Saturday, February 11, 2012

Matt’s Big Breakfast

For most people the name Duncan Hines conjures up thoughts and memories of birthday cakes. They know only of the name they see on boxes and cartons of cake mixes and ready made frostings.  The male counterpart to Betty Crocker as it were. What they don’t however realize is that Duncan Hines was indeed a real person. A traveling salesman from Bowling Green, Kentucky. At least, that’s where our story begins. 
In the 20’s and 30’s there was no interstate system and virtually no chain restaurants. Travellers were more or less consigned to eating at mom and pop type restaurants all over the country. Having eaten literally hundreds of meals across the country Hines began keeping a list of restaurant ratings he would share with friends and family. So popular was his list that in 1935, Adventures in Good Eating hit the shelves and Hines would become a household name. He would go on to pen another book rating lodging and a newspaper column featuring recipes he collected along the road. Adapted for the home cook. Almost literally, the forerunner to the modern day food blogger.

If Hines were around today you can rest assured that in his list would be an entry for Matt’s Big Breakfast in Phoenix, Arizona. Long a popular establishment for Phoenicians, Matt’s gained nation wide notoriety when Guy Fieri and Triple D gang paid them a visit. (Just scroll down to view the segment.)
Matt’s consists of two small brick boxes, one smaller than the other. So small in fact that they don’t have room for a freezer or even a microwave oven. The dining areas are as cramped as they can get. With popularity come crowds. Lineups, as you can see are common but the whole operation hums along at a pretty good pace so your wait isn’t too long.  All in I was only out 45 minutes of my time.
A dispenser of ice water with citrus wedges is a complimentary way to keep from dehydrating in the dessert sun. I’m not a real fan of water flavoured like that. So it really didn’t do a whole lot for me.

So let’s see what comes out of the tiny kitchen.

I had my mind made up (salami scramble) but the waiter/host talked me into the daily special. The Three Meat Scramble was 3 eggs scrambled with pork sausage, tenderloin and ham. Fresh jalapenos and cheddar joined the party and it came served with a flour tortilla and side of home fries. Fresh squeezed apple cider is available seasonally and, fortunately, t’was the season.
The scramble was fantastic. The ham and tenderloin nicely played in the back ground while the sausage shone. The jalapenos added a fresh component and some heat. I was a bit surprised that the whole thing wasn’t hotter with all the chilies but not so. I quartered the tortilla and used it like bread. A fantastic meal.
The home fries came with sautéed onions and rosemary. I thought the rosemary flavour was a little lacking. Especially with such a powerful herb. All in all though these were good. Nothing that would “Wow” you but solid none the less.

The cider was like drinking a delicious apple. So fresh and apple-y tasting.


So there you have it folks, a great little spot to get your breakfast feedbag on. While you wait you can check out this Website. A "Where are they now" of places featured by Hines.

You can find Matt’s Big Breakfast at 801 N. 1st St. in Phoenix, Arizona.
View Larger Map

You can also find them on the web.
 Matt's Big Breakfast on Urbanspoon
Matt's Big Breakfast on Foodio54

Well that’s all for now, see you next time in the food court.

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