The Fork-11: Amy’s Drive Thru in Rohnert Park is a “healthy” fast food alternative created by Andy and Rachel Berliner of frozen-food giant, Amy’s Kitchen. The menu is focused on an all-vegetarian (and vegan/gluten-free friendly) menu that includes double stack veggie burgers, chili cheese fries, milkshakes, burritos, pizza and salads that are good for the planet and a whole lot better for you than traditional fast food. 58 Golf Course Dr. West, Rohnert Park. Open daily 10a.m. to 10p.m.
After two years of development on the menu and restaurant concept, the Berliners knew they were onto something big, but not quite this big.
Early fans of Amy’s Kitchen were families with small children scarfing down organic French fries and waving half-eaten burgers. Rachel whisked from table to table, giving children coloring pencils and paper. “You have to keep the little ones happy for a few minutes,” she said.
“It’s fun to look at people’s faces,” said Rachel. “They’re so happy. This is food that even though it’s meatless, you don’t miss the meat. You can come here with your family and whatever your dietary needs are, you can eat it,” she said.
What to eat
The most popular item, not surprisingly, is the flagship Amy Burger ($4.29 with cheese), with freshly made buns, onions, lettuce, cheddar cheese, pickles, meatless patties and Fred Jr.’s secret sauce. (Insider info: Fred Jr. and Fred Sr. are the R+D team for Amy’s Kitchen that helped to develop the Amy’s Drive Thru menu.)
The restaurant’s burrito ($4.69 and a great value) – beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and salsa wrapped in a whole wheat (or gluten-free) tortilla was a surprise favorite. “The first thing they want is the Amy Burger, but I think they’re surprised that the burrito was so good,” said Rachel.
Also on the BiteClub-approved menu: Regular (with dairy) and vegan milkshakes (awesome, $2.99); chili fries ($2.99), broccoli mac and cheese (made in an oven, so it gets nice and crispy, $4.69 to $4.89), giant salads (the Super Salad made with quinoa, hummus, tofu and other goodies, $7.99 is the Berliner’s favorite menu item), vegan and vegetarian pizza ($5.89 to $6.50) and homemade lemonade and sodas.
The (literally) million dollar question: Where and when will they expand? Andy confirmed that more Amy’s Drive Thru restaurants are in the works, but only expect 1-2 more in the next year or so, since much of Northern California has bans on new drive-thru restaurants (the Berliners can use existing fast food locations that shutter). Hint: They’ll be in Northern California.
And yes, there is a plan for world domination. Though Andy would never put it in exactly those words.
JUST THE FACTS
All food is non-GMO
95% of the ingredients are organic
Every menu items has a vegan or gluten-free option
Local is the priority for sourcing
Milkshakes are made with milk from pasture-based farms in Sonoma County
Pickles are locally brined at Sonoma Brinery
Sour cream and chili comes from Clover Stornetta
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