I am such a fan of the Phoenix location and St. Francis that I was pretty stoked to hear that chef Aaron Chamberlin was putting a location in the East Valley (closer to home for me). I thought the decision to put a location in a quiet residential part of southern Tempe with no restaurants within a mile was pretty bold for them. They are essentially sending a message that they are going to own this area and be a cafe for the surrounding neighborhoods. I’ll be honest that my first couple of visits during opening month had its issues. The lines were super long and the customer service was working through many kinks. But after a few months, Tempe Public Market is quietly settling in and becoming a staple in this area. The patio area is dog friendly and very spacious. They have plenty of misters for the hot summers and a killer fireplace for the colder winter evenings. I like that beverages (non-alcoholic) are self-serve. They have counter service for ordering your food and seating is open. These are some of those things that makes this place feel like home. So far I’ve had breakfast and dinner here now. The Blue Corn Pancake is fantastic. It’s pretty large but not too filling for a pancake. The Steel Cut Oats are good but a little on the pricey side for me for oatmeal. They also do a community night for dinner on some nights. It’s a 3-course dinner for around $13 that includes salad, entree and dessert. Overall I can see this as a regular stop for me (especially in the mornings on that patio). I love the Farmer’s Market at the Phoenix location and hope that is something that gets incorporated here someday.
Jewel’s Bakery strives to make gluten-free items taste good. They have an amazing selection of bakery delights and desserts that are just as good as any gluten item. I’ve been wanting to stop by here for some time. Jewel’s is located in the Arcadia district and is family owned. Julie Moreno started this cafe in response to her daughter’s allergic response to gluten. Today, Jewel’s is a local favorite and a place you can visit and feel at home. They have a variety of salads, waffles, sandwiches and breakfast items on their cafe menu. You can also order your food online and they offer cooking classes once a month. I ordered the delicious Santa Fe bowl along with a slice of pumpkin pie. It was a nice prelude to Thanksgiving and the customer service was awesome. I had an enjoyable dinner here and I look forward to stopping in for a pastry or one of their waffle creations in the future.
“Quality is the number one ingredient in everything we do”
Every time I’m in Cali I swing by Porto’s Bakery & Cafe and pick up some delicious pastries to go. Rosa Porto opened her first bakery on Sunset Blvd in 1976 after her family emigrated here from Manzanillo, Cuba. They went through some tough times before people started catching on to how amazing her pastries are. She started to add other international savories to her menu and the business took off. Today there are three locations and long lines out the door everyday. It doesn’t stop people from picking up box of cheese rolls, potato balls or a cake. In addition to the pastries, they have some amazing sandwiches, juices and a full cafe. Some of my personal favorites I pick up are empanadas, ham croquettes, meat pies, and of course the potato balls (try the spicy one). You also can’t go wrong with any of the danishes or croissants either. Even though the parking can be a little crazy, Porto’s is always worth a stop.
While hanging out in Burbank, I stumbled upon this little gem while running around town – Porto’s Bakery & Cafe. The first thing I noticed was the line and the constant flow of traffic in and out the sliding doors. I decided to go in and take a look and found myself gazing and at all these pasties. Most of the people in line were here to make a box of pastries to go. I decided to make a box myself and take some back to my son in our hotel room. I got a apple and cherry danish. I had to try the meat pie and ate that one right away – yum. The cinnamon roll took us a couple of days to eat because it was so big. What a great find and I can’t wait to make a return visit someday.
Cherry and Apple Danish
– You can read my full review of my return visit here.
Downtown Mesa is really taking shape these days with the art center and all the cute little shops everywhere. Inside the Bungalow is both a cafe and a wedding venue and has been downtown for some time. It’s an old house with cozy furniture with a large grassy outdoor area. The cafe serves up a variety of sandwiches, salads and pasties that are cooked up daily. In their coffeehouse, they use Fair Trade coffee that is roasted locally. This place is a beautiful location for weddings as they have an outdoor courtyard big enough to accommodate a large wedding party. I had a nice quiet day studying here in one of their rooms and enjoyed looking at some of the old books on the bookshelf.
Today I had a fun day doing a photo shoot at Chandler Municipal Airport. I’m practicing depth of field with various aperture settings. But one of my favorite things about this airport is the Hangar Cafe. I love this little place! It is set right next to the runway so you can watch all the planes take off as you eat. My dad was in the Airforce and so I was like a little kid watching all the planes. They are a breakfast and lunch cafe that serves great food. I had the Airport Burrito – a breakfast burrito loaded with hash browns and sausage smothered with white gravy. Wow – I was stuffed.
Our amazing night wasn’t over. After proposing to Christin, we headed down to Gilbert to have some dessert at Liberty Market. They happened to be closed, so we went to Romeo’s Euro Cafe instead. They had quite a variety of desserts to choose from. We had a delicious chocolate cake and lemon pie with a latte. What a perfect ending to the most amazing night of my life!