Mother's Day Brunch
Feast’s peanut butter-stuffed Elvis
Green Chile Chilaquiles at Feast.
Chia and Pink Dragonfruit Bowl at The Coronet.
May 13. That’s the date. Make sure you are prepared to treat the moms in your life to a show-stopping brunch. First, mark your calendar, and then peruse the brunch options from a handful of local eateries on these pages. Whether celebrating your first Mother’s Day as a mom, or taking out three generations of moms in your family, this is your chance to indulge in everything from pastries and mimosas to eggs benedict or fresh seafood on ice.
By Sarah Burton
Photography by Thomas Veneklasen
There’s no wrong thing to order from the brunch menu at Feast, making this an easy choice for any celebratory meal — but especially for Mother’s Day. Chef Doug Levy will be serving his usual outstanding brunch menu, but look for additional inspired options for this particular May 13. Before perusing the rest of the menu, look no further than the brunch cocktail offerings. Try the ABC (named for the Aperol, Bauchant, and Cava that go into it) — Feast’s take on a mimosa.
Those with sugar cravings can partake of the sweet potato pancakes, topped with bourbon butter and spiced maple syrup. Or choose an icon-inspired dish. “Our most popular sweet breakfast offering is the Elvis waffles, which are buttermilk waffles filled with peanut butter and sautéed bananas, with an option to add in-house-cured bacon,” says Levy.
The Lobster Benedict is another favorite, on a house-made biscuit with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. You also can pick from lunch dishes like Feast’s famed Halloumi grilled cheese sandwich, pan-roasted duck breast, or a grilled octopus salad with grilled shishito peppers.
3719 E. Speedway Blvd., (520) 326-9363, eatatfeast.com
El Conquistador Tucson
For occasions like Mother’s Day, you can count on El Conquistador Tucson to roll out the red carpet with an exceptional brunch spread. This year, the 80-acre desert resort on Tucson’s northwest side will open up one of their stately ballrooms for a special brunch menu in honor of all the mums with a cornucopia of traditional offerings.
With bottomless mimosas, you can literally wine and dine mom, with live music and just about anything she might want to eat. “You can expect a huge variety of all the brunch favorites,” says Marketing Manager Lynne Gomez. “Every year we have an array of salads, made-to-order omelets, chilled seafood and carving stations.”
Don’t worry about satisfying mom’s sweet tooth — no brunch extravaganza here would be complete without numerous desserts. Sweet treats run the gamut from fresh fruit to pastries to indulgent and rich chocolate confections. This brunch event is inclusive and quite popular, so make sure you visit the resort’s website ahead of time for the full menu, pricing details and to make your reservation.
10000 N. Oracle Rd., (520) 544-5000, hiltonelconquistador.com
If mom is a fan of the buzzing downtown food scene, consider checking out Nook. The owners describe their fare as New American cuisine, which is easy to see from a glance at their inventive menu. Think of your favorite breakfast comfort foods given an artful twist with carefully selected flavor profiles. Here, eggs Benedict leave their classic-brunch relatives in the dust; one iteration replaces the standard English muffin with house-made crumpets topped with carnitas, fresh spinach and, of course, poached eggs with hollandaise. Or if you really want to (deliciously) fly in the face of tradition, try the shakshuka benedict with spiced tomato, eggs and creamy hollandaise all atop a crispy chickpea cake.
For Mother’s Day, Nook will offer their usual brunch menu, with a few fun additions to celebrate the holiday. Some of their brunch must-try dishes are the decadent cinnamon roll griddle cakes, and the hanger steak and eggs, made with Arizona beef and smoked chimichurri. Owners Nikki and Matt Thompson observe that they always add five or six specials to the regular menu. Look for a few unique Benedicts and French toast.
If brunch alfresco piques your interest, you’ll want to ask for a table on Nook’s patio, a hidden gem for fresh air dining amid the surrounding downtown buildings.
1 E. Congress St., (520) 622-6665
Loews Ventana Canyon
Enjoy an up-close view of the surrounding mountains with your meal at one of Tucson’s elegant brunch spots on the northeast-side. Loews Ventana Canyon will offer a special Mother’s Day brunch in their Canyon Café, a thoughtful menu that even offers a kid’s station to keep the little ones in your party happy.
All bases are covered, between made-to-order omelets, a traditional breakfast array, Bellinis (both the peach and champagne drink, and pancakes with caviar), and a grill station serving pulled pork, Sonoran hot dogs, ribs and grilled salmon. Seafood lovers will be pleased with the sushi, shrimp, clams, PEI mussels, ceviche, oysters on the half shell, crab and smoked salmon.
Of course, you can make sure to get lighter fare with the salad offerings, everything from traditional grilled chicken Caesar to red quinoa with grilled peaches and pine nuts, as long as you leave room for a visit (or two) to the dessert station.
