This was the perfect Yelp Eliteevent to start off the new year. Especially after two months of holiday parties. Fresh Millions is a fast-casual “eat healthy” concept food chain that has endless combinations available from their menu. They offer lunch or dinner entrées that include made-to-order gourmet salads with a variety of mix-ins, hot bowls, soups, and grilled paninis. They first opened in 2015 and locations have been popping up all over the Valley since then. People love choices these days and Fresh Millions allows you to choose what you want on your entrée. You basically order on one side of the stainless-steel counter, pick your toppings, pay at the other side of the counter and take your food to a table. For bowls, you choose your base (brown rice, noodles, spinach, romaine, etc), a protein (chicken, shrimp, steak, tofu), a sauce (basil pesto, Thai peanut, green curry, etc) and four mix-ins. You can even go half-and-half base and do rice and romaine/spinach. The cooks will mix and sauté up your creation and you can watch the magic happen right over the counter as they are an open kitchen. For the little ones, they have a healthy fresh kids’ menu. If you are in a hurry and don’t want typical unhealthy greasy fast food, this is the place to go.
We had a Yelp Elite event at Fresh Millions to celebrate their grand opening location in Gilbert. I love these events that introduce me to new places around the Valley. I also love getting more acquainted with my fellow Yelp Elites as these are the people with the most knowledge of where the best eats are in the Valley. We were given sandwich and salad samples and able to create our bowl. For dessert, we had a table full of yummy cookies to choose from. This was a fun event and I look forward to a return visit.
Bacon & Cheddar Panini and a side of steel-cut oatmeal
I love this Corner Bakery in Atlanta. Every couple of years I fly into Atlanta for the Passion conferences and this is one of my favorite stops for breakfast before I start my day. It’s located right off of Peachtree St. in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Corner Bakery Cafe is a fast casual restaurant that started making artisan breads and freshly baked sweets on a corner in Chicago in 1991 and then eventually went to soups, sandwiches and salads. Now they have locations all over the U.S. We even have one in Phoenix where I live. I personally come here for their awesome breakfast paninis (my favorite is the Anaheim panini). The eggs are nice and fluffy and they use fresh ingredients. This most recent trip I got the Bacon & Cheddar Panini with a side of steel-cut oatmeal. Along with some coffee, it made for a great start to my morning.
Brosenbrus (Bros -n- brews) is always a fun stop for me when I’m in Tempe. Sandwiches, Paninis and great coffee all make up this cool place. They also serve alcohol and are now into pulled pork. They have a great happy hour and host popular viewing events for shows like Walking Dead and Dexter in addition to sports. I stopped in before the ASU/Oregon game and enjoyed bumping into Riccardo and the gang from Redemption church. One of the part-owners Steven also attends there and does a lot of catering for the church. I tried their pulled pork sandwich and thought it was awesome! Best Iced Toddy’s in town as well!
My first experience at Sauce wasn’t the greatest, but this is where everyone picked to go to lunch – so I’m given it another shot. Sauce is a gourmet pizza and wine eatery owned by Fox Restaurant Concepts. They specialize in thin crust pizzas, panini sandwiches and pastas. I wasn’t a big fan of the thin crust pizza the first time I dined here, so I went for the pasta. I ordered the Caprese bruschetta and the chicken, broccoli and cheese pasta. I really liked the noodles in the pasta. It was a fun day as about 10 of us came out for lunch. I was excited that my friend Amaris was in town and that she joined us for lunch. It’s always a blessing to eat out with friends after church and enjoy being in community with each other.
Postino East is one of the newest restaurants in Gilbert. It is nestled near Joe’s Real BBQ, Liberty Market, The Farmhouse Restaurant, Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, and the Hale Centre Theatre. It has a lounge area and an open outdoor patio that looks out toward the town’s water tower. Native Chris DeMarco first opened Postino WineCafe in the East Phoenix Arcadia neighborhood in April 2001 and one in downtown Phoenix in 2009. The Gilbert location is the third location and is housed in a building that previous restaurants have failed. DeMarco hopes to find success here. It offers the same menu offered at its Phoenix locations with most prices being under $13, including bruschetta, panini, soups and salads, all made with local ingredients and artisan breads. There are over 100 bottles of wine available to buy and six wines on tap at Postino East.
Over 20 of us met for Katrina’s birthday. Because of our size, we had to wait in the grassy area for a table to be available. My friend Juliana happens to work here and I asked her to help speed the process for us. I also ran into a local artist that I knew and she offered me a job to shoot some of her interior design work. I guess she saw some of my pictures on Facebook. While waiting, I walked Jaimie over to Liberty Market and gave her a tour of the place (she had never been there). Once we got in, her and I shared meals so we could sample some of the different foods. I ordered the Prosciutto with Brie Panini (Prosciutto with triple cream brie, fig jam and arugula) and Jaimie got the bruschetta sampler (warm artichoke, smoked salmon with pesto, roasted peppers with goat cheese and the ricotta with dates & pistachios). I love her passion for food and it was all delicious. My friends Heather and Geoffrey (newlyweds) from Redemption church happened to be there too. Heather was a team member on my first mission trip that I led into Tijuana. Her husband is a photographer and asked me to come to do some still life photo shoots with him. Wow.. two photo shoot offers in one night! It was a lot of fun catching up with them. We all had a fun evening and then we headed to Toby Keith’s to go dancing.