The Two Gay Geeks had the opportunity to dining at a new (to us) restaurant with some friends a week ago and were very pleasantly surprised.
Duza’s Kitchen was suggested by our good friends Brendan and Gordon and it is located conveniently right next to Tuck Shop another of our recent discoveries.
Our friend Gordon eats breakfast there regularly and they just opened for dinner two weeks ago.
Duza’s Kitchen was opened in 2015 by Chef Mensur Duzic. Chef Duzic is known for selecting local available ingredients and combining them to give a fresh twist to breakfast and lunch favorites and now dinner. They also have vegetarian and gluten free offerings on the menu as well as a number of dietitian approved healthy entrees. They are open Monday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch and 5:00 to 9:00 on Friday and Saturday.
We only knew about it because Gordon eats there frequently and is always posting enticing photos of his breakfast items. When we invited Gordon and Brendan to join us for dinner we asked them to choose since in our house we play the “where do you want to go? I don’t know, where do you want to go “ game. They said we should try Duza’s Kitchen because the food was great and they had eaten there on their first Friday dinner. So, we said ok.
As we rolled up we realized that they were located in the same spot as Tuck Shop, which now makes that corner of Oak and 12th Street a magical spot for culinary delight. It appears to be hiding back in the back and doesn’t look like there is much space but there is a spacious outdoor patio and as you enter through the kitchen area the interior opens out to about 8 or 10 tables of varying size (two and four top).
We arrived a few minutes late and our friends had just ordered a charcuterie board that looked delicious (unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo). There was the standard Prosciutto and Brie, Gorgonzola and Salmi, a Cheddar and Smoked Ham (the ham was outstanding), along with olives and bread. That was a winner for me, I could have gone home happy with just that and been impressed with the quality and presentation. But, we ordered our entrees and beverages and that is when the fun started.
Ben ordered the Crepe with oven dried tomatoes, spinach, artichoke, and mushrooms with a mushroom bisque over the top. What a wonderful looking dish and the flavor was really outstanding and well prepared. I had one bite and was very impressed. I will have to order that at some point.
Gordon ordered the Pan seared Ahi Tina bowl with roasted vegetables. What is there to say about the presentation of all of the meals here but, Wow! Chef Duzic and Chef Ramos prepare and present food masterfully. Gordon ate all of the Tuna and most of the vegetables, of which there was a hearty portion. I had a bite of the Tuna early on and not being much of a seafood eater and then you add just seared, it makes me afraid (it the Oklahoma boy in me that I am trying to shed) but, this was a delight. I may actually have to try this for myself (don’t faint).
Brendan ordered the Tres major steak with roasted vegetables and sriracha horseradish mayo and toast. This is served on a big board as you can see in the photo below. What a feast. We each got to taste a slab of the beef and vegetables and they took some home to the Dynamic Duo of Beagles. The beef ( appeared to be tenderloin?) was sprinkled with what looked to be fresh shaved flake salt and the flavor was perfect. The poblano pepper was roasted to bring out the full flavor. Brendan said the asparagus was roasted just right with a certain crispness.
I ordered the Smoked Brisket with cipolin onions, and Asiago toast brochette. The Brisket was prepared not like a barbecue brisket but more like a corned beef brisket and the flavor was out of this world. The beef was piled on the toast that had a generous slice of Asiago cheese on each section. As an aside, the toast was split into four separate sections instead of one giant piece plunked down. This made it easier to negotiate on the plate. Thank you to the chefs, that was brilliant. Sliced Fingerling potatoes were an accompaniment to the dish and were perfectly roasted. On top of the beef was the pickled pearl onions and what tasted like a homemade sauerkraut that was a little sweet and tart at the same time. As I learned and you can see form the photos, Chef Duzic uses an onion sprout as a garnish on top of the meals as a signature. As I said the presentations were outstanding.
If you are looking for an alternative to corporate and fast food or even an escape form the trendy stuff then this is the place. Chef Duzic and Chef Ramos prepare some culinary masterpieces for a very reasonable price. We will be returning again very soon as I want to try more of the items on the menu.
2243 N 12th Street
SE Corner of Oak and 12th Street
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