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.
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.
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).