It’s been said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast fuels the brain and body to prepare it for a busy day. Now, North Central residents have three eateries that are specializing in breakfast—and for those later morning eaters, lunch.
The former cafe, “Two Hippies,” at 4306 N. 7th Ave., changed its name to “Melrose Kitchen” last February. Boonchai Siriswangporn and his wife, Martha Mendoza, own the place but decided to change the name because of the many other restaurants in Phoenix with the same “Hippies” name.
“There was a lot of confusion,” Siriswangporn explains. The other places offer pizza but not breakfast, and all of them were getting confused callers trying to order food from the wrong restaurant.
Since the eatery is located in the Melrose District, the name seemed like a natural choice. His wife told him, “If we change the name we can’t keep the same menu.”
So the couple added eight new items to the breakfast menu and some daily specials. “We have a lot of specialties: steak and eggs, Huevos Rancheros, beans, and two kinds of homemade salsa,” Siriswangporn says. Mendoza adds, “The green is really spicy and the people love it!” You can also build your own omelet, including a vegan omelet. The buttermilk pancakes and pecan waffles are popular items as well.
On the lunch menu you will find an expanded list of appetizers, panini sandwiches served on sourdough, and several new salads including Chicken Taco Salad and Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. Non-meat eaters can nosh on the Veggie Wrap, and just in time for the winter you can find homemade soup on the menu.
Siriswangporn says they cater to shoppers who come to enjoy the Melrose District antique shops. “We try to preserve the sixties-style diner with great food.” Plus, prices are competitive and the portions large. Regulars will notice several small changes that have made a big difference such as real silverware and plates (no more plastic), less cluttered walls, and a great change in the patio area, which is still pet friendly.
The restaurant now closes an hour earlier, at 3 p.m., since the owners found the lunch crowd thins out around that time. Free Wi-Fi is available. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Call 602-274-0079 or go to: www.melrosekitchenaz.com.
Head a few miles east and you’ll discover that Denver-based Snooze has opened its first Arizona location, inside the Town & Country shopping Center, 2045 E. Camelback Road, #A17.
Snooze has built a diehard following thanks to its from-scratch, chef-crafted take on traditional breakfast and brunch favorites, served all day long. Diners can choose a “flight” of pancakes, try the house-made breakfast pot pie in rosemary sausage gravy, enjoy eggs Benedict topped with spicy barbacoa beef and decadent cream cheese hollandaise sauce, and many more unique breakfast and brunch offerings. Adult diners can wash it all down with a latte, a local craft beer or even an MMM MMM Mimosa, featuring Snooze Sparkling, Odwalla OJ and Pama Pomegranate Liquor.
Plus, each location features Snooze’s signature colorful atmosphere and retro-futuristic décor, best described as The Jetsons meets Happy Days. Guests also can unwind on the expansive, tree-shaded patio running extending from the façade down the entire length of the restaurant. And as always, Snooze will offer free coffee and games of cornhole to anyone waiting for a table.
Founded by Jon Schlegel, aka The Host, who runs Snooze along with his brother Consigliere/CFO Adam Schlegel, the Snooze concept was built on a commitment to sustainability, from incorporating as much locally grown food as possible to recycling and composting more than 90-percent of all waste from every store. But it was actually the third member of the team, CEO / “Old Major” Dave Birzon, a longtime Valley resident, who helped bring Snooze to Phoenix.
“David really brought to light what an incredible, artsy, independent and culinary-driven city Phoenix is,” Adam Schlegel says. “Innovative mixologists, artisan bakeries, farm-to-table restaurants, light rail transportation, and young, tight-knit communities committed to building their neighborhood—it felt fun, familiar, and like home.”
Snooze works closely with charities, giving back 1 percent of sales annually and plans to partner with charities such as Not My Kid and St. Mary’s Food Bank, the oldest food bank in the world.
Snooze is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serving breakfast all day and brunch all day plus a full coffee and cocktail bar. For more information, call 480-725-8000 or visit www.snoozeeatery.com/towncountryaz.
If you keep heading east you’ll find Essence Bakery at 3830 E. Indian School Road—another eatery focused on breakfast and lunch. While it’s fairly new to this part of town, the owners have had a long history of feeding folks in Tempe.
Eugenia Theodosopoulos and her husband, Gilles Combes, bring 17 years of combined restaurant and catering experience to this new location. Each morning at 3 a.m., the staff is busy baking the day’s breads and pastries. It’s the reason they chose to focus on breakfast and lunch.
“It’s kind of hard to do both,” Theodosopoulos says of their early hours. “How much do you want to work?” She adds, “We want to offer freshly made baked goods and organic foods. We’re doing what we love!”
The menu proclaims, “We are proud to serve local and organic as much as possible.” The owners also compost and recycle. They serve organic beef from Wilcox, produce from local vendors and use Olive Oil from Queen Creek. Also on the menu are vegetarian and vegan options. Eating healthy food is the couple’s personal commitment to their restaurant.
The Big Breakfast is just that, big and filling. Two organic eggs come over-easy or scrambled with a crispy mashed potato cake, homemade sausage and sautéed mushrooms deglazed in white wine. Homemade toast and jam round out the meal. Add a latte or cappuccino for just a few more dollars.
Lunch is a combination of Greek, French and American foods and offers a variety of homemade seasonal soups. The Local Power Ranch Beef Hamburger is grass-fed beef with tomato and arugula on a toasted roll served with balsamic mayo. Vegan lunch options include hummus served with cucumbers rather than bread.
“We offer alternatives to people who have diet restrictions,” points out Theodosopoulos. You can also request soy rather than milk in your coffee.
Being a bakery, the dessert menu is appropriately large and includes French macaroons and chocolate croissants, among other delectable pastries. “We just serve food that we like to eat,” Theodosopoulos says.
See the entire menu at www.essencebakery.com. Breakfast is served 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and weekends all day. Lunch is served 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Call 602-296-4958.