prep & pastry

Prep & Pastry

Prep & Pastry on Campbell: The Church of Breakfast (& Lunch), and the Best Chile Relleno Ever

First Impressions of Prep & Pastry – A rich experience. A treat. 4.6 out of 5. And all set to the tune of The White Stripes and Foster the People.

A question – Is it wrong to lick the plate after breakfast when sitting in a public place? What if the food is really that good?

Sophisticated, innovative cooking combine with high-quality fresh ingredients at Prep & Pastry, and as a result, they’re creating some pretty extraordinary food. In fact, Chef Donivan and his team are knocking the bacon out of the park.

prep & pastry

We first heard about Prep & Pastry through taunting texts from friends and fellow foodies Seth and Lauren Peress. Faced with a picture of Prep & Pastry’s Duck Confit Hash, in a text message saying, “Too bad you guys are on a diet…yum! Smiley face,” I really had no other choice. And so, a couple of Sunday mornings later, we find ourselves searching for that place Seth and Lauren tormented us with…and, voila! There it is, invoking a French farmhouse sort of expectation, featuring a 30 minute wait, and no, they don’t take reservations.

So, we wait. We wait, while the aromas of pastry and pork belly bacon waft from the kitchen. We wait, and as I look around to see what other diners are having delivered to their tables, envy sets in and I covet their food. It’s beautiful, and combined with the wafting I mentioned earlier, I have to exercise restraint not to ask for a bite. A good sign.

Once inside and seated, you’ll note that they have extended the French farmhouse feel and French roots of the cooking by creating a cathedral-style space. Sort of like a small but airy country church. Let’s call it, “Our Blessed Bacon and Belly Fat Savior of the Latter-Day Organic Egg Saints, with a side of pastry-with-bacon-crumbles, Church of Breakfast.” Yes, that’s what it is – the Church of Breakfast. And the chefs are performing the good and humble works of the Lord of Breakfast, referred to from this point forward by his earthly name, Chef Donivan.

prep & pastryYou might notice, as I did, the small stained glass window perched high at the back of the room. I believe its presence confirms my suspicions that these people are trying to convert us – with their butter and pastry and insidiously good service, their pork belly bacon, and their perfectly cooked omelets – into brethren. Brethren who, for lack of a stronger will, need to constantly return and seek the solace that can only be found in the good coffee and good food Prep & Pastry provides. AMEN!

Ready for details? It’s hard to focus on one fond foodie memory at a time…just like, while we were there, I could not stop staring at and envying the dishes being placed on the tables all around us.

Let’s talk about the Chef’s Omelet of the Day, though. Local kale/broccoli greens and shallots, with Gruyere cheese and house-made pork belly bacon. It was perfect, and was balanced in such a way that the shallots got to be the star without taking over the entire profile. Really nice – and, for me, qualifies as an omelet to whose standard all other omelets might aspire. Fluffy and well balanced.

prep & pastryThen there’s the Tri-Tip Sandwich. House-made cheddar biscuit, tri tip, scrambled eggs, arugula, and jalapeño jam. The thinly sliced tri-tip and herbs jump forward. Adding the jalapeño is not only a nice nod to Tucson – a theme that recurs throughout the menu – it’s also a stroke of genius. The biscuit carries a note of cornbread, and halfway through I had to abandon the concept of a sandwich and revert to fork and knife. Which was not a bad thing.

I asked the server if there was anything she wanted me to know about the restaurant. She didn’t pause a beat, and a big smile came over her face as she answered, “Oh, I just love working here and bringing this food out to everyone.”

Good news Ali, I love eating here and having you bring out the food, so the feelings are mutual. And getting to hear The White Stripes and Foster the People play in the background tells me you guys get what it means to be “in the now.” French cooking with a strong homage to Tucson and a modern flair.  There is just something entirely honest about the food that leaves you satisfied.

Service was excellent, food was beyond excellent, and the prices are what they should be for peasant food – very reasonable. Breakfast for three was $36 bucks.

By the way, anytime I’m this impressed with a restaurant, I try to go back as soon as possible to see if what I initially thought about the place was/is true. It was and is. We popped in for a second visit on a Tuesday morning and almost wrecked ourselves on the Duck Confit and The. Best. Version. of Chiles Rellenos I’ve had in my life.

I’d recommend trying them out during the week, unless you are up for a wait.

They don’t get the coveted 5 out of 5 for two minor reasons: Coffee grounds in my delicious coffee, and I’d like the potato hash to have a crispy component. I’m a breakfast snob, so ignore these small deductions if this sort of thing matters little to you.

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