“I wish there was a great breakfast place in Arcadia.”
This was what I relayed to J. as we packed bags and got ready for a trip to the airport. Oh, we have La Grande Orange and The Eggery, but I wanted something more like an independent, sit-down, table service place where you can dine on Belgian waffles and chorizo and eggs with someone refilling your coffee cup and getting you a second bagel.
Since we had a little time before I had to get J. to the airport, I decided to take J. to try Crackers & Co. out in Mesa. That idea was nixed pretty quickly when we pulled up to the place only to see a hoard of people milling about outside waiting for their names to be called for a table. The place was packed and I feared having to race to eat and then potentially missing a flight, so I shelved the idea of Crackers & Co. for another time.
As we were heading back to Phoenix, I thought I would swing by Harlow’s in Tempe to see if there was another hoard of people waiting for breakfast. As luck would have it, we arrived to a parking spot right at the front door and seating at a table about five seconds after we walked through the door. I laughed a bit when, once again, I got the same table I always seem to get next to a large window overlooking the parking lot and University Drive.
On the heels of our host, our server appeared taking our drink order of a Diet Coke ($2.00) for myself and an Iced Tea ($2.00) for J. She handed us menus and left to get our drinks. J. was busy looking at all the selections and I was admiring all the old movie posters that were being used as decorations. When our server returned with our beverages, we were set to order. J. decided on the Eggs Maximillian ($8.60) and a side of Wheat Toast ($1.80). I went for the Eggs Benedict ($9.10) and an Apple Danish ($2.55).
Within a couple of minutes, my Apple Danish arrived. The very pretty danish was on a small plate and the icing had a decorative pattern on top instead of just a normal drizzle. That lead me to suspect that the danish might have been made on-site, but it could just have been they had a supplier that does things out of the ordinary. The danish itself was served hot and the bread side of the danish was soft and slightly sweet. The apple filling in the center was very good with a liberal use of cinnamon that I really enjoyed. All in all, a decent danish.
After finishing my danish and having another refill on our drinks, our breakfast platters arrived. J.’s Eggs Maximillian was a large flour tortilla topped with fried potatoes, onions, peppers, cheese and chorizo. That was then topped with two scrambled eggs and a big dousing of salsa on top. It was also served with a side of sour cream. J. bit into the dish and immediately said, “Spicy!” I took a bit and it most certainly was spicy right off the bat, which we both enjoyed. The eggs were soft and creamy and the chorizo was plentiful. J. said the chorizo made the dish. This was an excellent choice, particularly because the kitchen didn’t wimp out on the spice factor.
The side of Wheat Toast was nothing extraordinary, although I was please to see that the slices were rather thick and substantial. J. took a bite and I heard an audible crunch which I found refreshing because I have grown so tired of the limp, steamed, barely browned pieces of bread that are called “toast.” This was actually moderately toasted and had some body to it, so J. was happy.
My Eggs Benedict where pretty straightforward. An English Muffin had been split and a piece of Canadian Bacon was placed on each half with a poached egg put on each piece of bacon. Both were then covered with a sunny, yellow Hollandaise Sauce and topped with a black olive. There was a sizable serving of home fries served along side the eggs. I cut into one of the eggs and the yolk flowed onto the plate. I mopped up some of the yolk and sauce along with the potatoes. It was excellent. What made it even better was the fact that the Hollandaise was exceptionally lemony, so the tangy sauce really worked well with the potatoes, eggs and bacon. I know there are Hollandaise purists that think Hollandaise has to be perfectly balanced to be a success, but I liked the use of extra lemon juice. It was bright and refreshing. The entire dish was satisfying and I enjoyed every aspect of my breakfast.
We lingered for another round of beverages and just to talk before heading to Sky Harbor. We asked for our bill and the total was $28.16 including tax. We found this to be a good value. Service was friendly and attentive and we never had to wait for more than a few moments for drink refills.
As we left, there were still a couple of tables open and a few choice parking spots. We pulled out onto University Drive and headed for the airport with the realization that we had to once again part until our next long weekend together.
It was a sad and quite drive, but at least a good breakfast had brought a smile to our faces.
1021 We. University Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281
Hours: Monday through Saturday – 6 AM to 2 PM; Sunday – 7 AM to 2 PM
Notes: Near Hardy and University.