Breakfast battle set to begin

2014-07-09T21:45:00Z 2014-07-24T11:49:10Z Breakfast battle set to beginBy Gerald M. Gay Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The nominations relentlessly rolled in last week for Caliente’s upcoming Breakfast Madness competition.

More than 500 readers pitched their favorite breakfast spots in town, throwing more than 97 restaurants into the ring.

Of those, the 32 receiving the highest number of nominations will now face off against one another in a bracketed battle to see who serves the best breakfast.

The contenders come from all over the city — from Omar’s Hi-Way Chef at the Triple T Truck Stop on the far southeast side to the Crying Onion on West Orange Grove Road.

The Bisbee Breakfast Club, with two Southern Arizona locations — one in Bisbee and the other on West Ina Road — made the cut.

As did the upscale, dossant-dealing Prep & Pastry on North Campbell Avenue and the family-run Gus Balon’s diner on East 22nd Street.

Arizona-born chains Jerry Bob’s and The Good Egg are also in the running.

Taking the top seed with the most nominations was the long-running Bobo’s Restaurant on East Grant Road.

Bobo’s, a popular destination for University of Arizona students, has been slinging breakfast and lunch since 1975, and in recent years has added dinner service during the week.

Debra Gaudern, the fourth Bobo’s owner since it opened, started as a waitress there 23 years go. She’s owned Bobo’s for the last 13 years.

Gaudern said that there has always had a very loyal clientele. They come for a variety of dishes, including the banana pancakes, the home fries and biscuits and gravy, which Gaudern says “are the best in town.”

“We get students, lawyers, doctors,” she added. “There are customers who have been coming in since before I started working here.”

The second seed went to the young upstart Baja Café, which opened in March in the former Hummingbird Café on East Broadway.

Executive chef Gerard Meurer, previously a general manager at Barrio Brewing and Gentle Ben’s, launched the café with his fiancé, Kim Scanlan, almost on a whim.

“We were driving by and saw the vacancy,” he said. “ We put everything together in three weeks.”

Meurer said the restaurant offers traditional breakfast options, including a $3.75, two egg, hash browns, meat and toast meal.

But they also serve more innovative offerings, like gingerbread pancakes and tamale cakes with chorizo, and Hatch green chiles with a chipotle Hollandaise sauce.

Meurer said he tries to keep the menu edgy.

“One of our customers calls me a culinary madman,” he said. “I kind of like that title.”

Voting for Breakfast Madness begins July 24.

The Top 32

Alice’s Restaurant, 325-3151, 5416 E. Pima St.

Baja Cafe, 495-4772, 7002 E. Broadway.

Bisbee Breakfast Club, 579-7495, 4131 W. Ina Road.

Biscuits Country Cafe, 290-2556, 7026 E. Broadway.

Blue Willow, 327-7577, 2616 N. Campbell Ave.

Bobo’s Restaurant, 326-6163, 2938 E. Grant Road.

Brawley’s Restaurant, 722-5571, 6367 E. Broadway

Bread and Butter Cafe, 327-0004, 4231 E. 22nd St.

Chaco’s Cafe, 790-1828, 2027 S. Craycroft Road

Chaffins Diner, 882-7707, 902 E. Broadway.

Cindy Lou’s Cafe, 573-1915, 3329 E Benson Highway.

Crying Onion, 531-1330, 3684 W. Orange Grove Road.

Cup Cafe, 798-1618, 311 E. Congress St.

Egg Connection, 881-1009, 3114 E. Fort Lowell Road.

Frank’s, 881-2710,

3843 E. Pima St.

Ghini’s French Caffe, 326-9095, 1803 E. Prince Road.

The Good Egg, 10565 N. Oracle Road (544-6115); 5055 N. Oracle Road (293-6139); 4775 E. Grant Road (795-7879); 7189 E. Speedway (885-4838); 5350 E. Broadway (512-0280) thegoodeggaz.com/southern-arizona

Gus Balons, 747-7788, 6027 E. 22nd St.

Hungry Fox, 326-2835,

4637 E. Broadway.

Jerry Bob’s, 7850 N. Silverbell Road, (579-0937) (myjerrybobs.com); 5028 E. Broadway (326-0301); 7699 E. Speedway (298-5030); 7545 S. Houghton Road (574-9060); 8300 N. Thornydale Road (579-7177); 2680 E. Valencia Road (807-5717); 7885 E. Golf Links Road (721-8888); 7939 N. Oracle Road (878-9360); 3601 N. Campbell Ave. (319-5642); 5121 S. Calle Santa Cruz, (889-3500).

Jethro’s Cafe, 722-1958, 8735 E. Broadway.

Joe’s Pancake House, 747-7536, 2532 S. Kolb Road.

Laverna’s Coffee Shop, 623-1389, 220 S. Plumer Ave.

Millie’s Pancake Haus, 298-4250, 6530 E. Tanque Verde Road.

Mother Hubbard’s Cafe, 623-7976, 14 W. Grant Road.

Omar’s Hi-Way Chef TTT Truck Stop, 574-0961, 5451 E. Benson Highway.

Poco and Mom’s, 325-7044, 1060 S. Kolb Road.

Prep and Pastry, 326-7737, 3073 N. Campbell Ave.

Robert’s, 795-1436, 3301 E. Grant Road, closed until Aug. 7

Sunny Side Up Cafe, 818-1083, 15800 N. Oracle Road.

The Happy Rooster Cafe, 298-1752, 1114 S. Sarnoff Drive.

Viv's Cafe, 760-8622, 8987 E. Tanque Verde Road.

More nominees:

A Great Location Cafe

Eclectic Cafe

Pappy’s Diner

IHop

Sam-Witches and Such

The B-Line

Cafe a la C’arte

Cattleman’s Cafe

Checkboard Cafe

Claire’s Cafe

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant

Grumpy’s Grill

Old Times Cafe

Sunny Daze Cafe

Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe

Todd’s Restaurant (Ryan Field)

Village Inn

5 Points Market and Restaurant

The Abbey

Ajo Cafe

Le Buzz Caffe

Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea

Old Chicago Deli

Corey’s Cafe

The Coronet Cafe

Country Kitchen Restaurant

Coyote Pause Cafe

El Molinito

El Sur Restaurant

Elbow Room

Epic Cafe

Food for Ascension Cafe

Galiano’s Cafe

Piazza Gavi

Good Day Cafe

Hacienda del Sol

Jeff’s Pub

KG’s Westside Cafe

Little Anthony’s Diner

Little Mexico

Little Cafe Poca Cosa

Lovin’ Spoonfuls Vegetarian

Restaurant

Cafe Marcel

May’s Counter

Mimi’s Cafe

Micha’s

Overland Trout

Penca Restaurant

Planet of the Crepes

Quail Valley cafe

Rigo’s Restaurant

Ritz-Carlton

Saguaro Cafe

Skyline Country Club

Tanias 33

Taqueria Juanitos

Breakfast Club & Cafe

Tohono Chul Garden Bistro

Tucson Raquet and Fitness Club

Union Public House

Waffle House

Wilko

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