Arizona’s Grabbagreen continues local & out of state expansion

Healthy eating continues to become more convenient in Arizona and beyond as the 4-year-old Scottsdale based Grabbagreen has agreed to open 2 new locations in the southeast valley. In a franchise agreement with brother and sister Matt Black & Janae Furr of Black & Furr LLC it will make for the company’s 80th franchise agreement since they started franchising in 2015.

In addition to the Queen Creek & Chandler locations other Arizona franchisees will be opening locations around Phoenix. A Gilbert location at Loop 202 & Gilbert Rd, is their 1st east valley location that opened this past Monday. A second Scottsdale location at Scottsdale Rd & Bell Rd. will open in May bringing a total of 8 Grabbagreens in Arizona.

Fresh pressed juice. Photos courtesy of Grabbagreen

Grabbagreen serves healthy fast food that is made to order with green based super foods on a menu that includes ingredients that are naturally gluten-free, preservative and GMO free along with proteins that are hormone and antibiotic free and the menu is mostly organic. The menu includes bowls, fresh pressed juices, handcrafted smoothies, Acai bowls and a kids friendly menu. Signature items are available along with a “Grab Your Own” option based on individual dietary needs.

“Living in Arizona, we have been big fans of Grabbagreen since it opened its first location in 2013” say Matt Black. “Grabbagreen was the obvious choice for us. We fell in love with business opportunity that Grabbagreen brings to our family and we can’t wait to grow the Arizona -based brand and bring healthy fast food to the East Valley.”

Grabbagreen has 15 restaurants in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas with plans to open 20 more in 2017.
For more information and to find a location near you visit http://www.grabbagreen.com/

Ocean Poke Company to open with week long specials

It seems like Poke, the Hawaiian raw fish salad, is the biggest food craze of 2017 much like the FroYo was a few years back. It seems like every other week there is a new Poke restaurant or location opening around Phoenix and the week of March 27th is no different. Ocean Poke Company opens along the popular restaurant row of Indian School Road in Phoenix.

The fast casual Ocean Poke Company offers fresh “poke bowls” with vegetables, grains, noodles, fruits, sauces and proteins which are healthful and energizing. During the week-long celebration many daily specials will be available.

“Our options are a little different—we wanted to feature both signature bowl ideas for poke fans who want to make it easy—and customizable options with more variations for those who really want to create their ultimate bowl,” said Ocean Poke Co. Co-Founder Chad Ahrendt.

The 7 signature bowls are offered with 2 protein scoops for $10 and 3 protein scoops for $12 and include

  • OPC: White Rice, Tuna, Salmon, Cucumber, Carrots, Watermelon Radish, Wasabi, Green Onion, OPC Sauce
  • Cali: White Rice, Imitation Crab, Cucumber, Avocado, Green Onion, Pickled Ginger, Wasabi, Sesame Seeds, Spicy Mayo
  • Kim Chi: Tofu Noodles, Albacore, Shrimp, Kimchi, Daikon Sprouts, Pickled Red Onion, Green Onion, Masago, Sesame Seeds, OPC Sauce
  • Heat Check: White Rice, Spicy Tuna, Cucumber, Jalapeno, Wasabi, Green Onion, Daikon Sprouts, Chile Flakes, OPC Spicy Sauce
  • Go Hawaiian: Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Edamame, Green Onion, Sesame Seeds, OPC Sauce
  • Citrus: Tofu Rice Noodles, Albacore, Scallop, Mango Relish, Edamame, Watermelon Radish, Coconut Flake, Citrus-Ponzu Sauce
  • Go Green:Quinoa, Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Green Onion, Avocado, Daikon Sprouts, Edamame, Pickled Red Onion, OPC Sauce

Ocean Poke Co. is the brainchild of 4 successful entrepreneurs & Phoenix natives Chad Ahrendt, Chris Mercato, Charles Richardson and Brian Delia who bring many years of combined experience to the company.  “We have managed many businesses in the natural health industry, and I know this will help impact Ocean Poke Co. for the positive,” said Richardson.

Below is the schedule of daily specials.

March 27 & 28: 50% off your bowl

March 29 & 30: Buy one bowl, get one free (equal or lesser value)

March 31: A percentage of proceeds will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital

April 1: Free Cali Bowl or $8 off any other bowl, 11 am – 1 pm

Ocean Poke Company is at 3619 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018 and hours are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Sun-Thursday) and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. http://www.oceanpokeco.com/

 

Chef Charles Wiley to open Hearth ’61 at new Mountain Shadows resort

A lot has been going on the last few years at the corner of 56th St & Lincoln Dr. in Paradise Valley as the old Mountain Shadows resort makes way for the new & modern Mountain Shadows resort. Phoenix area foodies have been anxiously awaiting what popular chef Charles Wiley will be doing with the resorts signature restaurant. We now know he will be opening Hearth ’61 in early March.

The seasonal ingredient driven restaurants name Hearth ’61 pays tribute to 1961, the year Paradise Valley was incorporated and a “Hearth” being a centerpiece of the resort and the Paradise Valley community.

Duncan carrots

Chef Wiley will be using his friendships he’s built over the years at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain and at Hotel Valley Ho’s Zuzu with farmers and other local purveyors to fuel his menu that will marry rich flavors with traditional cooking styles and techniques on the evolving menu. The restaurant will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A few of the dishes from the menu are…..

Niman Ranch Dry Aged Tomahawk- A 40-oz. bone in rib-eye, dry aged 28 days, roasted garlic, rosemary truffle butter

George’s Bank Sea Scallops – sauce romesco, buttered mushrooms, ancient barley, charred spring onion, fennel pollen

Charred Eggplant & Hayden Mills Ancient Grains – red quinoa, white sonora & farro berries, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, roasted peppers, ricotta salata

Ginger Roasted Carrots – tahini yogurt, chervil

Floor to ceiling windows to view the surrounding Camelback & Mummy Mountains and desert, a sunken living room lounge, open kitchen and above ground wine cellar surrounded by glass are just a few of the design and decor features that honor a time from the past along with modern ambience.

The 5’s courtesy of Hearth ’61

“It is truly an honor to be a part of this iconic project, the rebirth of Mountain Shadows,” said Wiley. “We will rely on all the relationships we’ve cultivated over the years with local farmers and artisans to craft a rustic yet vibrant cuisine. The culinary team we’ve assembled is nothing less than extraordinary, and we’re excited to present menus featuring a perfect balance of innovation and tradition”.

The inventive menu of chef Wiley’s at Hearth ’61 will be complimented by an ingredient driven cocktail program that features 2 original cocktails, The 5 C’s referring to Arizona’s cotton, copper, cattle , citrus and climate industries which will feature locally distilled Commerce Gin, grapefruit & lemon juice and muddled basil leafs. The Forty-Rod which uses High West whiskey, corn milk, lime juice, ginger – cayenne syrup and garnished with a corn husk is inspired by the strong whiskey drinks of the old west.

 

 

 

Liberty Station opening in February by owners of Market Street Kitchen

Options are good and the residents of north Scottsdale will have another dining option when Liberty Station opens in February. The new restaurant will be where Scottsdale Rd. meets Carefree Highway and is from Keeler Hospitality Group, owners of Market Street Kitchen in DC Ranch.

The menu will be focused on American comfort food with a regional twist including specialties from Boston where the Keeler family is from. Lunch and dinner will be served with Executive Chef Michael Hunn and Chef de Cuisine Dan Watts running the kitchen where they will source local ingredients for much of the menu.

Creekstone Farms will be supplying the meats with much of it being smoked in-house in a custom smoker and will include Texas brisket, Carolina pork shoulder and my favorite, St. Louis spare ribs.

The bar will include classic cocktails, local craft beers and a variety of wines.

“Liberty Station is truly the definition of ‘neighborfood.’ You will enjoy a scratch-made meal that is relatable and incredibly tasty, while greeting friends and neighbors in our very comfortable dining room. We’ll have community tables, a very large bar and two patios. We want our neighbors to become friends at Liberty Station,” said Paul Keeler, President of Keeler Hospitality Group.

Liberty Station will be a place for all to enjoy as their will be vegan and vegetarian options including Vegan gnocchi and a Portobello sandwich on Udi’s bread and over a dozen Gluten-free options. A few of the menu highlights will be….

  • Tavern Mac & Cheese with cheddar cream, bacon breadcrumbs and Pasilla chiles, $10 (shared appetizer).
  • Piggy Wings, grilled pork shank with sticky BBQ sauce, $9 (shared appetizer).
  • Liberty Chopped Salad, with white balsamic dressing, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pepitas, $8
  • Boston Lobster Roll with lemon aioli and celery on a brioche roll, $18 (lunch menu).
  • All American Chicago Hot Dog with mustard, tomato, onion, house relish and sport peppers, $8 (lunch menu).
  • Chopped Brisket Grilled Cheese with smoky cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese and a grilled tomato, $12 (lunch menu).
  • New England Clam Boil with Littleneck clams, rock shrimp, new potatoes, corn and hot link sausage, $24 (dinner menu).
  • Kobe Meatloaf with shoestring onions, ketchup vinegar glaze and mashed potatoes, $17 (dinner menu).

Once opened Liberty Station will be serving lunch daily at 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Dinner service begins at 5:00 p.m. nightly. Happy Hour is offered at the bar Monday – Sunday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Brunch will be served Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

 

Grand Opening event planned for My Pie in Gilbert

Gilbert is the home of the 3rd branch of locally owned fine casual My Pie with its Grand Opening event today starting at 11a.m. Located at Crossroads Towne Center on Gilbert Rd. at Loop 202. My Pie specializes in custom made pizzas($7.95 & $8.95), calzones, salads, pie-inis and appetizers.

