TUCSON, Arizona | By: Leslie Jhung | “Prep” Yourself Into Trying Some French-Inspired Breakfast and Pastry
Coming from a background in Nutrition and knowing fully well the main tenet that consuming breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I decided to give Prep & Pastry a try. A string of old adobe-inspired buildings brings an old charm to the drive along Fort Lowell Road, and as I pulled into the parking lot of Prep & Pastry, a breakfast, brunch and lunch eatery, there was an air of welcome as the rising sun’s rays reflected off the glass paned doors.
The moment I crossed the threshold of Prep & Pastry, I was immediately greeted by a waitress named Anna, whose bubbly smile and personality warmed the room. I was asked if I preferred eating indoors or out on their covered patio; I chose the former.
Diners will be delighted to hear the drink menu includes a full bar, and their vast array of mimosas are diverse enough to create a rainbow. Their most popular mimosa is the prickly pear. Not only did the prickly pear mimosa display a striking pink color, but the flavor captured the sweetness of the heart of the Sonoran desert of Tucson—no wonder it is their most popular drink. They also serve cocktails, sangrias, wine and beer on tap, including locally nano-brewed Ten 55.
The weekend only serves the brunch menu, and the weekdays include all three menus: breakfast (7a.m. – 11 a.m), brunch and lunch (11 a.m.-3 p.m.).
Whether it’s Green Eggs and Ham Omelette (they really are green), Smoked Salmon Hash (apples, potatoes and herbs) or pancakes that you desire, breakfast does not disappoint. Even though the brunch menu does not include pancakes, it does include other delectable dishes, such as Strawberry Shortcake French Toast, Lox and Breakfast Poutine (eggs and pork belly with gravied French fries). There are many French-inspired dishes peppered throughout the menu—one of them being the Cast Iron Duck Confit Hash, which is their most popular dish and appears on all three menus.
If you are looking for something healthy, I recommend the Return of the Mac—an omelet filled with garden vegetables, enveloped with sautéed onions; a small cilantro salad serves as a garnish on top. The plate comes with a side of sliced cherry tomatoes and house potatoes. These aren’t your average potatoes—they have the consistency of a soft, boiled potato in the center, crispy fried exterior and seasoned with rosemary herb.
My dine-in guest had the egg in the basket, which showcases an egg placed strategically in the center of a thick, crispy whole grain bread. Below, the bowl is ladled with pork belly, fresh vegetables and hash brown with soft cheese.
It was from my Nutrition studies that I discovered we first eat with our eyes. I took a moment before taking a bite to admire the beautiful presentation of the food. Chef Virginia really put some thought into the food, from the texture of the potatoes to the combination of vegetables, meat and eggs. As Anna walked by our table, skillfully carrying other patrons’ orders, I couldn’t help but notice the beauty of each dish.
I couldn’t leave the restaurant without trying their dessert, which they are deliciously known for. Executive baker Hanna creates all their pastries in house, such as cheese Danish and various versions of cinnamon roll; some come with fresh berries and some come with chocolate or cream frosting. We ordered a plain cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting. It was anything but plain—there were hints of vanilla bean swirled in the thick creamy texture of the frosting; the body of the roll was crisp, yet soft and tender in the middle; and somehow the tangy flavor of the frosting managed to beautifully tango with the sweetness of the roll. It was by far the best cinnamon roll I had ever eaten. I will definitely be back to try their other pastries, among other dishes. One thing is for sure—their menu is a bucket list of foods to try.
Prep & Pastry is located on 3073 N. Campbell Ave., on the southwest corner of Hedrick Dr. and Campbell Ave. Parking is free and spots are available on a first-come first-serve basis; however, street parking may be necessary during their peak morning hours. There are seats available outside for patrons who are placed on a waiting list, and they are located to the right of the building. For more information on their menus, check out their website: https://www.prepandpastry.com/