Fans of frozen meals from Amy's Kitchen can now satisfy their cravings for vegetarian, non-GMO, organic food with a spin through Amy's Drive Thru restaurant in Rohnert Park. The first ready-made food enterprise from Andy and Rachel Berliner, who founded their healthy frozen-food business almost thirty years ago, is now open for business.
The new restaurant is a total departure from neighboring fast-food giants In-N-Out Burger and McDonald's, serving pizzas, veggie burgers, burritos and and salads, all of which is made from scratch on the premises. And, every menu item has a vegan or gluten-free option, including the milkshakes and mac and cheese. Plus, the Berliners have gone to great lengths to bring in locally sourced goods whenever possible, including coffee from Coast Roast Coffee in Tomales, pickles brined at the Sonoma Brinery and sour cream (for the burritos and chili) from Clover Stornetta. The building itself is also a paean of eco-friendliness, featuring over 50 solar panels, a living roof and an interior comprised with over 95% repurposed or salvaged wood.
However, the main attraction at the drive-thru window is "The Amy," a veggie burger whose recipe the Berliners boast has been tested over 1,000 times. It comes with single or double patties and features a house-made bun, "secret sauce," pickles and organic tomatoes. With a single burger coming in at $2.49 ($2.99 with cheese), it's in the position to compete with regional fast food prices, while beating them in the health department along the way. Check out the full menu here.
So, how did the first day go? Here are a few diners' first impressions of the shiny new mecca of healthiness:
Went to @amysdrivethru today and LOVED it! It's amazing when someone has a great idea and actually does it right. #amysdrivethru— Phil Lehman-Brown (@EightiesEd) July 21, 2015
@amysdrivethru zero marketing & booming at 4pm on second day open?! #success #vegetariandrivethru #runsonlove— Christie Haworth (@chaworth1) July 21, 2015
Meanwhile, Yelper Joe G. was not as impressed with the burger, saying "When I have cooked the frozen burgers at home, they come out nice and chewy and moist. This patty, however, was like a thick piece of brittle cardboard. The only saving grace was the pickle."
Neither was Amy G., whose complaints also lay with the burger, saying "I waited in line for 20 minutes to get 'The Amy' burger. When I opened the box I saw the beige burgers were burned black and hard as a rock on the edge."
Either way, the restaurant has been packed since it opened, according to the Press Democrat, who reported that over 800 guests were served in an eight-hour period on just the first day. The new restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with plans for breakfast in the works.