Snooze in Central Phoenix Can't Live Up to the Hype

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, whether it's first thing in the morning or at 3 a.m., because there's something fundamentally optimistic about the act of eating it — even if it's just a humble scrambled egg on toast in your own kitchen.

Colorado-based Snooze, which opened in November at the Town & Country Shopping Center in Central Phoenix, makes breakfast its business. Describing itself as "an A.M. eatery," Snooze offers breakfast and lunch (but mostly breakfast) until 2:30 in the afternoon every day of the week. While the cute factor is a little cloying — "Snooze was born April 2, 2006, seeking to evolve the A.M. dining experience," the menu says — it's easy to root for a place that advertises "Peace, Love, Pancakes."

The prospect is exciting. It's after 11 a.m. on a weekday? Never fear: At Snooze, you can still order a nice eggy dish, or some OMG! French Toast (French brioche stuffed with mascarpone and topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, fresh strawberries, and toasted coconut) at a place that doesn't feel like a generic hotel off the highway or a dim dive with dishwater coffee.

Snooze serves an ambitious menu that winds up feeling slighltly anonymous.
Jackie Mercandetti
Snooze serves an ambitious menu that winds up feeling slighltly anonymous.

Location Info

Map

Snooze

2045 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Category: Restaurant > Breakfast

Region: East Phoenix

Details

Snooze
2045 East Camelback Road
480-725-8000
www.snoozeeatery.com/towncountryaz Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Chilaquiles Benedict: $11.50
Sandwich I Am: $9
French Toast Neat: $8.50
Breakfast Pot Pie: $9

But it's the food that makes or breaks a restaurant, and Snooze, for all the hype, is kind of a snooze itself, serving an ambitious menu that ends up feeling slightly anonymous.

Founded in Denver in 2006, Snooze looks to have its heart in the right place. According to the menu, they "compost, recycle, use recyclable materials, are carbon neutral, and dedicate a % of each sale to our community." They use local ingredients where possible. Their organic coffee is picked, roasted, and flown in directly from Guatemala every week. The restaurant's ceramic coffee mugs have a pleasant heft, as do the plates; it turns out that they are handmade by artisans in Southern California.

The décor, like the menu, is perky and welcoming, Jetsons retro-futuristic mixed with a superficial nod toward sustainability (the walls are the pale green of avocado, the floors look like repurposed pine planks but likely aren't). A counter for single diners and/or people watchers runs along the large window that opens onto the parking lot and there's a large bar area beyond it. After you've waited your turn — and you probably will wait, even on a weekday — you may find yourself seated at an expansive high-backed booth or on a circular banquette at a round table in the center of the restaurant.

The service is unfailingly cheerful, competent, attentive — so much so that I wonder whether there's a cult of Snooze into which these young people have been inducted, one in which they're allowed to have tattoos and the other trappings of hipsterdom, provided they look healthy and smile.

All of Snooze's meats, including breakfast sausages, ham, and chorizo, come from the San Francisco-based Niman Ranch, and the meat dishes I tried, with the exception of the corned beef hash (which is overwhelmed by potatoes), lived up to expectations.

The slightly peppery sausage patty made the Sandwich I Am, a soft pretzel roll piled with scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese; there was no need for the side of smoked cheddar Hollandaise, which is good, because it tasted like mayo. Unfortunately, the hash browns that accompanied the egg dishes turned out to be cute little pucks of disappointment. They weren't billed as low-fat or low-salt on the menu, but they tasted that way.

Of the items strongly recommended by servers, the chilaquiles Benedict in particular lived up to the hype. The barbacoa was as flavorful as advertised — tender and smoky, the right base for perfectly poached eggs, roasted poblano Hollandaise, pico de gallo, and cotija cheese over "ranchero sauced tortillas." But the Breakfast Pot Pie, also recommended, didn't fare as well. I love both breakfast and pot pie, but a few bites in I had to concede that this was a soulless mess. The puff pastry on the bottom was flaky but lacking in substance, and the rosemary sausage gravy, ladled over a few pieces of undercooked carrot, didn't pack the kind of punch gravy has to when it's the star of the show.

Scrambled eggs with jack cheese, pico de gallo, and avocado came out creamy but solid, and the quinoa porridge with bananas was satisfying but unexciting. Our server, a young woman with a star tattoo behind one ear, braids, and a bandanna offered that the quinoa is what she eats because it's less sweet than most of the stuff on the menu.

