My mother always told me it’s the most important meal of the day, so imagine my excitement when Tucson’s newest breakfast menu rolled out at a local pizza joint.

To be clear, a joint it’s not, with a thoughtful design, warm colors, and a passion for food and service that’s off the charts. But pizza has always been its anchor, and Renee Kreager has used it as her inspiration to re-invent breakfast at Renee’s Organic Oven, 7065 E. Tanque Verde Road.

“We wanted to put a different spin on breakfast, and really focus on what’s missing from other breakfast menus,” said Kreager.

But she didn’t have to think too far outside the pizza box. She simply built the menu around what she does best.

The 8-inch breakfast pizza is the standout dish on the morning menu, and there are five distinct versions that span a wide spectrum of flavors.

The “Margarita with a Runny Egg” takes the tomato-basil-mozzarella classic to a gooey new level, with the addition of a local organic egg and Parmesan cheese, and the “Vegan Crush” brings together vegan pesto, red sauce, pine nuts, zucchini, olives, artichokes, broccoli, and roasted red peppers.

Meat lovers needn’t fret as there are two selections that cater to carnivores. One features bacon, arugula, roasted green chiles, goat cheese, and a local organic egg, kissed with green chile oil from Tucson’s Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oil and Balsamics. And for breakfast classicists, scrambled eggs, bacon, garlic, sausage gravy, and cheese come together on a pizza in a way that truly works.

On the sweeter side, the “Berries and Cream” pizza begins with honey-sweetened mascarpone cheese, to which fresh berries are added along with a dusting of cinnamon and powdered sugar.

In addition to its signature breakfast pizzas, the menu also includes Kreager’s take on more traditional fare, from biscuits and gravy to breakfast casseroles, as well as something called the “Breakfast Board” that presents a host of fresh ingredients on a plank.  

“Our boards let you be in control so you can have an interaction with your food,” Kreager said.

The four boards feature custom combinations from a menu of items including granola, seasonal fruit, mozzarella and goat cheeses, local honey, chocolate nut butter, Arizona pistachios, and freshly baked bread.

On the beverage front, the breakfast drinks at Renee’s have attracted as much attention as the cuisine, and with Kreager at the helm, it’s no surprise that some fun cocktails are among them. 

“I love to make cocktails, and don’t mind drinking them either,” she said.

The morning cocktail menu showcases eight selections, and for those who can’t make a decision, a cocktail flight is available with 3-ounce tastes of three different libations.

The flight includes a spicy Bloody Mary, with celery bitters and a black pepper and salt rim, topped with a Sriracha-parmesan cheese crisp, an “A.M. Prescription” which integrates coffee, vodka, cinnamon, chocolate, and mole bitters, and a Mimosa with Prosecco and fresh juice.

Just to be sure that you’re paying attention, allow me to review.

Cocktails for breakfast.

Vintage Kreager.

Renee’s Organic Oven seats guests for breakfast on weekdays from 8:00 am – 10:30 am. While they may expand breakfast service to the weekends down the road, it’s a Monday through Friday thing at the moment.

“We have a family, and a life, and we are big believers of figuring things out the right way first,” she said.

So kudos to Kreager for keeping things real, and for having the wisdom to ladle sausage gravy onto a pizza.

Contact Matt Russell, whose day job is CEO of Russell Public Communications, at mrussell@russellpublic.com. Russell is also the host of “On the Menu Live” that airs 4-5 p.m. Saturdays on KEVT Power Talk 1210-AM, as well as the host of the Friday Weekend Watch segment on the “Buckmaster Show” on KVOI 1030-AM.

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