You won’t find a better breakfast in Phoenix; there are few eateries in Matt’s league anywhere. Look at the basics: hash browns that are wickedly crisp and gorgeous gold; bacon that is extra-thick and profusely peppered; real maple syrup for waffles and pancakes; freshly squeezed lemonades; cage-free eggs cracked to order and cooked in pure butter. Et cetera, et cetera.
In town for three days, duty-bound to explore as many restaurants as time and appetite allowed, I nevertheless managed to visit Matt’s three different times. Among the dishes I want to eat again, right now, are a salami scramble of velvety eggs laced with long twigs of sopressata salami; locally-baked sourdough toast sliced extra-thick and served with fresh strawberry jam; and a dense bourbon-cherry sausage link. Also at the top of the kitchen’s hit parade are a “chop and chick” breakfast that features a skillet-cooked Iowa pork chop and eggs benedict that my counter-neighbor enjoyed with audible moans of ecstasy.
By the way, Matt’s serves lunch starting at 11. I tried a butter burger – a gorgeous half-pound Niman Ranch ground chuck patty grilled in butter and topped with cheese (either American, or for $1 extra, Maytag blue). It was very, very good; but in this place, breakfast – served all day – is king.
Matt’s has a stylish urban-renewal appearance with exposed ductwork and concrete flooring that looks like an old garage; and the clientele and staff are urban cool; but the vibe is classic diner. Many regular customers and their orders are known to waitresses, and service is brisk and informal. Seating is at two counters, one of which looks outward onto 1st Street, and at several bare wood tables.
There are three other locations of Matt’s Big Breakfast: 3118 East Camelback Rd. (602-840-3450); 400 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe (480 967 5156); and at Gate 5B, Terminal 4 in Sky Harbor Airport.