5 Points Market & Restaurant is hip, cutting-edge, nutritionally savvy, environmentally conscious, and often very crowded. I was skeptical when locals raved about it and insisted I eat here, especially for breakfast. As a rule, I’d much prefer a Sonoran hot dog from a truck over the most fashionable boite in town.
But a few bites of sticky bun and an order of biscuits and gravy, along with powerhouse espresso and eye-opening beet-apple-ginger juice, quickly made me a 5 Points believer… even a proselyte. This is a restaurant that defies stereotypes, that goes its own way with a sense of purpose and the skills to realize its goals.
A blackboard lists the farms, butchers, fishery, and dairy that provide groceries. 5 Points has its own 3500-square-foot urban backyard Riverview Farm. Such everyday menu items as huevos rancheros, pancakes, a seasonal frittata, and a sausage sandwich are all made from top-of-the-line ingredients. Even “breakfast toast” is extraordinary: heritage grain bread with pesto chevre and house chianti jelly. That convincing sticky bun? It’s a sourdough/rye/apple/cardamom sticky bun! And it is impossible to stop eating.
I adore a breakfast called Bandito Blanco, which is a crisp-edged, creamy-centered potato pancake blanketed with grilled shaved ham, poached eggs, and mornay sauce. One day, the specials board lists biscuits and gravy. Ordinary biscuits and gravy? No, no, no. The biscuits themselves are rich and buttermilky; the gravy includes bacon, sausage, and ham. The whole shebang is crowned with two expertly poached eggs and house-made remoulade.
I could go on, describing the vivid crunch of what might be the best scone ever, its buttermilk center a soft pillow of shortbread laced with apricot and orange … or the intense fruitiness of pear and blueberry juniper pie … or the plate-size pancake served with clarified butter and pure maple syrup.
In fact, I would love very much to go on, and to eat my way through the menu at least a few times. No question, 5 Points is going to be at the top of my list for the next eating trip to Tucson. I recommend you make it a priority, too.