Breakfast Beat

Breakfast Beat: Savory Staples and Cool Sweets From The Herb Box

Omelet with melted brie.
Omelet with melted brie. Chris Malloy
click to enlarge Omelet with melted brie. - CHRIS MALLOY
Omelet with melted brie.
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 Herb Box
7134 East Stetson Drive #200, Scottsdale (plus other locations)

The Scene: Brunch can be chaos. Not here. The Old Town location of The Herb Box doesn't get as crowded as some of the sound-machine brunch spots closer to Scottsdale Road. Lucky for folks who venture a few minutes east, The Herb Box has quiet seating on a wraparound patio.

Outdoor tables are relaxed and well-spaced. They overlook the Scottsdale Waterfront and Soleri Bridge, making for ideal scenery-and-people watching, and a nicely low-key meal.

If you're in the mood for something faster, stop into The Herb Box's café (below the restaurant). The café is great for when you want nibble something, sip an iced tea, and stroll Old Town.

click to enlarge Don't miss the goods in the downstair shop's display case. - CHRIS MALLOY
Don't miss the goods in the downstair shop's display case.
Chris Malloy
The Goods: The Herb Box's menu is not like anywhere else's, and it's kind of hard to pin. Its most distinguishing features are playful novelty, legit healthy options, and strong sweet dishes.

It's hard to resist going for one of the creative breakfast dishes. You can sink a fork into cinnamon buckwheat pancakes (topped with fried chicken if you please), or red velvet pancakes with mascarpone and syrup spiked with Grand Marnier. There's also a bourbon-ginger peach French toast liberally zagged with creme fraiche. Its brioche triangles are sodden in the middle, and coated with a shattering crust.

Savory breakfast dishes are more straightforward. Still, the more memorable ones have an inkling of that fun, creative vibe. Baked goods are a solid bet. Hash, BLT, steak and eggs, and chilaquiles make for some menu divergence from that of your typical breakfast joint.

Typically, not many places mess with an omelet's formula. The Herb Box does.

A molten pool of Brie drips off the omelet's sides. Apple slivers are mixed with the brie. Molasses-glazed bacon brings more sweetness to the dish. It's like a baked Brie platter in omelet form. It speaks to the kind of carefully restrained novelty that makes The Herb Box a solid brunch spot

Hours: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p..m; Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: $$
Coffee Options: Standard with the exception of Roastery of Cave Creek cold brew in the café.
Drinking Before Noon: Bloody Marys, sangria, and a strong mimosa game (orange, cranberry, mango, and pineapple juices).
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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