Our mindset

Food Philosophy

Food is what we do. It is what we stand behind. It is what defines us. We strive to provide our customers with the unexpected. To surprise the palate with every bite. Every ingredient has a purpose, a meaning and, when combined, results in bold and addictive flavors that can only be described as “inspired”. It’s about choice… a true variety of options that matter so that at the end of the day, we satisfy stomachs of all colors, shapes, and sizes. It is what makes us different. Not every option is for every body. We know that. Keep exploring. Your vice is on our menu, unless you don’t like food. But you do. This is good food to the core. Enjoy.

Nutrition & Allergens
We can’t be everything to everybody, but we can sure as heck try. Whether you’re gluten-free,
vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, or other, we’ve got nutritional and dietary options to help you accomplish all of your health and fitness goals. Why make the extra effort to truly offer something for everybody? Because every customer has a right to have their order made the way they want it. Every customer has a voice and we listen. And we learn. And we get better at what we do. Catering to your individual needs is a challenge… we accept.

Our Locations

When we choose a location, we know what was there before we were. So do others. People have memories. Why ask people to forget? Instead, why not work with the materials and natural character of the people and businesses who came before us? Why not share the past by revealing and often uncovering the unique, core aspects of all of our restaurant spaces… old brick, original flooring, decorated columns, and detailed ceilings. Even our Sean Boyce artwork often merges the past and present of each individual location. And what about when we have to add? Well, you’ll probably be pleased with the kinds of materials we choose. Materials that fit the neighborhood. That match the flavor of the community. Because there are some pretty amazing ways to make the past a part of what we offer today. Next time you drop by, take a look around. You never know what you might see…

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Straight Talk

Years ago, we made a choice to be different; to push the boundaries of what a restaurant can be. Inspired by our customers, we tried new things. Some of them worked, some of them didn’t. These successes, and failures, have made us who we are today. You see, we aren’t perfect and would never claim to be. The reality is that we make mistakes, lots of them. But we don’t let mistakes get us down. Instead, we use them to teach us and motivate us to be better. Better leaders. Better workers. Better people. Why? Because we actually do care about giving our guests exactly what they want – yesterday, today, and tomorrow – and we believe that with creativity, attention, and passion, our work will lead to an experience that brings customers back by the dozens, by the hundreds, by the thousands…and, maybe one day, by the millions. We’ll see.

Our Communities

When we open a restaurant, we become part of the community. It is not a choice, but a fact. We are a neighbor. We are a friend. We are there for you. We play many roles. Some days, our restaurant can be a hang-out, a gathering spot for all to enjoy. Others, we can be a donor to a local cause. We want to be there to see your children grow up – to see you grow up. We want to grow up with them – with you. When trouble arises, you always know where to find us. We have your back. When we find a place we like, be it a college, town, building, or back alley, it’s hard to get us to leave.

People Matter

When we first started in 1997, the first few weeks were pretty exciting. But then as we settled into a routine, we realized that restaurant work could be just that… routine. Soon after, we decided that as long as we were in this business, we were going to do our very best to make the work we ask people to do for us meaningful. Work that our team members might later look back at and say “hey, that was an important stepping stone” in whatever career they eventually chose. Making decisions, having a voice, leading others, developing others, and listening openly. These lay the foundation for what we now refer to as hospitality that so many guests tell us about in our restaurants. Collecting a paycheck is something that one can do almost anywhere – building confidence, life skills and a sense of pride while passionately serving hundreds of guests a day is not.



The environment is important. Everyone knows that. We try to do our part. Every day. In little ways. It’s not about being “green” and definitely not about some certification sticker we had on our door for many years. It’s simply about using our restaurants to make our planet a better place. Today, it’s corn cups and bamboo bowls. It’s naturally-raised meats and organic tofu. It’s composting and recycling and reusing building materials. Even the yawn-able stuff like LED lighting, low-flow waterheads, and Paperstone tabletops and countertops make a difference today. Tomorrow, who knows – the list will only grow. One thing that we do know, we’ll be there. Quietly leading the pack and slowly blazing the trail. Doing our part to help the earth without making a big deal of it. One baby step at a time. One burrito at a time.