Budget Beat

Lunch Under $10 at Bragg's Factory Diner in Phoenix

Phoenix is just a few hip vegan restaurants and bakeries away from being officially cool. We were so excited when Bragg's Factory Diner opened for breakfast and lunch off Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix because it touts a fully vegetarian and mostly vegan menu. Plus, we heard about the vegan pies, cookies, and doughnuts. The cute vintage-inspired décor pays homage to the historic roots of the building, which used to be the front of the old Bragg's Pie Factory.

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For some reason, when we got there at lunchtime, we were craving the biscuits and gravy. Sadly, they were out of biscuits by the time we arrived, so we decided to try something new. We already know the curry waffles are to die for, so we skipped those and went for the scrambler -- a breakfast plate with your choice of eggs or tofu scrambled with chiles and corn. The combination was reasonably tasty, but we felt like it's something we could make at home without the $7 price tag. Plus, our side of rosemary potatoes was cold and the potatoes tasted old.

Luckily, our smart friend got the beet burger ($8), which was a flavorful and unique beet patty nestled between a soft bun. The slaw on the side was also a much better option than the side we got. Bragg's also offers a vegetarian BLT and reuben for lunch.

Sitting right next to the pastry case and watching the whoopie pies, apple pie and doughnuts twirl around convinced us to get dessert for lunch too. Since our lunch was $7, we got a day-old chocolate frosted doughnut with rainbow sprinkles for 50 cents, to keep us under the $10 mark. Sadly, our doughnut had a great texture but a weird chemical flavor, which might have been the result of too much baking soda, but we weren't sure. We took two bites and didn't pick it back up. Next time, we'll just stick to the waffles to satisfy our sweet tooth.

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