As a vegetarian, I’ve come across a few interesting foods that are often used in place of meat, as a protein supplement, and sometimes, just an all-around “good food to eat” item. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is one of those foods. Although it looks like rice or pasta, it’s actually a seed, derived from South America. It is high in protein, gluten-free, wheat-free and has 9 essential amino acids. Although you can find them in many vegetarian restaurants, they have recently gone mainstream and you can find them in more and more restaurants, including Stonefire Grill.
I was recently a guest at Stonefire Grill where I had the opportunity to try them in all three variations offered:
Keen Green: A blend of fresh spinach, pesto and quinoa with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and Parmesan cheese for $8.99.
Healthy Hybrid: Quinoa with garbanzo beans, red onion, green bell peppers, Kalamata olives, cucumber, tomato and artichoke hearts tossed with Dijon mustard vinaigrette and topped with feta cheese for $7.99.
Quinoa (side): Simply prepared in vegetable broth with a dash of fresh lemon, mint and green onions; single $1.59, small $2.99, medium $4.99 and large $8.99.
But I couldn’t stop there. It was my first time at Stonefire Grill and EVERYTHING on their menu looked delicious. So our table added breadsticks, their Chopped BBQ Salad (we added avocado and asked for quinoa and BBQ chicken on the side) and we polished it off with carrot cake.
Let me tell you, that was THE BEST carrot cake that I have ever tasted. As it turns out, just like all of their menu items, this delicious peace of heaven is also made in house, from scratch and with the freshest ingredients. It’s the most scrumptious piece of carrot cake in Orange County… and it can also be ordered by the sheet!
While we were there, we had the opportunity to talk to Justin Lopez, a spokesperson for Stonefire Grill and son of one of the founders. He shared with us how delighted they were to introduce these new menu items and how excited they are by the dynamic flavor profiles that we have come up with. I can tell you that this is a place that I will come back to time after time. I’m lucky enough that it’s only 10 minutes from my home (yay me!), but they have other locations in Southern California too.
About Stonefire Grill
Stonefire Grill, a leader in the fast-casual genre with 7 locations to date, was established in 2000 by sisters Mary and Maureen Harrigan as an homage to their family dinners where delicious food and spirited conversation were served up nightly. The menu of American fare is expansive and features Mesquite BBQ Tri Tip, BBQ and Lemon Garlic Chicken Breast, Baby Back Ribs, and a wide assortment of salads, pizzas and pastas. All items on the menu are available “to go” and each restaurant is even designed with a special entrance dedicated to takeout — the modern mother’s version of providing a wholesome, delicious meal for her family. Locations are in Valencia, West Hills, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Chatsworth, Pasadena and Thousand Oaks. Catering is also available.
I was invited to complimentary lunch at Stonefire Grill. As always, thoughts and opinions remain my own.
Originally published on June 1, 2012. Last Updated on August 1, 2017 by Pattie Cordova