Everyone’s favorite bleach-blonde host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives has made yet another appearance in the Valley, only this time, it’s more on the down low. Guy Fieri recently added to his collection of successful restaurants with the innovation of Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen, a delivery-only chain that operates out of already established restaurants.
Arizona is just one of 26 states to have launched locations in January and February. In the Valley, four Buca di Beppo restaurants now offer an online Flavortown Kitchen menu: Chandler (7111 W. Ray Rd), Mesa (1730 S. Val Vista Dr), Peoria (16091 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center Dr) and Scottsdale (3828 N. Scottsdale Road).
In classic Fieri fashion, the menu includes 19 traditional American bites from loaded burgers to hearty pasta dishes. There’s something for everyone with colorful salads, stacked sandwiches, shareable appetizers and rich desserts. Some potential favorites to watch: Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Burger, Cajun Chicken Alfredo, Jalapeño Pig Poppers and Fried Pickles and Ranch.
The concept of “virtual restaurants” or “ghost kitchens” has become increasingly popular over the course of the pandemic. Since most restaurants had to close their indoor eating completely or reduce capacity significantly, they looked for other ways to make revenue through an expanded takeout menu. Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen is one example of restaurant chains partnering with a celebrity brand through Virtual Dining Concepts.
A number of restaurants in the Phoenix area have already made the shift over to embracing ghost kitchens. Kitchen United MIX (7127 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale) features 20 vendors to order from, including vegan, Greek, Indian, