A little more than six months ago, on October 22, 2012, the doors opened for the first time to a radically distinctive venue cleverly named Tavro Thirteen. This is a destination for anyone that loves food. You can be a casual diner or an expert foodie to enjoy any of the dining experiences happening at Tavro Thirteen.
Everything about this place is eclectic. In other words, the rooms, the decor, the menus, the food and drink, the affairs that take place are a collection of the finest of various styles, techniques and ideas. The owners, Effie and Gus Tzitzifas along with well-known and celebrated Chef Terence Feury transformed the Old Swedes Inn to a fine dining establishment that blends an historic bravado with a modern, trendy style.
This South Jersey restaurant is located at 1301 King’s Highway, Swedesboro, NJ in the 08085 zip code. It’s easy to get to and is part of Historic Swedesboro’s downtown district, across the street from Sweetsboro Pastry Shoppe. It’s a quaint area and the victorian architecture of the magnificent building is a bold feature inside and out. The building, its colors and decor command your attention. The bull out front symbolizes the meaning of the greek word “tavro” and the color red you see in the seating is no coincidence. The bull likes red. If outdoor dining is what you like, you won’t be disappointed here. There are plenty of tables, but it must be said that if you stay here, you will miss so much.
From the first footstep in, you are on a visual journey. Colorful, vibrant murals, funky, fun accommodations and light fixtures require your admiration. Everything is infused with special attributes. Mike Pfeiffer, one of Tavro’s insightful bartenders explains, “the lights in the lounge were done by an artist from Philly, Warren Muller, and actually spells out Tavro 13.” With a bit of a search, you can find it. “We always challenge everyone to find the “V” because it’s kind of hard to find,” he says. In the bar, the light fixtures on the walls are bears, not dogs, which is a common misconception, but significant to the symbolic financial beasts of the stock market (bull and bear) and the upward-downward trend.
If you sit down at the cement-top bar (it’s 33 ft. long), Pfeiffer, or one of your bar masters, will tell you about their hand-crafted classic cocktails as you search the menu. It is owner recommended to try Jack Rose! Mike says, “they’re all pre-prohibition style.”
The drinks are house made, as he explains, “we make our own syrups, even the honey, we make our honey syrup here. And the grenadine is a little different too; we use a pomegranate base instead of your traditional cherry flavor.”
Tavro Thirteen offers so much pleasure in dining and the food is no exception! With Owner/Chef Terence Feury in charge, get yourself ready for another journey but I warn, you must love food! His menus are ever-changing, and the dishes you will find here are inspired by local, seasonal products.
Brian Smith, a resident of South Jersey, says, “Tavro is really good. It really is…especially for Sunday brunch.” He is right! Brunch is really good. I went with several others to try this for the first time. Tiffany Hicks, one of my dining companions, “likes the variety of breakfast/lunch options.” She continues, “you can taste the freshness of the food,” adding “the burger is tender, has a subtle yummy ‘kick’ to it.” And she goes on to say “the deviled eggs with crab meat are definitely worth a try and the pastry basket is also fresh with a good variety to please everyone’s taste.” To be truly honest with you, I was thinking the whole time that this is fancy. Maybe even a little too fancy. But Tiffany was right and I could not have said it better myself, agreeing that the food was just produced, unprocessed and fresh. Once I tasted the Cavatelli, which is strong of garlic flavor, I was convinced that I am eating better than good! I’m eating like I deserve to ~ tasteful, delicious, unique flavors! Like Tiffany said to me, “I would go again. I would love to check out happy hour as the atmosphere made me want to stay and hang out.” If she only knew what I do now. The bar menu is a whole new experience. I can’t wait to go back with her. This menu too, is fresh, diverse and flavory. My fiancé and I ordered several snacks. As we tried one small plate, it led us to another. Take a look at all of the different dishes my foodie playmates and I have tried.
I could go on and on. The endeavors of Tavro Thirteen linger. The staff awaits you for dinner, entertainment ( Hotsy Totsy will be appearing for Mother’s Day Brunch from 12-2pm ) and whatever private event you may be a part of. The menus change continuously so this destination does not have a journey’s end. This is just the beginning. This is a restaurant dining innovation exclusive to Swedesboro, exclusive to South Jersey. Tavro Thirteen leaves a big impression, and I believe Pfeiffer says it best. He says, “It’s the little things and it really seems to be working. It’s definitely different for this area. I like it.” I think you will too!