When I was in Phoenix I visited Matt’s Big Breakfast, a little family owned restaurant a few blocks from the heart of downtown. It wasn’t easy to find and looked like a tiny little square nothing building with a little sign you could barely see. I was in Phoenix for business and was out on a walk in the 110 degree heat looking for this place but since it was closed and nothing was going on in that part of town I nearly missed it. I decided to go there sometime during the week.
I saw a Food Network Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives where Guy had visited Matt’s and raved over the food. I couldn’t remember what he ate and I didn’t look at the reviews before I went.
I walked over there on a Wednesday morning about 7:30 and walked right in. I later found out people typically wait an hour or more for a table. The place seats about 40 people max, including the counter, and is very cozy. The menu said it all, “Food tastes better when prepared simply and with better ingredients, high quality, cage-free eggs, local organic produce when possible, etc.” The menu was fairly simple–about 7 items but everything made from scratch.
I had the special that day, grilled pork tenderloin with poached eggs and hollandaise on a bakery English muffin. (Matt’s is across the street from the public market where he gets local bakery breads) It was served with his special home fries, yukon gold potatoes fried with rosemary and carmelized onions. Everything about this breakfast was outstanding and despite my plan to eat only half of it I ate the entire thing! No lunch that day and a light dinner followed.
Everything he makes is just right. He makes the pancake batter in small batches, hand mixed, from scratch and cooks the waffles to order. He gets his pork from a place that doesn’t “supply” restaurants so he pays retail for it and it’s really good. He uses real maple syrup, heated, and local preserves for the toast, which by the way, is local bread he slices thick. He changes up the bread all the time as well–sour dough, multigrain, walnut/raisin)
Anyway, as I sat there I was inspired by his simply place, the delicious food, and the idea that if I could have my own restaurant this is what I would do. (well, not exactly, but the small, freshly made idea)
I found it remarkable that people come from miles around and wait for up to a couple hours on weekends to eat this breakfast because this is the way I cook at home! As good as it was there was nothing unique about his food. I think people have never eaten really good food and don’t know how to make it. I’m always perfecting pancakes, waffles, omelets and buying really good breads, local preserves, organic pepper bacon, etc. so my family eats like a Matt’s Big Breakfast patron every weekend. One day I may open my own place with really good breakfast and lunch, adding my own Asian, Southwestern, Tex-Mex creations. Something to think about…….
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