Conventional Restaurant Serves Up Fresh and Local Flavor
Nov 30, 2011 02:45PM
● By Katie Richardson
Inspired by the growing popularity of fresh, local ingredients and ecofriendly choices, the demand for greener, healthier menu options has influenced many restaurants to make changes to their cuisine. Dallas’ own Blue Mesa Grill, founded 23 years ago, is one restaurant that has made serving the best possible meals to their customers the goal since day one.
“We realize the importance of eating healthy, and we’re sensitive to our customers’ needs, as well,” says co-founder and owner, Liz Baron. When it comes to serving up local flavor, Blue Mesa Grill has it down pat. They put on four festivals every year, each including a special menu featuring seasonal, local vegetables.
The Hill Country Herb and Produce Festival, Citrus Festival, Corn and Peach Festival and Hatch Chile Festival provide customers with opportunities to experience a variety of flavors in special dishes infused with seasonal freshness. Each festival features a bar program where patrons can enjoy drinks made with seasonal fruits, like the Clementine Martini, made with locally grown Clementine oranges.
The Hill Country Herb and Produce Festival, Citrus Festival, Corn and Peach Festival and Hatch Chile Festival provide customers with opportunities to experience a variety of flavors in special dishes infused with seasonal freshness.
Following the kick-off dinner that launches each festival, customers generally have between six and eight weeks to sample the specialty menus, but, it’s not only the fine dining that makes the festivals noteworthy. Blue Mesa Grill uses these annual events to support local businesses, leaning on suppliers in the area to bring their natural and organic ingredients to the table—and their signature festival dishes to life. “People like to know where their food comes from, and that is very important to us,” Baron explains.
A participant in Medical City Heart’s Restaurant Partner Program for nearly 15 years, Blue Mesa Grill also offers heart-healthy options year-round. With recipes reviewed and approved by Medical City Heart, based on American Heart Association guidelines for calories, total fat, saturated fat, sodium and dietary fiber, two of Blue Mesa’s three spa meals are recommended by Medical City Heart. Their Spa Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas has been a top-five menu selection since the very beginning. All of their efforts serve to provide customers with a heartfelt, local, seasonal and healthy experience.
Protecting the environment is just as high on their priority list. Sustainable practices are found at all levels of Blue Mesa’s operations, from recycling grease for the bio-diesel industry and stocking their restrooms with recycled paper products, to buying local chicken and produce to reduce harmful emissions associated with transportation.
As establishments like Blue Mesa Grill continue to raise the awareness of healthy and eco-friendly eating choices, more restaurants will follow their lead, offering customers an experience that is both healthy and green. But it’s not just local restaurants that are on board and leading the way, as even chain restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Freebirds World Burrito are becoming known for serving organic, fresh and local ingredients, which in the end, means more and better choices for us all.
Visit BlueMesaGrill.com for more information and to view the menu for the Hill Country Herb and Produce Festival.