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December, 2011, Page 152
Photos by Lauren Jordan
Who says you can’t improve a classic? Try these marvelously modern twists on eggs Benedict.
9832 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
Restaurateurs Don Talbot, Laura Fettig and Clay Moizo have turned the morning meal upside down, with unexpected eye-openers like breakfast pizzas (“brizzas”), a savory vegan Soyrizo burrito, and decadent French toast crafted from a hand-cut French baguette dipped in vanilla custard.
Still, it’s their spicy Southwestern eggs Benedict ($8.29) that rouses us out of bed and revs up our day. Golden rounds of Santa Fe jalapeño- and corn kernel-studded cornbread are layered with cured ham and eggs slathered in fiery chipotle hollandaise. Eggs are local, fresh-laid from Hickman’s Family Farms, and poached to a velvety yolk and firm white. The ham is sliced thick and blackened on the grill to order, and the chile-spiked hollandaise is homemade. The soul-satisfying dish comes with rosemary potatoes, but the kitchen will happily switch to hash browns, fruit or vegan sweet potato hash on request.
Settle back in a sleek silver chair, watch one of the hi-def TVs hung on the wall, and relax – breakfast is served all day, every day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
7212 Ho Hum Rd.
(Spanish Village), Carefree
Despite being secreted near a courtyard in the Spanish Village at Tom Darlington and Cave Creek roads, this eclectic Southwestern-Mexican eatery has been wooing packed-house crowds since owners Robert and Linda Gabric opened it in 2004. That’s no small achievement for a place that seats 340, including ample outdoor seating.
Savvy diners love the Sunday brunch: From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., they can choose from six renditions of eggs Benedict. Executive chef Thomas Nasworthy offers a traditional Benny on brioche ($13.95), but he also sends out tasty versions topped with jumbo lump crab, boursin cheese, smoked tomato sauce and hollandaise ($17.95); and chargrilled filets of beef tenderloin glistening in rich demi-glace and hollandaise ($17.95). Highlights include the Southwestern Benedict of house-made chorizo sausage on grilled masa cakes with chipotle hollandaise ($13.95), and the French Toast Benedict of brioche topped with sausage, poached eggs and vanilla hollandaise ($13.95). The portions are big enough to be the sole meal of the day, and all orders include champagne.
6008 N. 16th St., Phoenix
Starve a cold, feed a hangover. Restaurateur Richardson Browne knows your pain, and he’s ready to help with monster-size eggs Benedict served in this dark (read: easy on light-sensitive eyes) speakeasy-eatery. Equipped with a shower in the restroom for those truly crapulous mornings, the Hideaway is a cool place to hang out when all you want is something delicious on your plate and absorbent in your stomach.
The Benedict is served until 4 p.m. and could even double as dinner. Try it tricked up with Nueske’s pork loin ($15), beef tenderloin ($18) or daily grilled fish ($15), all sopped in spicy jalapeño hollandaise and paired with piquant beans and potatoes. Trouble choosing? Dick’s Hideaway also offers a Benedict combo ($16), plus another combo pairing one Benedict with two chicken enchiladas, red or green chile, and asparagus with hollandaise ($15). Still not decadent enough? Top your tenderloin Benedict with Dungeness crab ($26).
Browne doesn’t allow any stinginess in the bar or the kitchen – each portion of meat is at least six ounces per plate, and English muffins are toasted just so, to a golden crunch.
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