Opened: May 2023
Banking exec turned restaurant owner Milot Bejta and his baker-wife Besa are turning out excellent Southeastern European cuisine at their tiny café, tucked away in a commercial neighborhood behind Scottsdale Quarter. Don’t be misled by the menu’s familiar breakfast and lunch selections, surely designed for the area’s office and retail workers. Instead, zero in on a handful of Balkan specialties guaranteed to blow your mind – like the burek, tender, flaky phyllo pastry filled with seasoned ground beef and sided with luscious house-made yogurt, a combo more satisfying than mere description conveys ($9.99). Qebapa are small, juicy, house-made beef sausages, lightly grilled and tucked inside house-made pitalka, the soft, springy bread of Kosovo ($12.99 for 10 pieces). Add a few dollops of sour cream and onion dip to this monster, maybe garnish it with the light, olive oil-dressed cabbage salad that sits alongside, and be prepared to swoon. The Toka signature sandwich is just as deliriously good, combining chewy cured and smoked beef (spicy, tangy and smoky at once), melted Gruyère, peperoncini and oregano ($9.99). Finish up with Besa’s extraordinary baklava, a perfect balance of brittle phyllo, crushed nuts and honey syrup ($4.99), another example of Toka’s soulful side.
Wild Card: Grilled Gruyère cheese on sourdough, layered with mushrooms, truffle carpaccio and arugula ($15.99). Not Balkan but definitely bangin’.
7678 E. Greenway Rd.,