A new destination for brunch, lunch and produce has filled the empty building space next to Café Desta downtown.
The 5 Points Market & Restaurant opened last week at 756 S. Stone Ave.
Owned and operated by Brian Haskins and his partner Jasper Ludwig, the eatery is only serving brunch its first couple of weeks, with lunch options available by the end of the month.
“We are making simple things,” Haskins said. “But they are really well made, with good ingredients.”
Among the selections offered: a warm chia pudding ($5), with coconut milk, caramelized banana, pecan and brown sugar, and a breakfast salad ($8), with roasted butternut squash, roasted chiles, over medium eggs, Welsh white cheddar, arugula, heirloom tomatoes and herbs.
Haskins said the most popular plates so far are the smoked salmon Benedict and the huevos rancheros.
“I think you have to have huevos rancheros on the menu if you live in Tucson,” Haskins said.
Dishes use locally sourced ingredients based on their availability.
Before opening 5 Points, Haskins was the deli manager at Time Market on East University Boulevard. Ludwig still works as a manager at Café Passe on North Fourth Avenue.
They modeled their new venture after Sage’s Brunch House, a popular eatery in Olympia, Wash.
The couple moved from Olympia three years ago.
Customers can eat on the patio at 5 Points or inside at tables on hardwood floors amid exposed brick walls. The diner style kitchen area runs along the restaurant’s north wall.
Free-standing metal shelves and freezers toward the rear of the restaurant offer a selection of organic groceries, produce and other staples.
“It is a beautiful space,” Haskins said. “An amazing place to be.”
Haskins and Ludwig do not plan to have dinner service, but they are exploring the possibility of obtaining a liquor license for private parties and other musical events in the evenings.
Before 5 Points opened, the space was being used for occasional concerts and a tango night held twice a month. Those will continue.
“We are on the edge of Barrio Viejo, Armory Park and a gateway to Tucson’s south side,” Haskins said. “It is a nice little corner that I expect will be a hub for community activity.”
In other breakfast news....
The folks at the newly opened Prep & Pastry restaurant in central Tucson aren’t satisfied with cracking a few eggs and serving it alongside toast and home fries.
These guys like their first meal of the day to be so memorable you’ll be reminiscing about it when you sit down to the last meal of the day.
There’s a tri-tip and scrambled eggs sandwich served on a house made Cheddar biscuit slicked with jalapeño jam and topped with arugala. Their version of the Mexican scramble is the A.M. Relleno — a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with scrambled eggs, queso fresco, pico and Native Seeds/Search mole.
They are just getting started, said Nathan Ares, who owns the restaurant with his partners William Meinke, Billy Kovacks and Brian Pracko. The foursome opened Prep & Pastry, 3073 N. Campbell Ave., last Tuesday. The spot was most recently home to Amelia Grey’s Cafe & Catering.
Prep & Pastry, which serves breakfast and lunch, raises the bar on breakfast fare. This is a scratch kitchen, helmed by Jessie Bright (formerly of So-Ho and PY Steakhouse), where the bread used in the French toast is made on premises and they get as much of their food as possible from local farmers.
“We’re trying to be as local friendly as possible.,” Ares said. “We started at a bad time, in the middle of the winter of Arizona.”
Prices average $6 to $8; the most expensive breakfast is a duck confit hash for $11.
In about a month, Ares said, Prep & Pastry will resume the high teas that were popular at Amelia Grey’s. But Prep & Pastry will offer a modernized version, with the sandwich and pastry tier stands made of mesquite instead of metal and tea served from a french press, not a teapot.
Among the pastries you’ll find are scones that Ares said “are to die for.”
“We actually steeped our Lady Earl Grey tea into our scone dough for the blueberry scones,” he explained. “We’ll infuse tropical sunshine tea into the fresh strawberry scones. It gives it an extra burst of flavor.”
Prep & Pastry is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; facebook.com/prepandpastry