About Town: Tryst Cafe, KOVO and Killer Burger

I am far overdue for an update so please forgive me.  Championship swim season has me traveling from Texas to California to watch my little ones compete.  I play catch up while I am home, and promise to continually be on the look out for the latest and greatest.  On the plus side, I have been able to sneak away and do some fun traveling to places like the Grand Canyon and Miraval, so don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date.

So where have I been eating? Lots of new spots are popping up in the Valley at such a rapid pace. Population growth has helped bolster the thriving restaurant community, making restaurant and food service one of the most important employment bases in this great state of Arizona. Springtime is hands down one of the best seasons in AZ, and restaurants are keen to showcase fresh ingredients and ideas. So here’s just a sampling from the last month…enjoy! xoM

Tryst Café

A Desert Ridge restaurant since 2010, Tryst Café has opened a new location in the East Valley on Gilbert Rd.  The newly-built 3,500 square-foot location offers diners the option of both full-service dining and a walk-in coffee and smoothie bar for those on-the-go. Plus, on topic with my post about 2019 restaurant trends here, Tryst Cafe is one of the first in the Valley to infuse CBD into beverages upon request.

To celebrate the opening, more than ten new items have been added to Tryst Cafe’s menu, including Strawberry Custard, Pecan Crusted, and Traditional French Toasts, Monte Cristo Sandwich, Crispy Quinoa Avocado Starter, Bison Burger, Naturally Raised Buffalo Chicken Wrap/Sandwich, Pork Adobo Tacos, and a Steak Salad.

Tryst Cafe’s Strawberry Custard French Toast is stuffed with strawberry cream cheese.
The Bison Burger, with Gorgonzola cheese, arugula, crispy onions, Bourbon sauce, on a brioche bun is served with French fries.

Tryst Cafe has long appealed to the vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free communities for their healthier options, such as the Banana Quinoa Pancakes, Avocado Toast, Hawaiian Organic Egg Breakfast, Harvest Buddha Bowl, Portobello Sandwich, Roasted Curry Cauliflower, and the Kale Wrap. I suppose you could call them “light”, but with such variety and substance, they are anything but.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower
Harvest Buddha Bowl

Owner Lisa Khnanisho says it best: “Our menu is natural, healthy, and clean with something for everyone from the vegan diner to the meat-and-potatoes lover. We believe everyone can have an affair with naturally delicious food.” Cheers to that!

4205 S Gilbert Rd., Chandler  85249

 21050 N Tatum Blvd #108, Phoenix, AZ 85050

www.trystcafe.com

KOVO Modern Mediterranean

Nestled between the Original ChopShop and Rusconi’s American Kitchen on the north-east corner of Tatum and Shea, is KOVO Modern Mediterranean, a Mediterranean concept showcasing traditional dishes of the Mediterranean region combined with an emphasis on rotisserie meats. The Greek word KOVO means “to carve”, and rotisserie meats, such as lamb, beef and organic chicken, are carved and served to order. In addition, there is variety of Mediterranean-inspired shared plates, such as house-made hummus (try the red bell pepper…the best!!), tzatziki, grilled eggplant and Halloumi, sheftalia (homemade Greek sausage), grilled octopus and crispy calamari. Bring your whole family, and kids and adults will appreciate the tasty pizzas, such as the Napoletana, Blanca, and Della Carne, made to order in a wood-fired oven. KOVO has also started serving brunch on weekends only, where you can enjoy Shakshouka (see my post with a recipe here), Spanikopita Benedict, Smoked Salmon Pizza and Bloody Mary flights. I have to go back just to see the Hangover Sandwich, with lamb and pork sausage, caramalized onions, fried eggs and melted cheese. Opa!

10625 N Tatum Blvd, Suite 150, Scottsdale 85028

www.kovomedi.com

Lightly breaded calamari with artichokes, feta, capers, pepperoncini and tomatoes.
It doesn’t get much better than a simple Greek salad with grilled salmon.

Killer Burger

You may be wondering why a person with heart disease would go to a place called Killer Burger. Well, to see their heart healthy options! And Killer Burger offers them, which makes me super happy because I can show you a variety, from Killer Burger’s famous Peanut Butter Pickle Bacon Burger to their Vegan and Veggie Burgers. This also means everyone in our family can get what they want, and that is important as many competitors do not offer vegan options (i.e. Shake Shake, In-N-Out Burger). Next to that, how does Killer Burger stand out? All (traditional) burgers have 1/3 pound of 100% grass fed beef, and bacon and fries are included with every order, unless you are like me and say, non merci. In fact, the bacon is cooked criss-crossed so you get a mouthful with every bite (and it doesn’t fall out).  The first location opened in 2010 in Portland, Oregon, and has expanded to 9 locations, with the Hayden Road location being the first outside of Oregon. Owner T.J. Southard had spent his childhood driving on road trips with his parents and wanted to create a concept that serves some of his favorites.  In addition to burgers, they serve a variety of craft, pilsner and IPA beer on tap. What a perfect pairing! Killer Burger is located on Hayden just south of Indian Bend where the old Boston Market used to be (for those ole timers).

6977 North Hayden Rd,. Scottsdale  85250

www.killerburger.com

From top to bottom, the Barnyard Burger withbacon, ham and egg, the Jose Mendoza with bacon, green chiles and Monterry Jack cheese, and the Peanut Butter Pickle Burger, which received HUGE applause from all who tried it.
And for me, the Veggie Burger served vegan-style, without bacon and special sauce. But, I still felt special :).

All photos by Marci Symington for texAZtaste.com.

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