Since it opened in late 2013, Super Chunk Sweets & Treats — Country and Sergio Velador’s acclaimed Old Town Scottsdale sweets shop and bakery — has been carving out a niche as a quirky purveyor of creative treats, including gourmet caramel corn, Nanaimo peanut butter pies, and the shop’s highly photogenic, multilayered small cakes, which are inspired by subjects as diverse as John and Yoko and the ethereal colorscape of an Arizona sunset.
The shop has rightfully earned a reputation as the place to go to splurge on impeccably fashioned creative sweets and desserts that look as great as they taste (Country Velador's desserts are also featured next door at Cowboy Ciao, where she's the executive pastry chef). Starting about two years ago, Super Chunk began to introduce a few light, savory items to the menu, including grab-and-go baked goods like croissants and made-from-scratch bagels. And last year, in the thick of summer, the Veladors debuted their latest project: New Wave Market, a counter-service breakfast and lunch cafe that is just a few degrees shy of being a full-service restaurant.
New Wave Market is located on Sixth Avenue, in a space adjacent to its sister shop (a wall came down to join the two spaces), and it boasts a small, airy dining area and gourmet food market. It’s a beautiful space, with mint-colored seating, shiny concrete floors, and tall open shelves brimming with a carefully curated selection of kitchenware and gourmet food products. It feels, roughly, as if you’ve stumbled onto a Wes Anderson-esque microcosm of faintly vintage color schemes and food wares pretty enough to double as ornaments.
It’s easy to dismiss it all as twee and cute — until you take a bite out of something like New Wave’s ghee-fried egg, which is served on a homemade sea salt bagel. The Veladors are perfectionists. You can taste it in this dish, or more specifically, in the moment in which the beautifully cooked egg, yoke running free, melds seamlessly with a layer of whipped chive cream cheese, the rich, eggy morass punched up by the lovely piquancy of some lacto-fermented hot sauce. It’s a simple yet knockout dish, served on one of Courtney Velador’s dense and flavorful sea salt bagels, which are pleasingly crusty on the outside, with a natural chewiness that deftly soaks up the runny egg.
That ghee-fried egg bagel alone is worth the trip to Old Town. Another compelling reason, though, is New Wave Market’s Hawaiian Bread French toast, which is available during breakfast. It’s made on homemade Hawaiian bread, which is thick-cut and lightly sweetened, and boasts buttery, crisp edges that yield to a softly fluffy interior. You know how some French toasts are too sweet, or too eggy? This one’s topped with measured spoonfuls of tartly sweet blueberry balsamic jam and puffs of mascarpone cream, a combo that brilliantly reins in the sweetness. The bread, for its part, more than keeps its integrity, and slivers of crunchy toasted almonds and brown sugar streusel add subtle pops of crunch.
Not everything registers quite as picture-perfect. A ham and green chile frittata, on a recent visit, was missing the deep, smokey savoriness you might expect from roasted green chiles. The dish is currently going through revisions, my server told me recently, and I don’t doubt the next version will be stronger.
At 11 a.m. the lunch menu kicks in, and at first glance, it seems to be a collection of old-fashioned sandwiches, the likes of tuna, ham, and chicken salad. These are thoroughly modern and homespun reinterpretations, though, creative and very often delicious.
The schmaltz chicken salad sandwich easily puts pasty cafeteria renditions to shame. It features a creamy and decadent bouquet of flavors, with succulent chopped buttermilk chicken wrapped up in a bracingly herbaceous yet rich dill aioli. The aioli-tossed chicken is fantastic on its own, but thin layers of Granny Smith apples and wine-soaked cheddar cheese push the sandwich into a whole new league. The chicken salad is gorgeously spackled with some crackly, fatty gribenes, and the bread is lightly smattered with rendered chicken fat for maximum buttery toastiness. It’s unforgettably good.
Other highlights include the Dynamite Tuna, served on a tender and pleasantly chewy housemade ciabatta roll, the tuna beautifully complemented by the restaurant’s creamy, peppy dynamite aioli. The house BLT, meanwhile, is a simple yet elegant rendition that recaptures the sandwich’s classic appeal. It’s made with Hobbs bacon, which has a deep, smokey-sweet profile and an easy crispness, and some lemon mustard pepper aioli, which defly and unexpectedly adds a nice, bright dimension of flavor to the dish.
A newer sandwich, the Turkey Galantine, is a little less awe-inspiring. It’s made on a dense Black Russian fennel bread, whose deep, complex flavors are close to pumpernickel. The sweet notes of cranberry walnut pepita relish, though, don’t quite gel with the savoriness of the sandwich’s smoked cheddar and rich, Fra-Mani-brand roasted turkey.
On the whole, though, the sandwich menu is wonderful. There’s also a small salad menu offered at lunch, which includes a wonderful chicken Caesar sprinkled with toasted bits of the restaurant’s homemade Everything Bagel.
The Lentils and Kale salad, meanwhile, is flavorful and hearty, with warm lentils served over crispy kale, which is tossed in a light, delicious yuzu dressing. The Elote Chop Salad also has great flavor, with charred corn tossed in a creamy and savory garlic aioli. The salad was heavily dressed on a recent visit, though, and registered more like a slaw than conventional salad.
Thanks to New Wave Market, the Veladors are now also purveyors of fine coffee, gourmet tea, and a few interesting, homemade concoctions. Most standard coffee house drinks are available, which are brewed using locally-roasted Peixoto Coffee. There are also a few singular drink items to note, including a refreshing home-brewed tepache, patterned after the traditional Mexican drink made from fermented pineapple. Another relatively hard-to-find drink is iced cascara, a concoction made from the dried husks of coffee cherries. It’s steeped like tea, and the menu notes that it tastes something like blackberry ice tea. It will not be everyone’s bag, but more adventurous drinkers will appreciate the drink’s deep, earthy tones, which reminded me of hibiscus.
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Of course, the urge to stop by the Super Chunk counter, located just a few steps away from New Wave’s counter, will be hard to resist. Everyone seems to have a favorite Super Chunk dessert, but might I recommend the brownie? It has the gorgeous, melty, deeply chocolatey properties of the very best.
Whether you are drawn to Super Chunk or New Wave Market, it’s hard to resist popping in at the other. There are not much better places to give into your cravings than at Super Chunk, and now also New Wave Market.
New Wave Market
7120 East Sixth Avenue, #20, Scottsdale
Hours: Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sunday)
Ghee fried egg bagel $7.50
Hawaiian bread French toast $8.50
Schmaltz chicken salad $9.50
Dynamite tuna $8.75