The Spicy Butcher
The Spicy Butcher

Today’s events will include free samples of their delicious Garlic Knots, kid’s activities, live entertainment and giveaways until the close tonight.

My Pie uses fresh & locally sourced ingredients for its family recipes with sauces & dough made daily. Favorite pizzas I tasted recently were the Pesto My Chicken, Spicy Butcher and the Margherita. All pizzas are made New York fast in a 800 degree oven in 2 minutes. Gluten free and whole wheat dough are also available.

According to Ryan Mitchell, vice president of operations for My Pie, “I’m thrilled to open our third Arizona installment of My Pie. This has truly been a labor of love and an amazing dream realized for myself and my team. We have our sights set on continuing to grow this awesome concept through a love for our customers, friends and community. Our goal is to become your neighborhood pizzeria at each of our locations. It all starts with giving back and we can’t wait to develop strong relationships in the east valley,”

Wanting to take an increased role as part of the Gilbert community and express one of My Pie’s core values, they offer local charities to apply for “2 Minutes 2 Charity” fundraising events. Part of sales from today will be donated to “A Broader Approach”, a Gilbert organization that assists parents in researching biomedical treatment for their children with autism. http://www.abroaderapproach.org/

My Pie Gilbert is located at 3765 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297 and is open daily from 11a.m. – 9 p.m. with extended hours on Friday and Saturday until 9:30 p.m http://www.pizzayourway.com/ 

The much awaited Fat OX opens in Scottsdale

One of the highly anticipated restaurants of 2016 has finally opened as Fat OX debuted in late November in the former home of The Quilted Bear & Davanti Enoteca at Lincoln Dr. & Scottsdale Rd. Headed by executive chef Matt Carter & his partner Brian Raab at The Mission & House Brasserie and longtime restaurateur Mark Drinkwater of Drinkwater’s City Hall (now Mastro’s) & Stella.

Fat OX executive chef Matt Carter. Photo courtesy of Nicky Hedayatzadeh
Fat OX executive chef Matt Carter. Photo courtesy of Nicky Hedayatzadeh

The Fat OX menu is inspired by Italian countryside ingredients including poultry, steak and seafood. Also on the menu are house made pastas, hand pulled cheeses and the signature Caesar salad prepared at your table. Much of the menu is slow roasted over a mesquite wood grill including a 28 oz. Porterhouse steak then carved table side by the skilled wait staff.

Photo courtesy of Nicky Hedayatzadeh
Photo courtesy of Nicky Hedayatzadeh

The care taken to prepare and present the food pays tribute to the horsemen of the Piedmont & Tuscan cattle country of Italy who raise the their prized bue gasso, Italian for Fat Oxen, as they herd them to the town of Carru hoping to win the title of Fat OX Fair champion at the popular Fiera del Bue Gasso.

fat-ox-inside-b05394f4-cf7a-465e-b474-be7a6fd7dc98
Photo courtesy of 3rd Story

Like in Italy you can’t eat without drinking wine with your meal and a worldly wine list is available from the in-house sommelier. Italian inspired cocktails and craft beers are available to pair with your dinner if you choose.

The dinner only restaurant seats 350 guests indoors and on the patio for al fresco dining. A hidden private dining room is available for events complete with its own bar, kitchen and staff.

Fat OX is open nightly for dinner Sunday through Thursday (5 – 10 pm) and Friday through Saturday (5 – 11 pm) with weekend brunch coming soon and is at 6316 N. Scottsdale Rd.(Lincoln Plaza) Scottsdale 85253 (480-307-6900) www.ilovefatox.com

Ahipoki Bowl coming The Wedge near ASU

Locally owned Ahipoki Bowl has announced its 3rd location to be across from ASU at the new Wedge building on Rural Rd. between Apache & University. They are hoping for a March 2017 opening.

Logo courtesy of Ahipoki Bowl
Logo courtesy of Ahipoki Bowl

Ahipoki Bowl at The wedge

The Wedge had been a well-known bookstore but is being converted to take better advantage of car and foot traffic along Rural Rd. to serve the area with other amenities. According to co-owner Jason Janzen ” The campus at ASU has been on our radar since day one, Ahipoki Bowl has a massive appeal to health conscious millennials and we expect this new location to be our busiest location to date and a launching point for our upcoming beer and wine program roll-out”

What is Poke?

Poke is native to Hawaii dish and is made from sushi grade fish including Ahi tuna, salmon and shrimp and garnished with vegetables and exciting toppings such as seaweed salad and is served over a bowl of rice.

Ahipoki Bowl will be at 1015 S. Rural Rd. Tempe 85281 & more information can be found at www.ahipokibowl.com Other locations are in Scottsdale and Chandler with 4 more in southern California.