From cinnamon rolls at Gus Balon’s to green corn waffles at Mother Hubbard’s to huevos rancheros at Little Cafe Poca Cosa, Tucson is a formidable breakfast town. Prep & Pastry is one of the best ways to start the day. Located at the back of a little shopping plaza, with seating on a sunny patio or inside a country-French dining room with exposed beams and bare wood tables, this brash little eatery has a menu full of interesting and inventive meals.
The pork belly breakfast sandwich makes me swoon. A fresh artisan roll comes packed with a thick slab of braised pork belly that is like a cross between bacon and a pork chop, along with shaved apple, fennel, greens, and an over-easy egg. It is one big dish, more knife-and-fork food than wieldy sandwich. Another fine house specialty, available at lunch as well as breakfast, is duck confit hash: shreds of luxurious meat laced with shallots, spinach, and raisins, crowned with a fried egg and a dab of goat cheese mousse. It is gluten-free, as is sweet potato hash, a rainbow presentation that includes corn, asparagus, mushrooms, and leeks.
The menu offers four kinds of French toast – classic, berry compote, carrot cake, and s’mores – as well as biscuits and gravy, which is sausage and duck fat gravy smothering a vividly herbed cheddar biscuit.
At lunch, you can have a swell grilled cheese sandwich on asiago bread with arugula pesto or a double-patty “commoner’s burger” topped with cheese, thick-cut bacon, and horseradish pickles. For vegans, there’s a chickpea scramble with seasonal vegetables. The weekend menu features breakfast poutine of pork belly, duck fat & sausage gravy, eggs, French fries, and cheese curds.
Note to tipplers: this is a wonderful place to know about if you like to drink before cocktail hour. One whole side of the menu is devoted to interesting adult beverages, including eleven different mimosas, wine, beer, effulgent bloody marys, and sangria by the glass or jar. House motto: “Brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast.”
A 2nd location of Prep & Pastry is located at 6450 E. Grant Rd. 520-838-0809