As I write this second to last Dine Like a Local post, I find myself grateful for the opportunity to cover the Valley’s food scene for The Scout Guide Phoenix Scottsdale as their Culinary Contributor. I have found some new favorites while revisiting old treasures. My wish all along is for you readers to experience the same. Thank you for following me on this journey and I hope you have enjoyed it. Volume One of the The Scout Guide Launches on March 24, 2021. As a reminder, all restaurants and chefs who have been listed in my posts were nominated by Scout Guide Instagram followers, and those restaurants with the caption “THE SCOUT GUIDE PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE WINNER” were voted on by the followers as Valley favorites. Drop me a line to let me know which ones are yours! Here are the top nominees for the local Healthy Eats category. xoM
Farm & Craft
Riot Hospitality Group opened Farm & Craft in 2016 at Scottsdale Road and 6th Avenue in Old Town Scottsdale. The menu at Farm & Craft focuses on local healthy eats that are sustainably sourced and served in a community-style atmosphere. Breakfast is served from 8 am to 3 pm, and dinner until 9 pm. Farm and Craft’s inviting indoor outdoor space beckons you to relax with some friends, ordering a shared dish or two like the Thai Lettuce Cups, the Sicilian Burrata, or the Vegan Caponata Flat Bread. The “Wellness Menu” features four paths to optimal health, including an ‘anti-inflammatory diet,’ ‘increasing probiotic levels,’ ‘maintaining high levels of anti-oxidants,’ and ‘reducing overall stress.’ All dishes use local, sustainable, gluten-free, organic and hormone-free ingredients. The bar serves organic spirits, led by their signature “Cold Pressed Cocktails”, local beers and eclectic wines on tap. The restaurant’s juice program includes cold pressed juices and “Kombucha Cocktails.”
4302 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ www.ilovefarmandcraft.com
24 Carrots is a female-owned, vegan restaurant on the corner of Guadalupe and McClintock in Tempe. Owner, Sasha Raj, has a degree in biochemistry from nearby ASU, and after having worked at a juice bar during college, saw the need for a fully transparent vegan restaurant in the Valley. 24 Carrots serves homemade pastries, juices and smoothies, local Peixoto coffee, tea, and delicious vegan meals, like a Sweet Potato Cuban Sandwich, Buffalo Cauliflower Wrap, and Dan Dan Noodles. As of the date of this post, meals were offered on a to-go basis only. I swung by one beautiful spring afternoon and picked up some Raw Nori Rolls, the Nashville Hot Chickun, and a Zucchini Noodle Salad. Ordering online was very easy and my order was ready when I arrived. The hardest part was having to wait until I got home to eat this tasty and healthy meal.
1701 E Guadalupe Rd, Tempe, AZ www.24carrotscafe.square.site
Flower Child is a Fox Restaurant Concepts with five Valley locations, plus several across the US as far east as Maryland. Sam Fox opened this fast casual concept in 2014 after the initial success of True Food Kitchen. He noticed a demand for healthy, high-quality food that can be tailored to meet dietary restrictions like dairy-free, vegan, or gluten-free. The bright interiors are inspired by springtime and the menu reflects the bounty of Mother Nature. Plates, bowls, and salads are vegan or vegetarian at the base, with add-on proteins like sustainable salmon, all-natural chicken, grass-fed steak, or organic, non-GMO tofu. My two favorites are the Vegan Ramen and the Glow Bowl with sweet potato noodles, shiitaki mushrooms, zucchini, and coconut milk. Download the Flower Child app for ease of ordering, to earn points for rewards, and to get push notifications of weekly specials. THE SCOUT GUIDE PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE WINNER.
Founder and owner Alexandra Maw has been serving juices and smoothies in the valley since 2008 in five Valley locations. The organic menu features cold press fruit and vegetable juices, shakes, salads, sandwiches, protein and breakfast bowls and gluten-free snacks, including its popular range of protein cookies. A new smoothie menu was recently launched with ten drinks including the Keto Meal, Royal Bee and Longevity. They recommended the Flu Shot Smoothie for me which was filled with their Flu Shot juices (turmeric, lemon, ginger, apple, oil of oregano, garlic, & cayenne pepper) along with acerola (high in antioxidants & vitamin c), some fresh fruit, hemp seeds, coconut water and dragon fruit drizzle. It was delicious and refreshing, and something I normally would not have ordered. THE SCOUT GUIDE PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE WINNER.
Want more details on this local spot? Check out my full experience at Kaleidoscope Juice here.
James Beard Award winning Chef Alex Stratta is changing the name and concept behind Stratta Kitchen. Located near Hayden Road and Via de Ventura in the old Melting Pot space, the new concept will be called Campo Italian Bistro and Bar, and will bring the Italian countryside to the hearts of local diners with a menu full of authentic, handcrafted Italian favorites. Boasting fresh ingredients, guests can enjoy antipasti starters such as Cold Smoked Salmon, Roasted Mussels, and Crispy Calamari and Artichokes. Insalata choices include Tuscan Kale and Spiced Butternut Squash, Burrata Cheese and Oven Dried Tomato, and an Antipasti Salad. For Pasta, choose from Spiced Butternut Ravioli, Bucatini with Meatballs, Potato Gnocchi, and Shellfish Campanelle. Plus hearty entrees such as Crispy Skin Salmon with greens and beans or Chicken Cutlets with marsala, wild mushrooms, artichokes and pancetta, a wide variety of premium pizzas and even a dedicated “Bambini” menu. Chef Stratta is a total culinary rockstar…for foodie newbies, he was the executive chef of what was one of the greatest all-time AZ restaurants, Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician Resort, then of the Renoir restaurant at The Mirage in Vegas, before he opening his own restaurant at the Wynn called Alex, which closed in 2011.
8260 N Hayden Rd Suite A102, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, www.strattakitchen.com
Verdura is a plant-based restaurant located in the Basha’s shopping center at 7th Street and Missouri. Owners Julia Chugerman and Chris Gruebele met while working at The Vig in McCormick Ranch, and later reunited at the Pomegranate Cafe in Awhuatukee. The interior space is large and airy, with an open kitchen and posters of music icons like Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, and Prince. A girlfriend of mine and I shared the Carne Asada Seitan Nachos and the General Pow Cauliflower. Flavors were delicious and the servings large. The Phoenix market is prime for plant-based concepts with interesting menus like Verdura. I encourage y’all to get out and start trying some if you haven’t already. Verdura is open for to go, patio dining, and delivery (via Postmates).
5555 N 7th St., Ste. 108, Phoenix, AZ www.verduraphx.com