Where: Sip Coffee & Beer House
When: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7 a.m. to close Sunday
Dish: Breakfast Sandwich
Price: $7.20 (including tax and tip)
The Setting: Sip Coffee & Beer House, 3617 North Goldwater Road in Old Town Scottsdale, has a funky, hipster-friendly vibe. The interior is a lot like that of well-loved Central Phoenix coffee shop and hangout Lux, offering the same eclectic mix of seating — long tables, couch/coffee table areas, two-tops — all mismatched but with a vintage feel. Even with all the seating, Sip still seemed spacious because the tables weren't on top of each other, and there was a decent amount of open space on the way to the outdoor patio.
The Food: Sip offers a succinct breakfast menu, with only three items. Two of the three feature a bagel, and a breakfast burrito rounds out the selection. We chose the breakfast sandwich, advertised as local eggs, American cheese, roasted tomato vinaigrette, and organic arugula, served on a toasted everything bagel. While adding ham or bacon was an option for an extra $1, we stuck with the vegetarian version since neither of the baristas really recommended the meat add-ons. The coffee house/bar also offers a coffee selection, beer, and cocktails.
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The Good: Sip featured cool décor, and it would be a nice place for a breakfast date or for camping out and getting work done. Once music was turned on, it felt much more natural and easy (when we first arrived, the room was eerily quiet).
According to the coffee house's website, Sip also hosts open mic nights and live music weekly. It's a venue we'd check out for a nighttime event — we imagine it'd be a nice alternative to Scottsdale's bar and club scene, and cocktails like the Jamaican Me Tipsy (Cana Brava rum, strawberries, lime, and simple syrup) and the Headless Horseman (Copper City bourbon, Smith & Cross rum, pumpkin syrup, AZip figgy bitters, and orange peel) sound worthy of a try.
The Bad: The breakfast sandwich was truly terrible. From the cakey supermarket bagel to the complete lack of salt and pepper throughout, nearly everything about the dish was a disappointment. Although the menu advertised this sandwich as coming with a roasted tomato vinaigrette, the sauce was missing all the pungent goodness you'd expect. When we tasted the sauce on its own (because it was indiscernible otherwise), it was bland and tasted like smushed, unroasted, unseasoned tomatoes. The arugula, which would have added a peppery flair to the sandwich was actually spring mix. It didn't add any flavor whatsoever and seemed out of place. The slab of egg on the sandwich was ample, but it seemed microwaved — fine but not the most enjoyable. Because of the lack of flavor throughout, the misrepresentation on the menu, and the sorry excuse for a bagel, we won't be ordering Sip's breakfast sandwich again.
All In All: It's a good look to offer at least a few breakfast options at a coffee shop, but in a trendy, thoughtful place like Sip, we expected better. We'd come back to Sip Coffee & Beer House to try the cocktails and coffee, but we wouldn't order breakfast here again.