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He Said: Duza’s Kitchen is the perfect neighborhood cafe

(Facebook Photo)

The historic Coronado District, just north of downtown Phoenix, is coming into its own, as are other of the historic districts around the Valley.

A good sign that your neighborhood is heating up in popularity is increased restaurant offerings.

My first experience in Coronado was with Tuck Shop, which I instantly fell in love with. Its retro home décor and setting fit perfectly into the surrounding area and the food was amazing.

Right next door used to be a BBQ joint that was never that busy. Lucky for us, that same space is now Duza’s Kitchen.

We went for a visit this past weekend and, while they could use a good air-conditioner, the place was packed and for good reason. I had heard their breakfast is the reason to go, but looking at the menu, I could definitely see myself coming back for lunch.

It contained well-balanced offerings of delicious-sounding sandwiches, salads, soup, pasta and a few seafood options. The BBQ is still there if you are craving some pulled pork or brisket. But let’s get back to the breakfast.

I had a seriously difficult decision to make, as I could have selected a bunch of different options. I ended up choosing the Shepherd’s Biscuit.

An incredibly flaky biscuit sits on the bottom of the plate, split open to allow for the toppings on each half. It is topped with cheese, smoked bacon, brisket, Italian sausage, avocado, ricotta and finally a couple of eggs between the two halves of the biscuit.

This is beyond plenty of food for one person.

The bacon was crispy — as I like it — and the sausage had quite a kick to it and got my spicy senses tingling. The nice, cooling ricotta and avocado helped balance that sausage out along with the yolk from my over easy eggs.

The real star, though, was the brisket. I’m not sure what it was that made this stand out but it was moist and tender and added a lot of flavor to each bite.

My lunch partner ordered the Savory Crepe and savory it was indeed. The perfectly-created crepe contained arugula, artichokes, oven-dried tomato, boursin cheese, Portobello mushroom, and sat in a wild mushroom cream sauce.

It’s perfect for lunch or if you just don’t want a typical breakfast option. I actually would order this for dinner if they were open.

We both shared a cinnamon bun that was beautifully layered inside. It had just the right amount of cinnamon and sweet sugar without being over bearing like a Cinnabon-type bun.

During the hot summer, I definitely suggest getting there early to grab one of the few seats they have inside, but there is beautiful outside seating for when the weather cools down. The staff is really friendly and willing to help you choose if you just can’t make a decision.

Duza’s Kitchen is the perfect, small neighborhood café.