Morning Squeeze: Relish the Retro

by RaeAnne Marsh

Some meetings call for a power breakfast, and Morning Squeeze  has that covered as well as the lunch-time option — especially at the new location in Tempe, where tables can easily hold portfolios or notebooks along with the food. There is also plenty of solo dining at the indoor-outdoor bar. The patio wraps the south and west sides, and this time of year even the inside is almost outside thanks to the restaurant’s open design. The Mill Avenue address may be misleading; Morning Squeeze occupies the off-Mill side of the building and faces the AMC Theatre plaza, situated — just like the original location in Old Town Scottsdale on Scottsdale Road — for prime people-watching. And it’s mere blocks from what’s becoming a major business district along Rio Salado.

With 1970s influences, décor emphasizes bright colors in the booths and chairs and flowers on the tables, set off against the walls of weathered brick, under exposed high ceilings. Owner Todd Belfer says he plans to add a state-of-the-art DJ booth that will play host to some of the West Coast’s top touring DJs.

Having a great place to sit is only the start. The menu is built on fresh, organic and locally sourced ingredients. There’s a variety of eggs benedict dishes and specialty pancakes and waffles. Enjoy a side of ham — no anemic slice but a nice ham steak. “Lighter fare” includes the Wild Berry Parfait, with non-fat Greek yogurt, fresh berries and granola. Among health-conscious alternatives are the Pitaya Fruit Bowl, which combines shaved coconut, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, granola and sliced bananas, and the Belfer Fit Bowl, made with brown rice, quinoa, cilantro, scallions and egg whites. Specialty coffee beverages are offered, as are protein shakes and all-natural fruit smoothies. The lunch menu runs from burgers to salads and includes specialty sandwiches such as the Montecristo Classic, made with turkey, ham, melted cheddar and Swiss cheese, battered and fried, and served with a side of grape jelly dipping sauce.  

Morning Squeeze 
690 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
(480) 264-4688

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