations at UNM-LA.

“I chose to locate the Secret City Kitchen on the UNM-LA campus to make an investment in the community,” explained Varela. “It was a way to fill a need for food service at UNM-LA, and also to complement their facilities rental program by offering on-site catering.”

“This is the best place in Los Alamos to host meetings,” Varela continued.

Currently the Secret City Kitchen serves made-to-order food from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Their selections combine southwestern flavors with Indian influence, thanks to chef Sanaa Ahmed. In the near future Varela hopes to provide more salads, cold sandwiches and ready to go items in the café. The café menu can be viewed at secretcitykitchen.com.

Secret City Kitchen also serves espresso drinks and selected baked goods. Ahmed is joined in the Secret City Kitchen by J.D. Beddo, a Los Alamos native who has returned after spending time working as a chef in Taos. Ahmed and Beddo thoroughly enjoy preparing food, serving it to customers and hearing their comments.

In addition to the café menu, the Secret City Kitchen offers Tapas at Bathtub Row Brewing on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m., family-style dinners on Wednesdays and catering. All food is now prepared in the UNM-LA kitchen, and customers can pick up their pre-ordered Wednesday dinner on campus.

UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney said, “We appreciate the opportunity to expand our working relationship with Jeremy, Sanaa and J.D., and the increased hours and new menu items they have added.