- 220 S. Plumer Ave., Tucson, AZ, 85719
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- Mon.-Fri. 5:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat. 5:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
What was ordered: one Spanish omelet ($6.75), one plate with four strips of bacon and two eggs ($5.50), two coffees ($1.75 each) for a total of $15.75, well under our Cheap Eats goal of $20 for two people.
Comments: The most surprising thing about Laverna’s Coffee Shop isn’t their four-egg omelets, the fact that they have a living room, or even that they’re not a coffee shop at all. While those things are definitely strange, what’s stranger is that the greasy spoon has gone relatively unnoticed in a particularly diner-centric town.
In a city where Grill waiters take on the status of smaller deities and connoisseurs argue about eggs benedict as if it was French, you’d think Laverna’s would be a big name. Plus it’s located in the university/downtown area—albeit on a smaller street—just south of the Tucson mainstay Chaffin’s.
But Laverna’s has a more personal feel to it, and on a recent Saturday morning everyone in the homey restaurant seemed like they knew each other. The place was mostly empty, with chatty waitresses conversing behind the counter and people at different tables speaking to each other from across the room.
The setup at Laverna’s is quirky, but leaves a little bit to be desired. Antique pots line the shelves, but are paired with plastic Pepsi clocks from the ‘90s and old trophies from various car races. And the white-painted brick walls feel unusually thick, like you’re dining in a renovated police station.
Food: But the food and prices are excellent, and forced me to consider changing my Saturday morning diner affiliation. While other places around town are increasing prices to battle the recession, this place is cheaper than ever.
For example, none of their massive omelets costs more than $7, and each comes paired with choice of potato and toast. Unlike many other places, you’re allowed to choose biscuits and gravy, which is like a whole other breakfast in and of itself.
I chose the Spanish omelet, which had diced ham, onion, green chili, salsa and cheddar cheese smothered all over the top. It’s not really that hard to make a great omelet, but this one was superb. The chunky tomatoes were supposed to be spicy, but ended up being just tangy enough to supplement the green chili flavor. And the hulking cheese evened everything out. The toast was decent as well, and the home fries were normal but not really as crispy as I like them.
If I had any real complaint, it would actually be about the size of everything. It’s great to get a ton of food for a small price, but there’s no way a human being can eat that much. You can’t really re-heat an omelet that well, so when I was done we ended throwing about half of it out.
My boyfriend is able to stomach a little more than I can, so he managed to eat most of his plate (two eggs and four strips of bacon, with hash browns and biscuits and gravy on the side). The bacon was thick, the biscuits soft and gravy plentiful, and the eggs were scrambled perfectly. His only complaint was that the hash browns came out in a rectangular patty, with only a small layer of crispiness on the top and a bunch of mushiness throughout.
Bottom line: Though they could perfect their potatoes, most of the food at Laverna’s is decent and perhaps even gourmet compared to other diners around town. It’s kind of like the “Office Space” of the Tucson Cheap Eats universe. It’s a sleeper for now, but someday (perhaps after a few more cups of coffee) it’ll be a hit.