Matt Pool on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, His Last Meal on Earth, and What Most People Don't Know About Coffee
This is part two of my interview with Matt Pool, owner of Matt's Big Breakfast and Giant Coffee. If you missed part one, where Pool explains what he learned from Chris Bianco and defends Phoenix as a food town, read it here.
Nikki Buchanan Matt Pool
Favorite thing to eat growing up: My late dad's special teriyaki burgers off the backyard BBQ grill.
Favorite thing to eat now: A really well done charcuterie platter with great breads and accompaniments.
What people don't really know about me is . . . My wife is waaaay more responsible for any of our success than I am.
Buchanan Matt's Big Breakfast
Do you ever visit other famous breakfast restaurants around the country?: Not as much as you might think; usually, we try to sleep in! I love breakfast at Café Pasqual in Santa Fe, Sunday brunch at Zuni Café in San Francisco, and recently I had a really outstanding breakfast at Milo and Olive in Santa Monica.
Why did you decide to open a breakfast restaurant?: At the time, our son Christopher was 3 years old, and my wife and I were working completely opposite schedules. I was working until super-late six nights a week running Bar Bianco, and Erenia was working during the day for Marriott as the human resources manager for Camelback Inn: not a great recipe for family life. We felt for a city of its size, Phoenix was pretty short on mom-and-pop local restaurants, especially for breakfast. We were planning the restaurant for quite a bit, but only loosely looking at spots, when one day we saw a for rent sign go up on our dream space. We pulled the trigger that day and opened on a shoestring a few months later, hoping and believing enough people would be receptive to our version of a good quality breakfast that we could at least pay the rent.
What's the best part about running a breakfast restaurant?: Loyal regular customers -- without them, we couldn't stay so busy during the dog days of summer.
And what's the worst part?: There isn't a worst part.