Breakfast at Vovomeena In Phoenix

by Julie Cohn

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Breakfast at Vovomeena

Breakfast at Vovomeena

Phoenix is emerging as one of the southwest’s “foodie” destinations, with several restaurants specializing in breakfast fare.  A recent Saturday was spent having breakfast at Vovomeena, the tiny breakfast/brunch restaurant tucked away in the southeast corner of 7th Avenue and McDowell Road.   What a wonderful breakfast it was.

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Breakfast at Vovomeena in Phoenix

Vovomeena features hearty European-style breakfast fare, with decadent dishes such as Pain Purdo (a banana bread pudding french toast drizzled with whiskey-soaked caramel), and the Tortilla Espanola (a potato and egg spanish omelet).  A few lunch offerings are served after 10:30 a.m., including the Smoke Stack Special (a chicken sandwich topped with peppers, onions and served with a chipotle aioli), and the Clyde St. Cobb Sandwich (a stacked BLT with guacamole and blue cheese mayo).  While most breakfast restaurants concentrate on the food and serve mediocre coffee, the biggest “buzz” at Vovomeena (no pun intended) is their Japanese cool brew iced coffee called Mornin’ Moonshine.  This luscious super-caffeinated coffee is incredible!

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I met a friend for Saturday breakfast at Vovomeena, arriving about 9:30 a.m., just in time to get a table before the 10 a.m. crowds rolled in.  We waited in a short line to order our breakfast at the counter, reminiscent of the method of ordering food at many English pubs, and watched the chefs prepare dishes in an open kitchen.  A friendly counter server made suggestions, chatted with us, and took our order.  We were given a number place-card to put on our table, then ushered to the coffee bar to pick up our coffee orders.  The server invited us to sit “wherever we wanted”.  We sat in a corner to chat and ogle other diners plates.

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Within five minutes of ordering, our dishes arrived, the aromas tickling our noses as we dived in.  My friend ordered the Three Sisters Omelet, loaded with black beans, corn, zucchini, and feta cheese, with a sausage link chaser.  My breakfast, the Torta Espanola, a potato and egg spanish omelet, was bathed in a tomato-based brava sauce, with arugula salad and bacon sides.  The torta was velvety and light, more like a quiche than a traditional omelet; the brava sauce added a zesty balance to the creamy egg dish.  I also tried one of their Portuguese donuts, a beignet-like pastry dusted with confectioners sugar.   The lightly sweetened donut was crisp on the outside and airy inside, but was a touch greasy for my taste.  I will definitely give the Portuguese donuts another try next time I visit, as I may have caught them on an off day.

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Can we talk about the coffee for a moment?  Oh. My. Goodness.  The coffee beans are roasted at The Roastery of Cave Creek, then cold-brew steeped in-house, using a distinctive Japanese distilling system (the distillers hang on the wall near the coffee bar).

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The coffee is infused with flavors such as vanilla pod/cocoa nib and star anise/cardamom, resulting in a vibrant coffee with a silky-smooth finish.  Imagine the process of wine tasting and apply it to Vovomeena’s cold-brew blends–each swirl of the glass reveals the many layers of flavor notes in these coffees.  The coffee was so ambrosial, we each had two glasses, my second an iced cappuccino.

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The atmosphere at Vovomeena was hip yet unpretentious; the decor is industrial/minimalist, yet warm and inviting.  Attentive servers stopped by the table several times to chat, ask how our food was, and clear dishes. Although the dining space was was small and busy, tables are set far enough apart that we could hold a private conversation without our neighbors eavesdropping.

Vovomeena  is located 1515 N. 7th Avenue in Phoenix  | Open Tuesday – Friday 6:30 a.m.  – 1:30 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.


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