Our kitchen philosophy is simple. We cook from scratch using fresh, authentic ingredients. We start with food in its simplest, most natural form. We purchase local and seasonal products. We make our food alive with flavor and nutrition. Our freezers are small, and our intention to serve great food is big.
We care about our guests. We care about what they like and we care about their health. Fresh ingredients used in our kitchens are complemented with cooking techniques that preserve nutrition and produce healthy dishes. Our ethnic programs are crafted using hands-on research with real people in real kitchens. The flavors are real and they are authentic.
We have a sincere passion at all levels of the company for great food. From the part-time student worker, to the experienced grill person, to our managers, to corporate support staff, to our executives; it is our daily focus. It's all about the food.
The following standards have been created to assure the highest level of food quality for our guests:
- Menus are written based on seasonality and availability of regional fresh product. Whenever possible, these are produced locally using sustainable and organic practices.
- Turkey and chicken are produced without the routine use of antibiotics as a feed additive.
- Hamburgers are made with Certified Humane ground beef from cattle raised on vegetarian feed with no antibiotics or added hormones.
- Other meats are raised without antibiotics as a first preference.
- Turkey and beef are roasted in-house daily for deli meat.
- Milk and yogurt are from cows not treated with artificial Bovine Growth Hormone.
- Shell eggs are produced cage-free and are certified by Humane Farm Animal Care, Food Alliance or Animal Welfare Approved.
- Vegetarian options are plentiful at every meal.
- Healthy menu items are a mainstream offering throughout our cafés.
- Salsas, pizza, marinara, and other sauces are made from scratch.
- Stocks are made from scratch.
- All seafood purchases, wild and farmed, follow the sustainability guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Seafood should be purchased fresh when available locally or frozen at the source to ensure quality, and never air-freighted.
- Olive and canola oils are used for everyday salad dressings. Specialty oils for other purposes (i.e. walnut oil or chili oil). Peanut oil is never used in the preparation of our food.
- Trans fats are not used in our kitchens.
- All salad dressings are made from scratch. Nonfat and low-calorie dressings may be purchased as necessary.
- Vegetables are prepared in batches at the last possible minute and served in the smallest possible batches.
- MSG is never used in the preparation of our food.
- Mashed potatoes are made from fresh potatoes.
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice is used for cooking and sauces.
- Cookies and muffins are baked fresh daily. Breads are baked fresh daily where possible.