Chicken is the #1 food trend for 2018 according to Nation’s Restaurant News which is great news for the local quick casual concept Chick-In. Located on the ASU campus in Tempe, Chick-In uses chicken as the main ingredient in its Mediterranean inspired cuisine with an emphasis on authentic Israeli dishes.
Owner Yariv Elazar is from Israel opened Chick-In in May of this year with head chef Maayan Glass who wanted to bring authentic dishes of his homeland to the ASU campus. Israeli cuisine is #3 on the list of top food trends of 2018.The versatility of chicken as a protein and its affordability are two of the reasons it placed at the top of the list released in early November.
That versatility and affordability are evident on the menu at Chick-In with an assortment of sandwiches, platters, bowls along with vegan options as well. The restaurant also keeps kosher. All meals are made fresh to order and Grab & Go salads are made fresh daily.
Chick-In is in Wilson Hall at 24 E. Orange Mall Tempe 85281. 480-665-2185. For hours and to see the menu visit their website.
When word spread earlier this year that Kevin Binkley would close his Scottsdale restaurant his followers were perplexed, relief came when word spread that a new Mediterranean restaurant, Char Kitchen + Bar would take its place. Char Kitchen is owned by a family of restaurant veterans, the Micakaj family, most notably is daughter & sister Pauline Martinez, co-owner of Scottsdale’s Perk Eatery. Peter, the father has owned & operated restaurants in Michigan for years and son Pal has honed his restaurant skills working with his dad.
My fellow restaurant bloggers and I were treated to Micakaj’s hospitality to taste several of the menu items that are influenced by the family’s Albanian heritage along with other eastern European and Mediterranean favorites.
“We look forward to serving our neighbors the kind of food we serve in our own home with the same, familiar atmosphere,” said Peter Micakaj
char kitchen + bar’s menu
Char uses locally sourced ingredients when possible and here are a few of the favorites we tasted. From the Starters part of the menu which we tasted the Chicken Lollis ($9), eaten off the bone that is bathed in a Pomegranate Harissa BBQ sauce, topped with crumbled Feta cheese and pickled onions. Sweet and savory this was a favorite to eat with great presentation. Prefer a bit of a kick to start off your meal, the Siracha Chicken Skewers ($8) offer just that with juicy char grilled chicken served over Basmati rice.
The Grilled Pork Chop ($24) seemed to be the favorite of the night with its Bing cherry and red wine reduction that gave a kiss of sweet flavor. Seared cabbage and lightly crisped potatoes offer a crisp texture to compliment thick cut juicy pork chop that offered enough to take home leftovers. Chicken ($17) & Steak ($19) Skewers come served over Basmati rice and offer a traditional style meal found in often in eastern Europe. Grilled Lamb Chops ($32) comes 4 to a plate and are soft and drizzled with Chimichurri sauce that will make not want to leave any meat on the bone. A pile potatoes and vegetables accompany the lamb chops.
Save room for dessert, especially the Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Cake that was both sinful and delicious to end our experience. Sandwiches, pita, salads and skewers and more are available make return visits inevitable.
Char Kitchen + Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner and is at 6107 N. Scottsdale Road 85250 (480) 664-9238 http://charkitchen.com/