Two proud St. Louis natives have officially opened their doors on a healthy new endeavor in downtown Clayton.
Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh has been serving Mediterranean-inspired food to the people of Denver since 2009. Recently, the fast yet healthy restaurant branched out from the Mile High City, and made St. Louis the first of many new stops in the region.
With the help of local investor Michael Staenberg, St. Louis native and CEO James Park has brought Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh home.
“We’ve planned on bringing Garbanzo’s delicious and nutritious recipes to our hometown for quite some time,” Park said. “After extensive research, we have finally found the perfect location for our first St. Louis restaurant and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
With its authentic, nutrient-rich dishes served with a new twist, Garbanzo is in the midst of making fresh Mediterranean cuisine a mainstream favorite across the United States.
At Garbanzo, diners choose a style of entree, protein and nearly every extra healthy topping imaginable. Every order is customized to the guest’s liking, according to the restaurant’s website, from a variety of meats, salads, gyros, wraps and pita, all made from scratch. It’s also quick, affordable, healthy and made to order.
“Our cuisine is the kind of food that you can feed your kids without worries about preservatives, MSG or trans fats, and it caters to virtually every diet — from vegan and vegetarian to paleo and meat eaters,” Park said. “Because it’s simple, fresh and authentically made, it’s become the newest trend in the fast-casual segment.”
Patrons will also get a first-hand look at Garbanzo’s bread-making operation who they dine in. There they can watch their entrees’ outer layer cook. When done, those breads are be filled with your choice of meat, including chicken, beef and lamb gyro meat, falafel and grilled steak.
Guests can choose to have their meals served as a salad, plate, a “Med burrito” or as a flatbread.
Entrees can be dressed with anything and everything from hummus to cilantro sauce.
“We’re beginning to see a definite shift from Mexican to Mediterranean, and a transition from sandwiches to shawarmas,” Park said. “Mediterranean flavors have survived the test of time and now it’s become the food trend of the future. We just have to be sure not to mess with it too much because, at its core, it’s already darn close to perfect.”
The chain, which is majority-owned by Staenberg, plans to open up to 10 restaurants in the area over the next several years.
Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh is open from 10:30 a.m. until 9 .m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.