Funky Salsa and Hollandaise Gravy at Mesa's Crackers & Co.

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 weekly review of local breakfast spots.

This week: Crackers & Co. Cafe in Mesa

For a busy Saturday morning, the staff at Mesa's Crackers & Co. seemed to keep their cool. We were greeted cheerfully and seated promptly. Although the "rural Tuscan" theme at this popular breakfast spot feels more retirement-home than  Italian-getaway, we appreciate the effort. After a small delay, we ordered a round of coffee and opened the small novella of a menu.

How was it? Find out after the jump.

The Sunny Side: The restaurant prides itself on French toast, bread pudding and baked goods. But with a menu this big, we felt compelled to get adventurous. Not only does Crackers offer four different styles of Benedict, but each description sounded better than the one before. The Eggs Benedict Florentine was a layered mess of wonderful topped with a buttery, gravy-like hollandaise sauce. The hash browns were nontraditional -- a concoction of slightly mashed potatoes, onions and herbs. They were surprisingly very good, and we'll be honest here: We usually DON'T like it when people mess with our hash browns.

Save Your Bacon: Contrary to popular belief, not all Phoenix restaurants know how to prepare Mexican food. The Huevos Rancheros consisted of crunchy corn tortillas, eggs and a funky -- not in a good way -- salsa. On another sour note, our server played a disappearing act in the fourth quarter and it took about 15 minutes post-chow-down to get the check. Granted, it was a busy Saturday morning.  

The Check: The long, diverse menu offers an adventurous experience. With so much to choose from it's easy to go wrong. Stick with the classic, more traditional breakfast fare, and ask the server for advice on any unique items.

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Kelsey Havens
Contact: Kelsey Havens