Yuma's Best 2012: The Garden Cafe
Best Sunday Brunch
The title of a 1980s bestseller about proper male roles got co-opted as an expression that can still be heard today: “Real men don't eat quiche.”
But don't let that be said in earshot of anyone dining at The Garden Cafe & Spice Co.
Quiche is on the menu for Sunday brunch at the longtime Yuma restaurant, as well as on the regular breakfast menu.
You can get the Garden Vegetable Quiche or the Garden Southwest Quiche.
“And they're very popular with customers — even the men,” restaurant owner Debbie Gwynn said recently with a chuckle.
Quiche is not the only popular brunch fare at the restaurant at 250 S. Madison. You can also have marinated carne or pollo asada, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, homemade fruit bread and fried garden potatoes.
No wonder voters in the Yuma's Best poll picked The Garden Cafe as the best place in the Yuma area in 2012 for Sunday brunch.
The popular outdoor cafe, now approaching its third decade in business, is a recurring winner in that category of the annual survey conducted by the Yuma Sun, and Gwynn attributes the restaurant's following in part to its use of long-held family recipes.
“Everything we serve at The Garden Cafe is homemade, and we take pride in the ingredients we use,” Gwynn said.
Also on the brunch menu are Spanish rice, pinto beans, ham and cheese strata and dessert.
Sunday customers, however, can opt for the regular breakfast menu that features items such as Kamman sausage; a breakfast salad made from low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, raspberry sauce and granola, and Swedish oatmeal pancakes.
The pancakes, served with the customers choice of lingonberries, raspberries or applesauce, are one of her customers' favorites, Gwynn said.
Another is Eggs Benedict — ham on an English muffin served with two poached eggs, all topped with homemade Hollandaise sauce.
“Everything (in the Eggs Benedict) is made from scratch,” said Gwynn. “It's not pre-made and left sitting.”
The cafe is located on the site of the 19th century home of the late E.F. Sanguinetti, a Yuma pioneer and prominent merchant in the area and grandfather of Gwynn's husband Bruce. Today, Debbie Gwynn is proud of the fact that The Garden Cafe not only serves the community as a popular restaurant and provides jobs, but plays a role in historic preservation in downtown Yuma.
Gwynn said the cafe employs about 20 full and part-time workers, some of whom are students at the city's high schools, Arizona Western College and Northern Arizona University's Yuma branch. Some are long-time employees, having worked for her for 14 or more years.
Besides breakfast customers, The Garden Café serves the lunch crowd, offering a selection of sandwiches, homemade soups and salads — and quiche.
Its hours of business are 9 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends. It is closed Mondays. The cafe closes for the season every May, owing to the approaching heat of summer, then reopens in October.
Apart from serving customers during regular hours, The Garden Café hosts special events on its premises and caters events around town.
The Garden Café's phone is 783-1491. For more information, visit www.gardencafeyuma.com.