Matt’s BIG Breakfast – A Breakfast Renaissance in Phoenix

The food is big, the restaurant isn't.
Matt's Big Breakfast, located in a relatively nondescript part of
downtown Phoenix has no trouble luring diners looking for good,
hearty, down home breakfast and lunch cooking into its two small, but
very pleasant dining rooms. Fortunately, waiting in front for a table
to open up for a small group of six on a Sunday morning was not the
least bit unpleasant, after all, this was Phoenix in November. Had it
been July, the story may have been different.

Once seated with menus, choosing proved
difficult, as there were simply too many mouthwatering choices. To
solve that problem, we ordered a few extra dishes for all to taste
and share. Prices are reasonable enough that we didn't have to worry
about breaking the bank.

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Most of us started with a glass of
fresh squeezed Arizona red grapefruit juice, possibly the best
grapefruit juice I have ever had. Between the delicious citrus fresh
from our friends' garden and this juice at Matt's, I have become a
believer in the Arizona citrus industry. It may not get as much
notice as California, Florida or even Texas, but from my experience
those industries don't have anything over what I have tried in
Arizona as far as quality.

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The food started coming out and quickly
filled our two small tables. I am never one for quantity over
quality. Matt's offers both. I believe that unless one is a vegan, it
is impossible to leave this restaurant hungry or dissatisfied. While
there was no lack of quantity (The restaurant is aptly named), the
well-trained Matt Pool (formerly of Chris Bianco's Bar Bianco), his family and staff , know their business
and how to do it well. They don't source their product from Sysco or
other mass suppliers. The restaurant primarily gets its top quality
ingredients directly from the best area farms such as McClendon's for
citrus and producers such as The Pork Shop the area offers. From the
special scrambled eggs with jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and pork
tenderloin to the pancakes to the home fries to the sausage to the
pesto-marinated pork chop to the hash browns to the chicken sandwich,
everything was top notch. The only slightly disappointing dish was
the breakfast sandwich with bacon, fried egg, cheese and onions on a
roll. Perhaps preferences are different in Phoenix, but this was one
dish that in my opinion could have easily been better. It wasn't that
the ingredients weren't top notch. They were. As I have it back east,
where the breakfast sandwich originated, I would have preferred the
roll to have been grilled and the cheese melted. Despite not meeting
my preference, the sandwich was still good owing to its quality
ingredients.

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Matt's Big Breakfast is the kind of
place that before the advent of fast food, one would think was common
place across the country. Unfortunately, it is not common place any
more. To be sure, good breakfasts can still be had almost anywhere,
but finding a good straight forward breakfast combining the elevated
quality, ambiance and enjoyability of Matt's BB has become all too
rare. So rare, in fact, that even in July, I would likely find it
worth the wait.

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