OPINION – Some secrets are meant to be shared.
Xetava Gardens Cafe is one of them. Located in the heart of Coyote Gulch Art Village in the Ivins community of Kayenta, this former coffee bar turned restaurant is easily the St. George area’s best kept secret. Well, until now.
The location itself is full of good-natured charm. Immediately upon arrival, you are encompassed by fine art galleries, pottery studios, and other collectible artistic treasures. You quickly learn that Xetava isn’t just another ordinary neighborhood restaurant. It’s extraordinary. And you’re just getting started.
As soon as you step into Xetava you feel refined and intrigued. The restaurant’s interior adds an even more unique flair to the dining experience. Local art illuminates the walls. Native American artifacts are tastefully placed throughout the room. The music playing over the speakers provides good vibes and helps retain a friendly ambience. Perhaps the toughest decision you will make during your visit will be whether to sit inside or outside. Hint: You can’t go wrong with either.
The menu is simple, yet still manages to provide vegetarian and gluten-free options. Not into that? Don’t let it scare you away. There’s something for everyone. Let’s start with the most important meal of the day … breakfast.
A good place to begin is with the house favorite breakfast bagel ($9.95); it’s a toasted bagel topped with cage-free egg, avocado, melted dill havarti, bacon and tomato. Other menu items include the breakfast ciabatta ($8.95), heaven waffle ($11.95), the Johnstrosity ($10.95), or the BO-ritto ($10.95). If you wholeheartedly trust my opinion, I have two words for you: Egg McGreg. This $8.95 delicacy is a triple combination of eggs, ham, and melted cheddar cheese on a toasted croissant. My stomach has never been so satisfied. In fact, my mouth is currently salivating at just the thought of it. You’re welcome.
This is one of those restaurants in which eventually the staff will welcome you by name and have your “usual” order memorized – usual here meaning the meal your taste buds haven’t stopped daydreaming about. Yes, of course you’ll take the usual. Again.
Lunch and dinner share the same menu, and are served until 5 p.m. during the week – 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The most popular items are the gourmet hamburgers. However, the menu also offers various salads, small plates, ciabattas, gyros, and wraps for those times you don’t want to eat quite so All-American. My go-to choice is always the turkey ciabatta ($9.95) packed with turkey, melted dill havarti and fresh veggies. Word of warning: Unless you have severe food allergies, don’t try and customize your entrée. They certainly know what they’re doing here.
Do yourself a favor and pair whatever you order with a Royden Lemonade Supreme ($5.50). It’s a Xetava original, and is a flavorful slushy concoction of all natural lemonade blended with vanilla, coconut, and fresh mint. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. If the price is too high for your liking, you can have it brought out in two glasses to share. Otherwise, drink the whole dang thing by yourself. You’ve earned it.
Don’t even get me started on the desserts. Order all of them. Go crazy. If you only choose one, let it be the bread pudding. I repeat: Bread pudding. Is there any dessert out there that can compare? Just so we’re clear, the answer is “no.”
When you find yourself saying, “I never get to eat food like this in St. George,” there’s a reason behind it. Owners Greg and Rachel Federman carefully crafted the menu after each of their home town eateries. Consequently, they have delivered a menu that is a mixture of Portland and New York, a combination that is not easy to achieve. Bravo Federmans, Bravo.
You may think I’m getting a bit carried away, but the truth is I’ve never left Xetava disappointed. And I hope you don’t either. I promise it’s oh-so worth driving the extra mile (or 7) to delight in this hidden gem. Trust me.
You can thank me later.
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- Xetava Garden Café | Website
- Address: 815 Coyote Gulch Ct. Ivins, Utah 84738
- Telephone: 435-656-0165
- Hours of Operation: Breakfast – Monday-Sunday 9am-11:30am | Lunch/Dinner – Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. | Sunday 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
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Ali Hill is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are her own, are not influenced through any advertising agreements with St. George News, and are not representative of St. George News.
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Ed. note: Name CORRECTION made Oct. 10: Rachel Federman (not Racher)
Email: [email protected]
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