Budget Beat

Budget Beat: Acacia Cafe

South by Southwest: Some good flavors going on in here. By Jay Bennett

Looking for a cheap and quick breakfast that's a couple steps in quality above McDonald's, Jack in the Box, or Carl's Jr.? The clean and inviting Acacia Cafe, on Indian School Road and 37th Street, likely will fit the bill for you.

The strip mall eatery is strictly a breakfast and lunch place, closing at 3 p.m. on weekdays. It's got a nice, tree-lined patio and pleasant neighborhood feel inside, the kind of joint where you can be comfortable reading the morning newspaper while sipping on coffee and munching on a muffin, cookie, or one of the several breakfast offerings on the menu.

The food comes out quickly and the prices are pretty darn reasonable, with most items costing about $4.50.

I enjoyed the South by Southwest, a breakfast burrito stuff with scrambled eggs, carne adobada, grilled peppers and onion, Cheddar cheese, and pico de gallo. The fresh-tasting pico and the generous chunk of meat were particularly flavorful. At $4.50, the South by Southwest is a nice deal, considering that it kept my hunger at bay well past the lunch hour. My only complaint was that the burrito had that "just-nuked" feel about it, given how darn hot it was. I had to let it sit for a couple of minutes before I dove into it.

Veggie Scramble: Cheap but not too exciting. (Photos by Laura Hahnefeld)

Less successful was the Veggie Scramble, an oddly named sandwich featuring scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables, tomato, and cheese served between toasted ciabatta. They had the right idea, but the tomato was bland and the roasted veggies were even blander, unfortunately. The sandwich was only $3.25, so maybe I shouldn't complain. But I'd be happy to drop another couple of bucks to avoid the food-service ingredients.

Also on the menu are a standard eggs and bacon breakfast platter, omelets, Belgian waffle, cinnamon-swirl French toast (I'll have to go back and try this one), and lox with bagel.

If you've been to Acacia Cafe, I'd love to hear what you found to your liking on the menu. And, as always, I'm looking for tasty and inexpensive breakfast, lunch, or dinner eateries. Please e-mail me at [email protected].

Acacia Cafe 3701 East Indian School Road 602-956-0908 Hours: Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett