Stunning architecture is a big part of what makes the Arizona Biltmore hotel so impressive. Built in 1929 by Albert, Charles, and Warren McArthur (with Frank Lloyd Wright serving as the consulting architect), the 39-acre retreat crafted from custom-designed pre-cast concrete blocks is a stunner. Dining areas, including Frank & Albert's, one of five on-site restaurants, are equally well designed. So is the food. Take the lemon mascarpone stuffed French toast ($12.45) as an example. Instead of a few slices of custard-dipped bread, it's crafted from a rectangular block of brioche, perhaps as an homage to the construction of the hotel, but maybe not. Either way, it's a destination-worthy breakfast dish.
The brioche is fluffy and sweet, with a crisp outer layer and a soft interior that gets thoroughly soaked with the custard. The lemon mascarpone comes into play as a creamy filling that's piped inside the brioche in three places. Cut into it and you'll release the warm, melty filling all over the toast (and your fork). On top, there's a mound of dense and slightly tart cream cheese frosting, plus a scattering of blueberries, toasted almond slices, and a drizzle of syrup on the plate. You get extra on the side but honestly, it's not necessary, until maybe the last bite.
Speaking of which, you might want to delay that final taste as long as possible. When breakfast is this good, it's sad when it's over.
Frank & Albert's
2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016, inside the Arizona Biltmore Hotel (map)