Best Upscale Breakfast (2002)

Cafe Ted

Cafe Ted is one of the most beautiful restaurants we've ever seen. That has a lot to do with its tranquil setting, off a private garden in an office complex in the high Sonoran Desert. Rather than following signs, we hunt the place down by following the slinky aromas of freshly baked muffins, Italian coffees and homemade cinnamon coffee cake. And what a beautiful way to start the day. The menu here is a creative offering of upscale American favorites, Italian coffees and an endless number of flavored espressos.

Breakfast is big. The office crowds flood in for starters like two poached eggs perched atop fresh-baked cornbread biscuits so rich, cheesy and kernel-clustered that they deserve their own billing. A "fiesta" hollandaise sauce is thin but rich, studded with tomatoes, and we make our own Benedict by adding slabs of Belgian bacon, four nicely salty pieces served with seasoned cherry tomatoes. Another wonderful reason for braving the dizzying daylight is the pancakes, three large orbs infused with lots of earthy nutmeg. We get ours topped with fresh, tart raspberries, alternating bites with strong hot coffee. Ted's at the head of the breakfast class.

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