Thousands voted in Caliente’s Breakfast Madness competition last weekend as 32 restaurants from across Tucson tussled it out in bracketed battles for top bragging rights.
Some matches were put to bed quickly.
The Cup Café at Hotel Congress toppled the Bisbee Breakfast Club, receiving twice as many votes as the Southern Arizona chain, found on West Ina Road and in Bisbee.
Joe’s Pancake House and Mother Hubbard’s Café also made easy work of their opponents, taking out the young upstart Baja Café on Tucson’s east side and the Crying Onion Café in Marana, respectively.
Millie’s Pancake Haus on East Tanque Verde managed a surprise upset with a win over Bobo’s Restaurant, the popular East Grant Road eatery that initially received the most nominations to get into Breakfast Madness.
Dean Griffith, owner of Millie’s since 2011, says the restaurant’s success in Round 1 is due to its fiercely loyal and longtime customer base.
Mildred Novak opened Millie’s Pancake Haus in Tucson in 1982 after running the first Millie’s in Delavan, Wisconsin for 17 years.
“We have customers who remember chatting with Millie during breakfast service,” Griffith said. “Now we have second and third generation customers coming in to eat.”
Millie’s will square off against the Cup Café in Round 2.
While Round 1 saw several blowouts, others matches stayed heated until the end.
The Good Egg, an Arizona breakfast chain with locations in Phoenix and Tucson, narrowly squeaked out a victory over Chaffin’s Diner near downtown, with only a nine vote difference. The Good Egg will move on to face off against Ghini’s French Caffé.
Chaco’s Café’s battle against Robert’s Restaurant was another close call, as Chaco’s pulled ahead with less than 50 votes between the two.
Other restaurants moving on to Round 2 include the Hungry Fox, The Sunny Side Up Café, Prep & Pastry, and Omar’s Hi-Way Chef at the TTT Truck Stop.
Sixteen restaurants remain. Voting for Round 2 begins today.