Is Matt's Big Breakfast Really Worth Getting Out of Your PJs For?

Categories: Food Fight

Thumbnail image for Matt's Big Breakfast.jpg
Matt's Big Breakfast

We had so much fun chucking Chow Bella contributors Ando Muneno and Lauren Saria into the ring over Alton Brown, food trucks, movie theaters with food and pho that we put them back at it again.

This week's topic: Matt's Big Breakfast.

Lauren: A few weeks ago, I was sharing a perfectly enjoyable breakfast at one of downtown's favorite spots, Matt's Big Breakfast, when I had a sort of epiphany. You see, I realized the thing about going out to eat breakfast -- even at the greatest eateries -- is that spending $10 on eggs and bacon and toast seems like a waste, when I could use that money for a more unique eating experience.

I can scramble eggs all day, every day -- and I always make them exactly the way I like, a little on the wet side. I can fry up a hearty serving of bacon. And I can definitely toast some bread. And when I cook all that goodness at home, I get to enjoy it in my comfy sleeping clothes, and I can sit cross-legged at the table and I don't even have to leave a tip. So why was I sitting at a tiny corner table maneuvering plates around cups around my dining companion's hands, when I could be at home sprawled out all over my kitchen table? Breakfast is supposed to be a cozy meal. The kind of meal you share with close family and friends around a kitchen table while you all chug down coffee and wipe the sleepies from your eyes.

not a morning person .jpg
giselarombouts.tumblr.com
Ando: Clearly, you're one of those accursed "morning people" who pop out of bed every morning ready to kick ass and take names. I congratulate you on your horrifying deviance.

I am not a morning person. I spend at least five minutes every morning sitting on the side of my bed trying to remember why I'm sitting on the side of my bed instead of sleeping in my bed. Sometimes, I decide it's actually the weekend and I pass out until noon -- sometimes I'm even right in doing so.

So as you can imagine, I'm not fantastically functional at 6 a.m. The scenario in which I can quickly cook a world-class breakfast for myself does not exist. If it's the morning, I desperately want someone else to do all those things for me. I want to pay someone to go find fantastic bread, fresh eggs, fresh vegetables, and delicious meat. I want that person to make me some perfect toast, some perfect over-easy eggs and some perfect pan-fried potatoes. For the price, it certainly seems like a reasonable trade of goods for services. Now if we were to talking about Denny's, I would have to agree with you. Waiting for generic greasy breakfast has always made me rage against the gods themselves.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Matt's Big Breakfast

825 N. 1st St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
azbluesgal
azbluesgal

Actually the Athenian Express has a much better deal, and they offer fresh fruit in lieu of potatoes. There is a large law enforcement presence there some mornings, so you can feel safe while eating. it's not fancy, but the food is good, and rest rooms adequate. down side - closed on sundays..An even more kick ass place is Two Hippies on 7th ave in Melrose...six buck special bowl (custom scrambled eggs with six toppings on top of potatoes) will fill you up and make you smile. Jack is a wonderful host and the decor fits in that crazy Melrose 50's atmosphere.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"For the record, you're an unwashed heathen for ordering scrambled eggs."

Hold your tongue, dear Ando.

When you're talking real scrambled eggs, and not the BS broken omelets that pass for the same, whisked over low heat with a metric ton of butter until they just barely curdle, there's no finer treatment.

jliven23
jliven23

I went the first time not wanting to like it due to the line and the hype. It was outstanding. That said, I've been twice and think that will be about it. Great food and deserves the accolades, but what I'm looking for in breakfast I get somewhere like Jim's Coney Island Cafe in S. Scottsdale.

Katie
Katie

Matt's is worth the wait as Ando mention simple food done well. While there are many good real fast spots in PHX I don't know of any others that have as good of a ham steak, from The Pork Shop in Queen Creek. The time it woukd take you to go there yourself get your ham and go home and cook it alone is worth the wait at Matt's!

Adrienne
Adrienne

I love Matt's Big Breakfast but I am left wondering, "why does this restaurant get all of the glory?"

For breakfast, Over Easy Cafe is just as good (if not better), The Deuce serves up eggs and bacon that are every bit as bada&^% and Wy Knot Cafe has some unbelievable french toast. All of these places deserve to be the Phoenix go-to breakfast spot just as much as Matt's does.

How and why did Matt's get elected Student Body Breakfast President of Phoenix? (Guy Fieri – I am looking at you)

For that matter, I'd like to ask the same question of "Pizzeria Bianco." Is it more highly-praised just because it's been around longer than The Parlor or Humble Pie? Or is 'the wait' really something that people like (despite the fact they claim otherwise)...

Great article.

