Restaurant: B&G Café
Location: Gilbert, AZ, (roadside)
Day & time visited: Saturday Morning, 9am
Reservations: No such thing
We woke up on a Saturday morning and instead of our usual Burrito Shack run, Caveman was in the mood to try a place (again) that we had tried a long time ago… During a time when our favorite breakfast spot on the planet had recently been closed – Bongo’s –and we were on our mission to fulfill its greatness. Being that this is no easy feat and that our breakfast mark had been set quite high…we decided to take another look at B&G’s. Besides, the first time we went there – we were both hung over! Shhhhh.
Being that this local spot is only about 10 minutes down the road, we jumped in our jeep and were there in a flash. Located in what looks like a little deserted strip mall, this place sits next to a cactus feed store and you wouldn’t think by the outside that delicious soul food cooking is brewing’ on the inside…
After “off-roading” behind the alley to get to the parking lot…**Caveman turned too early on Ray Rd. and put us behind the restaurant. Instead of admitting that maybe we needed to turn around…he found a welcoming hole opening in the wall, which of course our Rubicon could easily fit through… Right? Needless to say, I pulled my seatbelt on tighter and became certain we could not fit through the hole. But what does he do? He continues cruising forward, toward the hole, determined to make it work. I had my doubts, my fears…I even held my ‘oh-shit handle’ and before I could say a prayer – Caveman maneuvered beautifully down a sufficient awkward hill with a bump to top it off, and through the wall opening we went. We parked, and it’s time for breakfast!
We walked in to an “older style café” atmosphere with mostly booths and a few tables. It is not a large space and probably wouldn’t seat many people at once. The wait-staff was sharing all the tables in the restaurant and you could see the cooks prepping food behind a window. B&G’s gave off a friendly family vibe, like everyone knew everyone, and we were the outsiders walking in. We were immediately welcomed and sat ourselves in a booth near the wall. We didn’t even have to wait. Who doesn’t like that? A friendly woman greeted us and promptly brought Caveman his tea and coffee for me. The menus were aged to say the least and hung from a hook on the wall with a homemade hole punched in them. They were bent and old, but located right at our table, so we started browsing the choices.
The menu was simple really, offering up many breakfast classics. Any avid breakfast eater could find something to order at B&G’s. They offered things like biscuits and gravy, to any style of egg combo including omelets, chorizo and even pancakes. If you’re a skillet guy or gal, you’re outta luck.
It took Caveman exactly 1.2 seconds to figure out what he wanted because that Country Fried Steak and eggs was calling his name. As for me – I knew I wanted eggs and potatoes, and some bacon but I also wanted biscuits and gravy!! I have “decision making” issues sometimes…what woman doesn’t?? To my luck – I was able to get 1 egg, 1 slice of bacon, and 1 side of potatoes from the kid’s menu…YEP! She let me do that, but mainly because I was also ordering that side of biscuits and gravy. And boy I’m glad I did!! My breakfast was the perfect size. Our friendly waitress jotted down our orders and to my surprise, I recognized her from a newspaper clipping on a nearby wall. Along with what looked like the cook and seems like they might be family. And maybe even the owners? The article explains that B&G Cafe received a “best of the best” award in 2010 for best new breakfast restaurant. Hmmm, pretty motivating.
We didn’t have to wait very long before our food arrived. Just long enough for our stomachs to start growling. As she set the plates down, I noticed that mine and Caveman’s plates are portion appropriate…Not too huge to clean our plates without feeling gut guilt. **Caveman would disagree, and even try to tell you that the portions were “small” but from this Cavewoman’s opinion – you will get full. And you won’t feel like you have to go to the gym afterwards.
I took my first bite and it was clear to me that the breakfast potatoes on both our plates were real potatoes! Sliced in house and even seasoned well, with a teeny perfect crunch on the outside. You’d be surprised how many breakfast places open up a bag of frozen potatoes, heat then up and throw them on your plate without even adding salt and pepper! YUCK!! I had ordered my eggs over easy and my plan was to throw my egg on my potatoes and let the runny part ooze onto my potatoes making for a nice combination of savory tastings! What a relief to me that my plan worked! My egg was cooked correctly! Not over hard, not sunny side up, but perfectly over easy, just as I wanted! I threw that on my homemade potatoes and tore up the bacon and made myself a little “messy.” At this point, I’m very pleased with the flavor of my breakfast so let’s talk about caveman’s chicken fried steak.
As I mentioned, it was not a frozen patty! It wasn’t larger than the plate but about 2 fist sizes large. It was covered in the same generous amount of sausage gravy as my biscuits. The country fried steak in itself was delicious. It offered nice texture with the gravy and finished with a perfect crunch. All the flavors together were satisfying enough to not add salt and pepper. Overall – we’re happy we came back to B&G’s. Chicken Fried Steak on Caveman’s level is hard to find.
As we’re eating, both Caveman and I are picking up this unidentified zest in the gravy……hmmm, what is that? Poblano pepper I suggested? Is it green chile? Then we look closer in the gravy and we see these little pieces of green spice. We know it’s something… We know we like it, we’ve just never had that in our gravy before, and so we’re a little puzzled. We continue to taste and identify what this zing in our gravy is; when not to my surprise – Caveman, with his excellent palate, whips out – Jalapeno! It’s Jalapeno. My reaction was no …. Is it? Another bite, another delight…Yep. It’s jalapeno. It’s good. Just then, our pleasant waitress comes back to check on us. So we ask…”is this jalapeno in your gravy?? It’s goooooood!” She confirms that the green spicy zest we have tasted is in fact jalapeno, and she seems very pleased that we like it. And we did like it. The gravy had the right consistency and flavor, and the jalapeno makes you want to take another bite. It also substitutes the need to add extra pepper, if you’re a pepper person.
Both Caveman and I cleaned our plates and had a great breakfast. I must say it was unexpected, because last time we went, it was not on our radar or priority list to come back. Well, we must not have been paying attention! We know without a doubt, we would love to come back to B&G Café. You can’t just go anywhere and find tasty, homemade soul food…for the price we did this morning. Our entire bill with drinks was less than $19. Between the service and overall experience, it made shell out about $7 in tip!
On a scale of 1-10, 1 being poor, 5 being mediocre, and 10 being the best experience I can describe, here is how I rate the following for B&G’s Cafe:
Atmosphere – 4 Service -8 Appetizers- n/a Food-9 Drinks -7