There was no waffling from voters during the second round of Caliente’s Breakfast Madness.
Close calls were nearly nonexistent as the eight remaining restaurants trounced the competition with minimal effort.
The Cup Café took the top seed with the most votes overall, stopping Millie’s Pancake Haus, on East Tanque Verde Road, in its tracks.
Both restaurants had strong first-round showings, making the match extra contentious. Millie’s defied the odds by taking down the insanely popular Bobo’s Restaurant in Round 1, while The Cup used its mighty following to stamp out the Bisbee Breakfast Club.
East-side restaurants dominated the Sweet 16, with mixed results.
Viv’s Café on East Tanque Verde Road beat the Sunny Side Up Café on North Oracle Road. The Happy Rooster on South Sarnoff Drive also emerged victorious, as it pummeled the trendy hangout Prep & Pastry on its march to the top.
Chaco’s Café, with its original location on South Craycroft Road, was the only restaurant in the second round up against a fellow east-sider. It dispatched Jethro’s Café on East Broadway in short order.
Other losses east of Alvernon include Biscuits Country Café, which was wiped out by Cindy Lou’s and Joe’s Pancake House on South Kolb Road, which lost against Mother Hubbard’s on West Grant.
Ghini’s French Caffé also fell. The Prince Road eatery couldn’t keep up with the Good Egg and its multiple locations across the city and in Phoenix.
Omar’s Hi-Way Chef at the Triple T Truck Stop off of Interstate 10 gave the Hungry Fox in midtown a thumping, receiving nearly twice as many votes during second-round play.
The Hi-Way Chef has been in business since 1954, with executive chef and general manager Omar Ramirez overseeing operations for the last 18 years.
Ramirez said Omar’s has its share of regulars, but it also gets customers from around the world, in part because of its past appearances on cable shows, such as the Food Network’s “Top 5” and the Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise.”
The restaurant’s signature breakfast dish is dubbed Omar’s Favorite: a plate with three cheese enchiladas, three eggs cooked to order, shredded beef, rice and beans.
“It is a gut-filler,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said the entire truck stop staff, from the restaurant dishwashers to the owner, have been all-hands-on-deck during Breakfast Madness.
“We have people walking around with iPads, asking for votes from customers,” he said. “We are really working at it.”
Voting for Round 3 begins today.