Cherish Eatery menu meets diverse tastes, diets SanTan Sun News

Cherish Eatery menu meets diverse tastes, diets

April 4th, 2019 | by SanTan Sun News
Cherish Eatery menu meets diverse tastes, diets
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By COLLEEN SPARKS, Managing Editor

People craving flavorful, fun food to fuel their energy while still adhering to any dietary restrictions can find plenty of options at the new Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery in Ocotillo.
Owner David Nelson and executive chef Steven Fowler recently opened the casual restaurant on West Queen Creek Road with a diverse menu that provides eclectic, colorful combinations of vegetables, meats and breads.
Those items are labeled for vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free and low-carb/Keto-friendly diets.
Even people with no dietary limits who just want delicious food that is also good for them can find lots of choices, Nelson and Fowler said.
“I think Chef (Fowler) has done an amazing job of creating things that are healthy,” Nelson said. “You feel good. We’ve just supplied the food to meet whatever diet you want. I think we definitely have something unique.”
Fowler, who has worked in the restaurant industry for 25 years and spent 20 of those years cooking professionally, echoed Nelson’s sentiment.
“I think it’s just clean food,” Fowler said. “It’s unadulterated food. We don’t put a lot of garbage in it. We wanted a place where people could feel included even on a diet. We make the majority of everything in house.”
In an open space with lots of pink and green accents on the walls, customers go up to a kiosk to order from the comprehensive menu.
It features many breakfast options including Keto Benedict, which has Cloud bread, a poached egg, tomato jam, chopped bacon, bacon fat Hollandaise and chives. This gluten-free and Keto-friendly meal for $9 has the low-carb egg bread made in house.
Another popular breakfast dish is the Cherish Cakes, ricotta pancakes with a mixed berry compote and agave nectar for $7. Those pancakes are vegetarian and “thick, yet light and fluffy,” Fowler said.
Diners have several starters to choose from, including a red miso soup with red miso broth, gold beets, soft Tofu and scallions for $6 that is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian.
Guests can get creative with the custom plates on the menu. They can pick one, two or three vegetables.
Those veggies include broccolini with feta and lemon oil; glazed sweet potato with sweet chili soy sauce, sesame seeds and scallions; quinoa with avocado and Tahini vinaigrette and spaghetti squash with an heirloom tomato, spinach and Grana Padano.
They can add protein – grass-fed steak, all-natural chicken, sustainable salmon and organic firm tofu – to any dish.
Cherish satisfies customers’ cravings for greens with several different types of salads such as one with Pink Lady apples, pink grapefruit, rainbow chard, butter lettuce, strawberries, spiced walnuts, Zinfandel goat cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette.
A popular grain bowl at Cherish is the Faux Ramen, a play on Ramen noodles. It has buckwheat, grilled bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, a soft-boiled egg, purple radish, bean sprouts, scallion and red miso broth.
Meat aficionados can indulge in a braised, all-natural short rib with Yukon potatoes, braised vegetables and a braised reduction.
A healthier spin on an Italian dish is the turkey Bolognese with all-natural ground turkey, thick tomato sauce, fettuccini noodles, grana, basil, saba and extra virgin olive oil. Diners can substitute the fettuccini noodles for gluten-free Zoodles.
Other specialty dishes are sea bass, squash casserole and grilled vegetables.
Some hearty sandwiches include a Keto steak sandwich with grass-fed steak, avocado, heirloom tomato and butter lettuce on a Cloud bread and a pulled lamb sandwich with parsley arugula salad, oven-roasted tomato, pistachio and a clove-onion spread on Noble buttermilk bread.
A sandwich that is a big seller is the unusual, vegan banh mi. It has roasted golden beets, a shiitake mushroom and Tofu pate; bean sprouts, pickled radish and carrots, as well as shaved jalapeno, cilantro and banh mi sauce on a Noble vegan hogie.
The sandwich has “a little bit of a bite” and a “Vietnamese flair,” Fowler said.
Customers are also eating up the cauliflower crust pizzas at Cherish. Fowler and the team make so many of them they bought a second oven to make crusts for these pizzas.
He said the most well-liked cauliflower-crust pizza is the Caprese one that includes mozzarella, basil, oregano, extra virgin olive oil and saba.
Cherish uses produce from local farmers including Harvest 480 in Chandler, and the beef for dishes comes from animals raised in Arizona.
Visitors can quench their thirst for a variety of beverages at Cherish including fresh, cold-pressed juices; organic coffee, beers, wine, cocktails, fresh, cold-pressed lemonade, organic iced tea and Maine Root organic soda.
Fowler has a lot of varied experience under his belt.
He has cooked food for a wide range of venues over his extensive career including EVO in Scottsdale, T. Cook’s in the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix; Tonto Bar & Grill in Cave Creek and The Boulders Resort in Cave Creek.
He and Nelson met through a business consultant who gave Nelson advice on starting a restaurant. Nelson had previously worked as an attorney for 12 years in Los Angeles.
But he wanted to return to Arizona, where he had earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology from Arizona State University years ago. He has a law degree from University of Southern California and when he was an attorney many of his clients worked in the restaurant industry.
“I’ve always wanted to invest in business and grow something,” Nelson said. “I really wanted to do something where you could be a part of the community.”
He said when people enjoy their experience at a restaurant, it can “really have an effect on their day.”
Nelson aims to keep prices affordable and said an average bill is for $20 and customers could easily spend $15 on a meal.
The restaurant is already getting busy, seeing heavy traffic during lunchtime as well as all day on Saturdays, he said.
“I really like the Chandler area,” Nelson said. “It’s quickly growing up. The people here seem to really care about what they eat and how it affects their body.”
The area has room for growth and many businesses are situated nearby, making it convenient for people to stop by for a bite anytime.
“The growth is coming,” Fowler said. “Our long-term potential here is good.”
Nelson said he hopes to eventually open more locations. He and Fowler also plan to add brunch and desserts at the restaurant.
Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It is located at 2551 W. Queen Creek Road. Information: cherishrestaurant.com

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