Cory Mingo
Cory Mingo

That's a simple question to answer about both of those restaurants. Pizzeria Bianco and Matt's are downtown. The media, landlords and ASu wants to built up downtown as a up and coming dining destination so that all those empty spaces are filled. I have personally never been to pizzeria Bianco but I think the palor has great pizza. There funghi and potato pizza is some of the best pie I have ever had. I bet if those restaurants were downtown they would good more run. It's about building up downtowns rep as an up and coming dining destination.

jliven23
jliven23

I often have that same conversation with people about Biancos pizza. For some people, there cannot be "equally enjoyable establishments." Everything needs to be ranked. I find that to be especially true with pizza and mexican (especially in Tucson on the mexican part).

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

Well in my case I went to school downtown but refused to pay for parking. I had to trek from my sketchy parking spot to school and past Matt's pretty much everyday. I don't think Matt's was quantifiably better than any of the fine establishments you mention it just was... convenient and good. 

Chris Cardinal
Chris Cardinal

I order their Five Spot with home fries about twice a week. I get it... TO GO. I know this is breakfast sacrilege to most, but I simply have never had as good an egg sandwich, OR potatoes. Yeah, I'm sure I could make it at home myself if I bought and kept amazing eggs, sauteed my own onions, had fresh rosemary for my potatoes, and finally convinced Erenia to tell me where they buy their damn bacon. But then I'd have a huge mess on my hands, I still wouldn't get it right, I'd have to make sure the bread isn't stale, and I'd have to cut and prep my own potatoes.

The Five Spot is that rare breakfast item that holds up for the 10 minute drive I make home with it. The eggs are fried so they don't turn horrible or anything, and the bread doesn't get soggy.

The wonderful thing about ordering take out is that I never have to wait, unless I'm meeting someone there. On those rare occasions, I just put my name down, swing over to the market, and wait for an appropriate amount of time in the air conditioning. (No longer an option, sadly.)

Matt's uses only exceptional ingredients. It matters, when you're dealing with standard breakfast staples. There's a reason your eggs aren't as good at Denny's or IHOP. There's a reason why most places totally screw up bacon, sending out tiny, grease-ridden slivers of shame. Matt's does it the best I've ever seen, and my 85 check-ins on Yelp probably attest to that.

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

And then you'd have all these extra ingredients right? Because you can't buy just a couple pieces of bacon (well you can if you go to whole foods and pay their premiums). So you're not buying one breakfast, you'll have to make like three of them, or figure out something else to do with all the crap you've bought. 

And then you'll get busy, and not be able to make breakfast, or do something with all that rosemary and by the time you look at everything again it'll be wilted, or slightly stale, or in the freezer or... whatever. Less than optimal. 

And then you'll end up at Matt's again ;)  At least that's my cycle. 

Chris Cardinal
Chris Cardinal

Right. I eat there a lot, but I definitely would be throwing tons of food out if I was trying to reproduce this at home. I mean, eggs keep for a long time, but bread and bacon and such, less so.

Cory Mingo
Cory Mingo

As someone who is in the industry, I love matts big breakfast. Best pancakes in the state. I am from the Seattle-Portland area and these type of small restaurants are where it is at. Matt's style is of a typical northwest family owned restaurant that typical chain restaurant diners don't understand. For me to be able to her the chef beating eggs with a fork in the stainless steal mixing bowl is a big plus for me. To know my bacon is cooked to order is a big plus for me. To know that the little amount of jam I get with my thick cut toast is home-made is a big plus for me. I dont put a price tag on freshness, quality or just doing simple things right. Keep up the good work. Jokingly, I hope this article makes some of you stay home and cook, so my kids and i can get a table without waiting. Love Matts.

Eric
Eric

No way, getting dressed and waiting in line so you can buy a $3 meal with an $8 side order of hype is ridiculous.

joe.distort
joe.distort

the wife and i are food nerds, and we have yet to successfully wait in line here. everytime we just go to one of the other great spots around town. theres no shortage of fantastic breakfast in phoenix!

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

I think the bigger problem with the wait is that it's so random. I've been there on like, a Tuesday at 9AM and there was a 40 minute wait. But then I come back the next day at the same time and I'm instantly seated. I'm assuming it's because they're small and attract groups (which is always slightly hilarious to me). 

Kristin Heggli
Kristin Heggli

Ha, very entertaining article! I don't mind waiting outside for Matt's, I just avoid it in the summer.

Hock
Hock

You're also forgetting about the social aspect.  Generally when eating at Matt's (or other breakfast joint) you are having a converation with a person sitting at your booth.  I may add, that it often isn't the person you wake up next to int he morning, but even if it is...it's a social event that can't be had sitting in your own kitchen.

Wayfaring Pilgrim
Wayfaring Pilgrim

In answer to your question, NO!  While Matt's Big Breakfast is good, it ain't worth getting out of your PJs for, let alone standing in line!  All for the honor of partaking in some down home grub in a funky little locally owned diner?  No thanks!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...