In an effort to make Mom proud, Chow Bella's taking a good, hard look at the most important meal of the day in the form of Scrambled, a mashup of breakfast recipes, news and reviews of local restaurants serving the a.m. crowd.
We wanted to try the breakfast (now being served all day long) at Duck and Decanter, the place famous for their nooner sandwiches ordered by the codes and marks on the brown paper bag in which your order arrives. We love the kitchy cozy inviting atmosphere of the Camelback location with high ceilings and plenty of corners, nooks and small (and large) patio areas in which to hide out and work or just relax and eat your sandwich among friends. This place sort of feels like your little-bit crazy hippy uncle's house, the one who'll also make you just about any type of sandwich you're craving.
The breakfast menu is fairly slim with various combos of eggs, cheese, tomato, ham and bacon that you can choose to have in either a tortilla or bread. Whichever way you choose, you get a side of fresh made mild salsa. We chose the mini (read: half sandwich) egg, ham and cheese on cibatta roll ($3.29). We were concerned that the cibatta might be too chewy for our dining companion who has trouble with such things. It was the soft variety that doesn't quite satisfy the artisan bread needs of this foodnik but works just great for those with weak chompers. It was that bright addition of salsa that we daubed on each bite that makes this quick and affordable breakfast that's something a little different and satisfying when you're needing to fuel up for the day.
There were a few additional sandwiches offered that double as lunch or kids menu items like the peanut butter and jam, egg salad sandwich and avocado sandwich (which would be a nice choice for vegans or omnivores alike).
If you're looking to load up your plate (or bag) a bit more full, you can order whole fruit, cut fruit, breakfast pastries like scones, and danishes and a whole lot of juice and soda choices from the built in refrigerated wall. If that's not enough for you, you can also choose from a large variety of loose teas, whole coffee beans, prepared salads, packaged goods, beverages (including wine and beer), fine cheeses and gifts of all sorts that you can tack on to your meal order.
There is also an itty bitty coffee bar where you can order lattes and such from a barista. Our barista was the most delightfully helpful gentleman we'd ordered coffee from in quite a while. We ended up ordering just a drip coffee with cream and liked the option of squeezing some agave nectar if we were in the mood.
Prices on the breakfast menu that is offered all day range from $1 for toast and jam to $7.25 for the full sized black forest bacon, egg, tomato and swiss sandwich -- not too steep at all.
We love that Duck and Decanter has been around for 40 years and nails or rest their stacks of accolades on the walls all over the building. Here's a New Times award from 1983:
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Duck and Decanter is a one size fits all restaurant in the very best way. The Camelback location is very much that third place that gets talked about so much these days. However, instead of new build restaurants trying to study and create that atmosphere and build their customers, the Duck has been doing it for years and continues to rock on -- even if it's not to the new hipster tunes, and more Beach Boys, but hey, you don't mess with a classic.