Exo Roast Co. recently expanded both their physical space and their culinary offerings. The café, housed in an old glass shop on Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street, now serves breakfast out of its Southern Arizona Work Space. Work Space isn’t some trendy throwaway concept—the dining area, with long tables and an open kitchen, also has a large chalkboard and shelves lined with books. Classes and talks are offered several days a week, and range in subject matter from water usage and Spanish classes to artist lectures and book releases.
Breakfast is served until noon. Produce, sourced by Pivot Produce, is featured alongside local cheeses and eggs, homemade granola, and baked goods. The menu is simple, and prices are reasonable considering the quality of the ingredients. The ethos behind Exo’s coffee—optimal customer experience paired with a goal of social responsibility and environmental sustainability—is apparent in their food. On a recent visit, we tried a couple of their breakfast sandwiches.
The Herb Egg Sandwich, with Fiore di Capra chevre, rosemary, sage, thyme, calamondin lime jam, and greens, was served on a homemade sourdough English muffin. The bite of goat cheese was tempered perfectly by the sweet and herbaceous jam, and, at $5, the sandwich was a great value for the portion.
The “Whiskeytown” Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich ($6) featured the same chevre alongside Sausage Shop Canadian Bacon, San Xavier roasted green chile, roasted tomatillos from Dream Flower Gardens, and an over-medium farm egg—all piled high on a homemade biscuit.
All produce on the menu is local, organic, and/or wild-harvested. With that in mind, we tried the Fruit Cup ($4). Seasonal and locally sourced, it was unlike any I’ve had. Featuring melon from Cochise county and white pomegranate alongside fresh, tart tomatillos, shaved thin, and perfectly crisp pear, the bowl was a vibrant combination of texture and flavor, and a clear indication that we live in a region with so much great food to offer.
Regional touches pepper the menu—ocotillo, chamomile, and ironwood blossoms in the granola and Tohono O’odham h:al squash and I’itoi onions on the sandwiches are just a few examples of how Exo raises the bar on local sourcing by bringing customers ingredients native to the Tucson area.
Pastries from the B Line are still available and still irresistible. We opted for a seasonal pumpkin and cream cheese scone. Not too sweet, dense and moist, it was the perfect snack while we drank out coffee and waited for our food.
The coffee, of course, deserves mention—Exo’s coffee is excellent and expertly prepared, and their focus on sustainability, community engagement, and education are an undercurrent to all they do. In that sense, their expansion into a workspace feels natural.
Lucky for consumers, taste, ambiance, and value do not suffer in the face of such noble underpinnings. Exo would be an excellent breakfast choice regardless, but their use of local ingredients, paired with their underlying values, is a challenge to other restaurants that settle for less.
Exo Roast Co.
403 N 6th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 777-4709