I ordered the French Toast Neat as an afterthought, only to find that it was pretty much the platonic ideal of the thing: French-toasted brioche with mascarpone whipped cream, seasonal fruit (strawberries, in this case), and real maple syrup.

On a Saturday morning visit with two teenagers, the wait was more than an hour long. The woman at the front of the restaurant who takes names said it's like that at the Colorado Snoozes even on the weekdays, which is why Snooze has the wait thing down to a science: You give them your cell number, and they text you as soon as your table is ready.

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21 comments
Dan Penton
Dan Penton

The ONLY reason that I would return to "Snooze" was if ALL of the far better and plentiful choices to choose to eat breakfast at somehow mysteriously vanished or never came into existence leading me through Snooze's front door in a somewhat "bliss-dull ignorance"; but even then I'd subject myself to the pleasure derived from eating a package of untoasted Pop-Tarts and downing them with a HUGE glass of milk. Snooze is highly over-priced for its never ending list of items covered in Hollandaise, probably to cover up the Snooze-effect offered without it. We ordered a BLT which was essentially an BreadLT, however when we said something to our server, there was literally no wait before she returned with 6 of the biggest freshly cooked pieces of bacon (which is no consolation because that's the way a sandwhich of that price should come; Fully Packed w/ B.L.T.). And the Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes I ordered just see what all the fuss was about came out luke warm and burnt!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter


Snooze has a horrible bigoted anti-homeless attitude, which they got pilloried for in Denver, as exposed by the PNT sister publication Westword.


Boycott Snooze.

Jay Burwell
Jay Burwell

When a poster mentions ever single store outlet in a single posting I have to question it's validity... So here's the truth... Snooze is good, but come on people it isn't good enough to wait outside in the Az sun. At least in Denver you get free coffee. The PHX store needs more seats with shade while waiting...

Amber Platt
Amber Platt

It's good but way too expensive for the small amount of food you get

Mark Hernandez
Mark Hernandez

I love that place ..one of my favorite spots to take the family .

David Finney
David Finney

Snooze has great food made fresh!!! The decor is different and inviting. I would recommend this eatery to everyone!

Nicole Goard
Nicole Goard

Ummm am booze and pancake flights? Check! New Times we get it, you're just too damn cool. I'm sure you'll be happy at a run down truck stop claiming how indie and "real" shit was. P.S. that's old dude pubie in your scramble.

Siobhan Perkins
Siobhan Perkins

Love Snooze, found it when they had only the one in LoDo in Denver, went to the Cherry Creek one when it opened and then was thrilled when it came to Southglenn in Centennial. Since moving back to Az, hit the one in San Diego and made it just once so far to Town and Country due to living in NE Mesa. But thrilled they are coming to Gilbert. Snooze is the best, their pancake flights rock, their benedicts are awesome and you can order one or order two different ones. Their burrito is big enough to feed two to three people and they are great about modifications. Don't listen to their review go and try it yourself, you will be glad you did.

SBrunson
SBrunson

My experience with Snooze has been hit or miss. The eggs Benedict, a hit, the hash browns, a miss. The OMG French toast, a hit, the breakfast burrito, a miss. Snooze is pretty good, just not amazeballs like some people think.

Mary Parrett
Mary Parrett

I'm so glad someone finally agrees that this place is awful. Sub-par food, awful service. Overall terrible experience.

Brad DeHaven
Brad DeHaven

Terrible review! This place is amazing! New times you are getting worse and worse! SMH!

Kori Rutt
Kori Rutt

Snooze is amazing, this is a terrible review!

UraHack
UraHack

Is this a review for Snooze or an advertisement for Liberty Market, you basic bitch?

Tammy Ross
Tammy Ross

Great food and atmosphere the hash and eggs oh yeah:)

Nancy Hill
Nancy Hill

I LOVE snooze... go about once a week... usually mid week. Never had a bad meal. Always super tasty and good service.

Moses Kennedy
Moses Kennedy

I love snooze! Chewy LaVallee and I go there every time we are in town. Only thing better than the food is the staff!

Arcadiette
Arcadiette

What a strangely mean-spirited review. I ate at Snooze this morning, as I have many times recently, and every mouthful was delicious. The space is attractive and spacious, the food excellent, the service upbeat, and I haven't hit a dud in the menu yet. I hope everyone ignores your review and heads out to try this great addition to the neighborhood for themselves.

 
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