What if you could order healthy, fresh and delicious food at a drive-thru?
At Salad and Go, you can do just that. The Gilbert-based gourmet drive-thru offers a new take on fast food, serving up made-to-order salads, smoothies, wraps and more.
Award-winning chef Daniel Patino helped develop this new healthy fast food concept about three-and-a-half-years ago after the owners of Salad and Go approached him with the idea.
At the time, Patino was working as an Executive Chef at Bourbon Steak in Scottsdale for his mentor, San Francisco-based Chef Michael Mina, whom he credits for his salad success.
“He took me under his wing and taught me his philosophy on food, how to develop flavors and how to maximize ingredients,” Patino says.
“Salad and Go is flavorful, healthy food that people will come back and have because it’s really ingredient-driven,” Patino adds. “I think they have a misconception that healthy food isn’t tasty and we’re making people realize that you can have healthy food and you can make it taste delicious and feel good about yourself when you’re eating.”
Salad and Go focuses on balancing flavors and keeping everything as fresh as possible. Even in a drive-thru atmosphere, the restaurant makes all of its dressings and cuts the romaine, fruits and vegetables daily. They have 12 dressings on hand at all times and change them out with the seasons.
Salad and Go’s attention to flavors and quality ingredients are what keeps them unique. Ultimately, Chef Patino hopes people will be open-minded about trying new and healthy dishes.
“I want them to walk away saying, ‘I didn’t know healthy food could taste this good.’ To me, as a chef, the challenge is to take food, make it taste really, really good and healthy at the same time,” Patino says.
Three-and-a-half years and four East Valley locations later, the Salad and Go drive-thru is going strong and plans to grow throughout the Valley.
In addition to his culinary work at Bourbon Steak Scottsdale, Chef Patino has also headed up a number of highly acclaimed restaurants in San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle and New York City. He received his culinary training from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco after an apprenticeship at the historic U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego during his enlistment with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Start your New Year’s Resolution at Salad and Go with multiple locations throughout the East Valley. Visit www.saladandgo.com for more information.
– Jasmine Kemper / Edited for Phoenix.org