Tina says her restaurant is her second home, a feeling that grew during the days when she ran the entire kitchen alone and worked to make every guest feel like they "had been invited to her home for a dinner party," according to azcentral.com in 2007. For each platter of food set before her houseguests, Tina draws culinary inspiration from her childhood in Ethiopia, using sense memory to season simmering pots of lentils, grilled beef, and herb-crusted chicken. Instead of silverware or miniature loading cranes, Tina serves each meal with an accompanying basket of traditional injera, a tasty, spongy Ethiopian bread that allows diners to scoop out each sauce-laden bite without the need for silver-, gold-, or bronze-ware.
When Brad and Marcy Olsen opened Thrive Acai Bowls & Smoothies back in 2011, they envisioned a space that would focus on all aspects of healthy living—somewhere you could eat healthy foods and minimally processed supplements amid an active community of like-minded health professionals and businesses.
Acai—dark purple berries that are rich in antioxidants—are the foundation of Thrive Acai Bowls & Smoothies' main product, acai bowls. Each bowl contains a blend of frozen acai and other antioxidant-rich fruits, topped with granola and fresh fruit with a drizzle of honey. But what the bowls don’t contain is equally important: All acai bowls are dairy-free and can be made without gluten. They also contain no added refined sugars or highly processed nightmares. Thrive Acai Bowls & Smoothies also promotes healthy living with its selection of whole-food supplements. These can help raise the body’s antioxidant levels, which in turn may slow down the damage of cells by free radicals.
Woodlands Vegetarian South Indian Kitchen isn’t kidding about the “vegetarian” thing. Of the restaurant’s nearly 100 menu items, not one contains so much as a trace of meat. Instead, you’ll find South Indian specialties such as uthappam (a crisp, dosa-like pancake) and a variety of curries made with stuffed eggplant, spiced cheeses, or marinated cauliflower. Finish your meal on a sweet note by ordering an Indian dessert such as gulab jamun or by going around the table and saying six things you like about each person there.
Tilapia crusted in walnuts, coconut, and sun-dried tomato. Mixed veggies drizzled with raw-honey strawberry tahini. Mac 'n' cheese. And it's all organic. Fontana D' Amore Organic Bistro delivers three meals a day to clients' doors, each of which uses natural ingredients tailored to raw, vegan, and gluten-free diets. The nutrient-dense menu has plenty of flexibility for clients to customize their meals. Gluten- and diary-free menus can be whipped up by tinkering with milk and sweetener options, which include raw honey, maple syrup, and gratuitous compliments. Owner Rino Soriano developed the innovative menu "because [he feels] it's important for people who desire fun, delicious and healthful food to have options," he told Arizona Central. The bistro's environmental vision doesn’t stop with organic cuisine, but permeates through to the business's core operations, down even to the natural cleaning products that keep its kitchen pristine. And as for all that cuisine, staff members pack each delectable meal in biodegradable paper and plastic products for takeout.
The glass-domed counters of Mozart Cafe & Bakerylook pretty typical for those found in any shop purveying espresso drinks and pastries. The restaurants' chefs and bakers set it apart, though, concocting a whole range Mediterranean-inspired meals and treats with which to fill their menu and display cases. They whet appetites with homemade hummus infused with sauteed mushrooms and onions and served with warm pita bread. They particularly specialize in seafood and pastas for main courses; their schnitzel tilapia fillet offers a taste of both their seafood and doughs, along with a side of french fries and coleslaw. They design every dish to meet the restrictions of a kosher diet, as well as look great when plated in the middle of white porcelain or artfully spilled on a bib.
Fresh Mint's Vietnamese cuisine is entirely vegan, but meat lovers needn't be wary, according to Lonely Planet: “If you’re skeptical of soy chicken and tofu…we understand, but we respectfully submit that this stuff is as tasty as any bacon cheeseburger.” This has always been the goal of owner and executive chef Mai Ly, as she’s mastered the herbs, spices, and other ingredients that turn meat-free dishes into hearty, craveable entrees. Her most popular plates include the spicy lemongrass noodle soup and the golden-curry vegetable entrée, which unites potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and tofu beneath a glaze of her signature curry sauce. All of Ly’s dishes are kosher, and several are gluten-free, which explains why bundles of wheat use the eatery for their family reunions.