Gyros and dino-crowned eggs compete over two concepts | Business

Owners of breakfast/brunch cafes The Crowned Egg in Chandler and Gilbert officially acquired Dino’s Gyros, a popular fast food restaurant in Ahwatukee Foothills serving Greek, Mexican and American dishes, on March 1.

The new name combines Dino’s Gyros and The Crowned Egg, and the menu reflects a blend of both concepts as well.

Popular items like gyros, Greek salad, carne asada, beloved fried zucchini, and onion rings are all still on the menu, even as the breakfast offerings expand to reflect the new brand. The Crowned Egg is known for its chili dishes like green pepper burritos, green pepper pan, huevos rancheros and chilaquiles.

“We try to accommodate our menu while retaining the classic favorites of this place,” said Manny Linares, who owns the restaurant with his business partner and son-in-law Carlos Aguayo.

He added that New Mexican dishes and carnitas were particularly well received in the Ahwatoki community.

Linaris admitted that some favorite items were cut out so they could keep costs down while maintaining the best quality, but some items were improved.

“We get rid of the frozen chicken tenders and make them fresh here,” he said. “We bake them and fry them.”

Although other The Crowned Egg locations serve breakfast and lunch only, the one in Ahwatukee, at 1319 E. Chandler Blvd. Near Desert Foothills Parkway, open 7am-8pm Monday through Saturday and 7am-3pm Sunday. However, breakfast is served all day.

The restaurant, located in an old Jack-in-the-Box building, was once home to Eat Smart, which opened in 2019. Dino’s Gyros was next to occupy the space, and met owner Aguayo while shopping at Restaurant Depot. She said she wanted to sell it, so he offered to buy it.

Sparkling white tables, cherry red vinyl chairs, and fluorescent lights still remind us of the fast-food vibe, but the new owners offer full table service from 7am-2:30pm daily.

Also, the Ahwatukee site is the only one with a car, although the menu for that and takeout is smaller than that for dining. It seats 60 people inside, and there are three patio tables that seat four each. Meal prices generally range around $10-12.

Linares and Aguayo initially began working with The Crowned Egg in Gilbert in April 2018 and then opened the Chandler location in August 2020.

Both have long histories in the restaurant business: Linaris has worked at Red Lobster for 10 years, mostly in customer service. Meanwhile, Aguayo is experienced in the kitchen with a variety of cuisines, including Greek, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and New Mexican.

“She knew a lot about the front of the house, he definitely knew a lot about the back of the house, and we combined our ideas together,” Linares commented.

Opening two new locations during the pandemic has been challenging, Linares said, but “at the end of the day, we just kept our heads down and went with the punches.”

Supply chain problems affected everyone. We just try and get over it. We try to find a solution to the problems we have. If we have to go a certain distance to get something that we know will bring value to the experience, we will.”

For example, Linares explained, there is a certain type of coffee whitener that people enjoy, and if they have to travel a few more miles to find it, they will.

The duo came up with the name The Crowned Egg because they were joking that their eggs were so good, they were the king of eggs. They have built their business on a simple formula of good food and good service.

“We want to give people the best possible value,” Linaris said.

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