True to Its Roots: Scratch kitchen the key to Firebirds’ success |
True to Its Roots: Scratch kitchen the key to Firebirds’ success

True to Its Roots: Scratch kitchen the key to Firebirds’ success

Submitted photo

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | August 22, 2021

Before the pandemic, business was strong for Firebirds Wood Fired Grill’s Arizona locations in Peoria, Gilbert, Chandler and Tucson.

Then COVID-19 hit, and the casual eatery was forced to pivot to takeout, but the foodies have since returned to the dining rooms to show their support.

“True to our roots, we’re cooking over an open flame to give it that smoky flavor,” says Stephen Loftis, vice president of marketing. “A lot of folks don’t know we are a scratch kitchen. Everything is made that day from scratch — including the sauces. If you want a 32-ounce cut of prime rib or salmon that’s filleted a particular way, we can do that.”

Founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill serves classic American cuisine infused with a proprietary blend of bold flavors, fresh herbs and spices. Complementing hand-cut steaks, seafood and signature specialty dishes, Firebirds offers daily scratch-made soups, entrée salads, fire-grilled burgers and desserts. Pricing ranges from $15 to $18 for lunch, and $28 to $32 for dinner per person.

“We feel like we have some of the best burgers out there,” Loftis says. “They come with different toppings. There is a total of eight burgers on the menu. We also have salads, sides, beverages and dessert offerings.

“We’ve become a neighborhood favorite. It’s the lunch spot everyone agrees on and a dinner invitation no one passes up.”

The rollercoaster pandemic has caused supply chain challenges, primarily for wings and seafood,” Loftis says.

“From a labor standpoint, we’re getting folks to work, but it’s been a real, real struggle,” Loftis says. “As a business, there’s a balance in trimming the business to accommodate the lack of labor.”

Along with entrées, charity is important to Firebirds.

Each location supports Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation by donating $1.25 from the sale of every Firebirds fresh-squeezed lemonade to fund the fight against childhood cancer. To date, Firebirds has donated more than $1 million to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

“Everybody loves the concept,” Loftis says. “Everybody’s been very, very receptive.”


With a twist: Cocktail program changes seasonally

Firebirds is known for its steaks and chicken, but it has an extensive bar with creative mixologists. For the summer, it has a slate of refreshing drinks to help us cool down in the summer.

The restaurant shared the secrets behind its blackberry margarita and summer sparkler.


Summer Sparkler


1 1/2 ounces Bedlam Vodka

1 ounce Cointreau

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce cranberry juice

2 ounces La Marca prosecco


Orange peel as a garnish


Measure and pour all ingredients into a mixing glass, except for the prosecco. Fill glass half full of ice, cap with a mixing tin and shake 25 times. Strain into a champagne flute, top with 2 ounces LaMarca prosecco. Garnish with orange peel twist.


Blackberry Margarita


1 ounce Blackberry Puree Syrup

4 ounces sour mix (Firebirds makes its own fresh in house, but sour mix is available at local grocery stores)

1/2 ounce nonalcoholic triple sec

1 1/2 ounces Espolon Blanco tequila

Lime for garnish



Measure all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add a generous scoop of ice. Cover and shake 25 times. Fill a frosted mixing glass with fresh ice. Using a strainer, strain the shaken mix over the fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel. Cheers!