7000 N. Resort Dr., (520) 299-2020
With a name like Ritz-Carlton, when someone calls their brunch a gala, you can bet you and the moms in your party are in for a treat. A short trek northwest of Tucson in Marana, at the end of a long and dramatic pathway, sits The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. This refined oasis is quite the backdrop for celebrating Mother’s Day, in the stately dining room of CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar.
The Mother’s Day spread includes an impressive array of freshly made artisan breads and baked goods, oysters on the half shell, shrimp and crab, several inventive salads, an omelet bar, both breakfast and lunch options, an array of entrées, and a roast meat carvery.
A trip to the lavish dessert station is an absolute must, whether you’re a dessert-first kind of person, or you prefer to end on a sweet note. Either way, once you manage to narrow down what to put on your plate, make sure to take time to sit back and soak up the view of the surrounding desert and mountains with mom while savoring your treats.
15000 N. Secret Springs Dr., (520) 572-3000, ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/arizona/dove-mountain
On a bustling corner on 4th Avenue, just before the underpass, sits arguably one of the area’s most charming restaurant patios, reminiscent of a Parisian café. The building itself opened in 1928 as the Coronado Hotel, and the painstaking-effort put into the redesign shows, even garnering recognition from the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation.
The Coronet serves up rustic, European country fare, and will offer a Mother’s Day brunch menu comprised of some of their most popular dishes with extra additions to celebrate the occasion. “Mother’s Day is a really busy and wonderful day for us,” says owner Sally Kane. “In fact, we don’t usually accept reservations but for this holiday we will.”
One of their standout regular brunch items includes Eggs Florentine, with fresh spinach, and hollandaise atop your choice of either house-cured gravlax or rosemary ham. And for something sweet you can always rely on The Coronet’s Belgian waffles with fruit and whipped cream, or order one of the pastries made daily from the local aka Deli & Bakeshop.
“In addition to our incredible coffee drinks, using beans from local roaster Caffe Luce, we’ll offer mimosas and
bubbly,” Kane says. “We also make a fabulous Bloody Mary, with our house-made pickles.”
402 E. 9th St., 520-222-9889
Prep & Pastry
Prep & Pastry became one of the city’s hottest brunch spots soon after opening. It’s almost a gimme when weighing locales to celebrate this mom-centric holiday. Since breakfast and brunch are the everyday science here, the usual menu will be available with a few inspired specials for good measure, and both locations will be open an hour earlier to make sure no mom is left hungry.
Fans of both sweet and savory paths will be pleased with brunch options. On one end of the spectrum, choose from the likes of the a.m. relleno (scrambled eggs poblano, queso fresco, mole), the rich cast-iron duck confit with cabernet cherries and goat cheese mousse, or the breakfast poutine with pork belly, sausage gravy, cheese curds.
The pendulum swings back to sweet with a bevy of French-toast offerings like the prickly pear lemon pie French toast, with lemon curd and prickly pear mascarpone, or the classic, which partner Nathan Ares points out is one of the most popular. “We dip house-made brioche in an amazing mix of eggs and chai from local Maya Tea Company,” Ares explains. “To that we add in some macerated berries, orange and candied almonds.”
Another of the eatery’s widely favored brunch dishes combines the soul-feeding flavors of an over-easy egg with oven-roasted sweet potatoes, leeks, asparagus, and an herbed mousse. Pair that with something bubbly for mom from the mimosa menu, from blackberry sage tea to a French-75 inspired version.
6450 E. Grant Road, #160
(520) 838-0809; 3073 N. Campbell Ave., (520) 326-7737, prepandpastry.com
The Grill at Hacienda del Sol
Another of Tucson’s long-established brunch locales, The Grill at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort steps it up with their Mother’s Day brunch menu. As with their normal Sunday brunch, mom and all other adult guests can sip and enjoy bottomless mimosas while sampling from the feast laid out before them.
You’ll want to look over all your choices carefully, from classic brunch options like the choose-your-own omelet and waffle bar, eggs benedict, or prime rib with horseradish. The eclectic entrées also include lobster frittata, jambalaya, and banana foster pain perdu (French toast’s custardy cousin).
A seafood station will feature smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, ceviche, and snow crab claws. To balance things out, salads on this menu will range from Asian chicken salad to one boasting a heady combination of green papaya, grilled pineapple and spicy peanuts, with a lime and serrano vinaigrette.
And no proper celebrational brunch would be complete without indulging in a sampling of desserts. Whether you’re a fan of donuts, tarts, and eclairs, or if strawberry lemonade cake pops and chocolate lavender cupcakes with Earl Grey buttercream are more your speed — you’re bound to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Rd.
(520) 529-3500, haciendadelsol.com