Recently, food trends in Scottsdale have gone back to simpler times, where greens ruled the dinner tables and portion sizes were small enough for just one person. Food trendsetters in the “Beverly Hills of the Southwest” are transforming the market with healthy alternatives mixed with the city’s cultural influences and flavors. Compared with national trends, Scottsdale is making their way among the ranks of other well-known foodie cities like New York, San Francisco and Portland.
The Jolly Green Giant is Back
Congratulations are in order for the long-time underdogs of our plates: veggies. No longer just a decorative addition to meals, vegetables are beginning to take center stage as more and more restaurants begin to experiment with vegetarian-centered dishes. Since 2009, Chef Devin Walsh at Calistro California Bistro has been showing Scottsdale residents that enjoying good food can be as tasty as it is healthy. One salad of note is his Jicama Chop Salad that tosses together spicy jicama, grapefruit, goat cheese, fennel, and walnuts with a citrus balsamic dressing.
As more consumers begin to crave their greens, vegetarian restaurants have begun to see a rise in popularity. At Nourish, guests can choose from a variety of delicious choices from vegan to gluten-free and lactose-free. Their raw veggie pasta that is loaded with wholesome produce such as beets, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini and dressed in a house-made Paleo pesto. Like their slogan points out, “At Nourish, we enjoy food differently than the average restaurant;” and that difference is a dining experience that is guilt-free.
Where Has All The Gluten Gone?
The gluten-free diet craze doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon and with more people discovering their own gluten intolerances, it looks like it is here to stay. While studies are still being conducted on the individual benefits of a gluten free diet, there is no doubt that Arizona residents are opting for alternatives to some of their favorite bread dishes.
True Food Kitchen, located in both the Biltmore Fashion Park and the Scottsdale Quarter bases their menu off of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. It is meant to take popular trends in cuisine and pair them with healthy living, which means gluten-intolerant guests no longer need to stick to the salad side of the menu. Diners could start with the albacore escabeche before moving onto the grilled steelhead salmon with quinoa, beet & preserved lemon salad and finish with the Flourless Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream and caramel. You just may forget you ever wanted gluten in your meals.
In 2002, Rick Freedman opened up Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen and today owns and operates all four of his Arizona locations. Nearly every item on their menu can be created as a gluten-free option, making their food accessible to all. Freedman, however, goes one step further by assuring diners that all their pastas, breads, and croutons are also gluten-free. That’s right, time to celebrate, my gluten-intolerant friends, pizza is back! “The downturn in the economy inspired me to go all-organic,” says Freedman. “It was time to stand up for greater change and provide healthier dining choices for our guests. Going organic, natural, and gluten-free is the result.”