By Matthew Rudy
For many golf visitors, Phoenix is just the place where the plane lands before you drive up to Scottsdale. I'm not here to tell you Scottsdale isn't worthwhile -- Grayhawk's 36 holes and brand new patio gastro pub are fine building blocks for any weekend. Just carve out some time to spend in Phoenix proper, especially when it's time to eat.
Matt's Big Breakfast used to be the best morning place in Phoenix that you couldn't get into. The original 25-seat joint dealt clever interpretations of standard omelets and more prosaic dishes like the Chop and Chick (pork chop and eggs) to folks who waited for more than an hour. In 2012, the restaurant moved a few doors away on the same downtown street and doubled in size. The menu is still the same, and our wait was less than 10 minutes on a weekday. You won't realize how few places cook with real live butter anymore until you try the hash browns, and then you'll be convinced everybody else is making a terrible mistake.
Hours are 6:30 to 2:30 every day, and you can either order breakfast anytime or make a lunch foray with a BLT, reuben or (butter fried) Niman Ranch cheeseburger and kettle chips. Meter parking is plentiful and cheap right out front, so you have no excuse.
If the terrible traffic on the 101 down from Scottsdale pinches you for time, you can peel off and visit the new Big Breakfast outpost in Terminal 4 -- Southwest Airlines' base of operations. The menu is the same as the original, with the obligatory airport price inflation. It's a civilized way to get ready for the flight back to the real world.