We've spent the last year in the laboratory putting Phoenix under the microscope to reveal hundreds of specimens of the best culture, outdoor adventures, shopping, dining, and nightlife the city has to offer. And we're finally ready to publish our results. Nerd alert! Now presenting Scientific Phoenix.
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Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Scottsdale: Orange Table
Chef Elizabeth Meinz dishes up hearty, top-notch morning fare at this cheerful neighborhood spot practically hidden away in the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza. Popular breakfast items include bananas Foster French toast and red flannel hash with corned beef, roasted beets, and potatoes, but flapjack fans should make sure to order up Meinz's killer jalapeño and pecan pancakes. See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.
Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Central Phoenix: Dick's Hideaway
Lucky for us, the fire that took down the original location of Richardson's in 2009 spared the kitchen, meaning its secluded spillover lounge, Dick's Hideaway, could keep on serving up its crazy-good New Mexican fare for breakfast. Breakfast is served every day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and diners can grab one of the few available seats (and get familiar with their neighbors, fast) before selecting from platefuls of exceptional eats like pork chops braised in green chile with eggs, huevos rancheros, homemade green chile meatloaf, or one of several kinds of eggs Benedict (go with the stellar carne adovada version with jalapeño Hollandaise sauce). See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.
Best Neighborhood Breakfast, North Phoenix: Perk Eatery
To Michigan transplant Pauline Martinez and husband Carmen, owners and chefs of Perk, the cheerful little eatery in a strip mall off Greenway Parkway, breakfast is serious business. Serving up a satisfying and stick-to-your ribs selection of hearty American breakfast favorites with a twist, the couple also offers daily specials that are just as tempting. Crowd favorites include homemade corned beef country style hash, the French and flavorful Fancy Pants Scramble, and crispy potato pancakes served up with applesauce, sour cream, or a little of both. See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.
Best Neighborhood Breakfast, South Phoenix: Morning Glory Cafe
It's a glorious morning every morning when your farm-fresh breakfast comes from Maya's Farm -- which should be easy given that the farm sits right next to this pretty al fresco patio in the back of The Farm at South Mountain. It's not out of the way at all (just a few minutes from downtown Phoenix), and a.m. eaters can help themselves to a cup of self-serve coffee before digging into scrumptious homestyle eats such as stellar seasonal omelets, buttery French toast, locally made sausages, house-baked muffins and pastries, or rustic breakfast chili made with local beef and tepary beans. See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.
Best Neighborhood Breakfast, West Valley: Amuse Bouche
It's Sunday. Wake up, gas up the jalopy, fire up the ol' GPS, and get yourself to this strip-mall, French-inspired bistro in Surprise for the one day of the week it serves breakfast. One of the best in the Valley (and not just the West Valley), there's nothing too fancy here, but everything is prepared perfectly. Eggs Benedict ($12) is just one of the home runs -- thanks to the sublime Hollandaise sauce. Four kinds of crepes -- including the delectable bacon and tomato and Jack cheese -- are brimming with flavor, and eggs Florentine are colorful and fresh-tasting, thanks to wonderfully sautéed spinach. See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.
Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Southeast Valley: Liberty Market
Sure, restaurateur Joe Johnston's friendly and always-bustling counter-service restaurant in downtown Gilbert serves up exceptional platefuls of a.m. eats, like a three-egg Sicilian scramble with oven-roasted tomatoes and Italian sausage, decadent slices of griddled bread pudding with espresso syrup, and a unique bacon substitute of grilled, flattened meatballs. But it's his top-notch biscuits and gravy that we can't get enough of. See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.
Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Tempe: Essence Bakery Cafe
In a downtown jam-packed with beer, frozen yogurt, T-shirt shops, and places to get your nails done for $10, it's a relief to know a civilized breakfast awaits. Best known for her amazing French macaróns (and quickly gaining notoriety for her croissants) chef/owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos presides over a fabulous morning menu in a lovely, low-key setting. See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.
Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Downtown Phoenix: Astor House
We love the Coronado District's Tuck Shop. And now, when it comes to tasty a.m. eats, we love its new sister restaurant and next-door neighbor, Astor House, just as much. The little counter-service eatery in a renovated home is just as laid-back and approachably cool as the Tuck, making it perfect for enjoying a tidy selection of sweet and savory breakfast offerings including Biscuits & Grillades (Southern beef gravy over two buttermilk biscuits), Red Flannel Hash (beet, potato, and root vegetables with egg), and Apple Boxty (grated apple and potato pancakes with a healthy dollop of mascarpone). See the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app here.