Breakfast Beat

Breakfast Beat: 1950s Havana Vibes, Latin Eggs, and Morning Rum Drinks

A plate of poached eggs, grains, squash, asparagus, and more.
A plate of poached eggs, grains, squash, asparagus, and more. Chris Malloy
Each week, we review a different breakfast spot in town, highlighting culinary offerings, brunchability, and the overall vibe as you sip your morning joe. Whether the restaurant in question is grab-and-go or stay-and-play, each offers a unique breakfast buzz that might be just what you need for the most important meal of the day.

The Spot: The Canal Club
4925 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480-424-6095.

The Scene: The Scott hotel's new Cuban-inflected restaurant is a stunner. A long atrium filled with blond woods, white couches, vibrant foliage, wicker chairs, and ample natural light calls to mind a Caribbean getaway where rum is consumed, shady deals are made, and people party.

At the end of the long atrium, you will find rum. There, under a neon pink sign, The Canal Club's bar buzzes. A gaggle of hotel-stayers and people in to eat at the restaurant cling to the bar, some with wet hair and towels from the nearby hotel pool.

Past the bar, and on the left, The Canal Club's plush green colors, TV-ready light shades, and seats upholstered with fern designs extend. The vibe is 1950s Havana, polished to tickle the Instagram crowd, for maximum visual impact. "Impact" is no exaggeration. The design of the restaurant is flawless. It transports you from the busy fringe of Old Town Scottsdale to a place more fantastic and timeless, one ripe with possibilities.

There is outdoor seating as well. It overlooks the pool.
click to enlarge The Canal Club's design is fluid and transportive. - CHRIS MALLOY
The Canal Club's design is fluid and transportive.
Chris Malloy
The Goods: The Canal Club serves breakfast during the week, brunch on the weekend. Other than ambiance, the main things that separate these early hotel meals from others are Latin inflections, mining of dining trends, and thoughtful morning drinking.

The restaurant describes itself as Cuban. The influence, though, is more broadly Caribbean. Scrambled eggs contain chorizo and queso Oaxaca. Plantains come in a benedict. A hash made from purple potatoes comes with jalapeno hollandaise. Churro doughnut holes arrive with guava jam.

click to enlarge Purple potato hash. - CHRIS MALLOY
Purple potato hash.
Chris Malloy
The egg is ubiquitous at The Canal Club, more so than your average breakfast joint (which may lean on sweets more than The Canal Club). Egg crowns avocado toast with bee pollen; a farro and freekeh bowl with shaved asparagus, and that purple potato hash. It assumes an even more central role in still other dishes (a scramble, an egg sandwich).

A few compelling sweet options hide in a second-page pocket of the menu. There's a pancake plate with citrus butter, French toast with coconut whipped cream, the churro doughnut holes, and others.

The Canal Club is a solid destination for morning drinking. The vibrant hotel courses with a weekend energy, and the 1950s Havana decor instantly drops you into a party state of mind. Rum. Rum, rum, rum. It comes from Nicaragua and Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica, and it comes in your drinks. Drinks like punches. Drinks like rum-bent sangria with grapefruit and rosemary.

click to enlarge CHRIS MALLOY
Chris Malloy
The Bottom Line: The Canal Club offers a stylish morning escape and food that tastes good. Come here with someone you want to impress or enjoy life with.
Special Something: A few teas are made with leaves from White Lion, a tea supplier in North Scottsdale.
Hours: Daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $$
Juice: Orange and grapefruit, and selections from the juicery Rad.
Booze: There is some rum.
Coffee Options: Cold brew on tap from Press. Drip coffee and drinks like Cortados and Spanish lattes.

Our last five Breakfast Beat stories:
Phoenix Burrito House
Tom's Thumb Fresh Market
Luana's Coffee Yard
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Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy