Like its wonton cup cousin, the seared ahi salad also sported flavorful tuna but seemed to be having an identity crisis. Flavorful veggies fought (and lost) in a taste war against the thickly sliced tuna's overpowering Cajun crust. Factor in the spicy kick of wasabi aioli, and you've got a flavor mess. And though the barbecue bacon burger with white cheddar, applewood bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onion strings, and barbecue sauce was fine, I found that a far more interesting selection had returned for dinner — the house-smoked kalua pork. This time, it appeared on a drool-worthy sandwich, with Denver-based Big Hoss BBQ Sauce and crunchy coleslaw served up sweetly on a brioche bun.

The service is solid, the staff knowledgeable and friendly. If you're a frequent guest, there's a chance you'll be waited on by a familiar face. Mine happened to be the owners' son. He's a charmer and certainly guided me to some choice dishes, but the boy needs to step up his game when it comes to the more mundane yet vital parts of the trade, like filling water glasses and busing dirty dishes before setting down more food. On occasion, owners Sami and Lisa Khnanisho are on hand as well, graciously inquiring about the food and thanking folks for stopping by.

Tryst Café probably doesn't fit as a destination for those living outside Northeast Phoenix, but it's a great new hangout if you're in the neighborhood — and a tastier alternative to the corporate eateries across the street at Desert Ridge. Sure, "fresh," "local," and "naturally delicious" are overused to the point of nausea, but if the food isn't good, what do those labels matter?

The kalua pork sandwich and sweet potato tots are two standouts at Tryst Café in North Phoenix.
Jackie Mercandetti
The kalua pork sandwich and sweet potato tots are two standouts at Tryst Café in North Phoenix.

Location Info


Tryst Cafe

21050 N. Tatum Blvd., #108
Phoenix, AZ 85050

Category: Restaurant > Breakfast

Region: North Phoenix


See: a slideshow of mouth-watering shots from Tryst Cafe.

Tryst Cafť
21050 North Tatum Boulevard
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Hawaiian breakfast: $10
Beer-battered green beans: $6
Roasted beet salad: $9
Roast Beast sandwich: $11

Lucky for us, Tryst Café walks the walk.

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"A quick glance at the menus confirms Tryst Café's concept of simple, reasonably priced breakfast, lunch, and dinner favorites made with organic, natural, and locally grown ingredients."Laura you seriously lack ANY knowledge of organic, natural, and locally grown ingredients. A quick glance at Tryst menu confirms that they indeed are "another restaurant cashing in on the locavore trend by throwing around words like naturally delicious, and seasonal" Take Tryst's menu down to your local farmer's market this weekend and see how many local organic ingredients you can


Maybe if you cry real hard and give her a huge raise, Laudig will come back.