Not Your Everyday Special: Order It
Somewhere along the line breakfast got boring. Cereal, oatmeal, toast, eggs, bacon, orange juice – grocery store quality; too often and too fast. Certainly not daily. And it’s hardly ever the smorgasbord from utopian 50’s era family ads, either. You can’t pretend that because you buy Frosted Flakes at the market you’ll somehow cook up the rest, so most are lucky if their schedule allows even a two-course combo of the aforementioned.
But there is a brick-laden cube that cooks up the best breakfast around and (aside from what you’ve read of this already) it defies the need any for any introduction. Matt’s Big Breakfast is a diner that’s as much of a home team here in Phoenix as the Diamondbacks and Suns. It’s home to the “aforementioned breakfast” where the basics are done exceptionally well. There’s five-seater bar, the utopian ads are framed right there on their walls, and you can even get a bowl of frosted flakes (not kidding – swimming in Clover milk with banana slices). You know Giant Coffee in Downtown that I’m so proud of? They share an owner in Matt Poole.
But save the flakes for the less adventurous kids. Steal a scoop now and then if you think they wont notice (only if its your own kid, though).
It’s easy to get into a routine at Matt’s, though. Once the pancakes, always the pancakes some say. But I’ve got one straightforward message to deliver: you should order the special of the day.
You definitely don’t have to, of course, but if you’re like me and you’ve made it through the staples (fluffy pancakes, bacon and eggs trick), it’s best you treat yourself one step further. Be impressed by their (often) egg scramble specials that incorporate a little creativity. Sometimes it’s the chewy, crisp artichoke sausage with your eggs, or the chipotle sausage mixed in with pepperjack cheese melting eggs and complete with a warm tortilla (one waiter’s all-time favorite). Most recently it was canadian bacon, fontina cheese and baby spinach. I’ve become comfortable with adventure at Matt’s and I don’t ever break a sweat with an order – generally there aren’t many ingredients I wouldn’t eat. Best of all, the scrambles still come with homefries or hashbrowns (they do it best – those crispy, shredded potatoes bathing in the best butter around). After exploring for months I’ve yet to try the “Chop & Chick,” a couple fried eggs and a skillet-seared pork chop cooked in pesto.
Our home team diner roots local, too. All of your basics that build a good breakfast don’t travel very far; eggs come in from Chino Valley, some meat from Niman Ranch. You spread fruit preserves that are made in-house on soft bread from Wildflower (I recommend the sourdough because the healthier whole wheat option ends up slathered in butter anyhow). Sometimes Matt’s Big Breakfast happens at lunch time after class, and I’ll finish every bite. But every other time I won’t get to that second slice of sourdough toast, but I’m happy to wrap it in a napkin and nibble on it on my way home. Or right up the street to Giant for coffee.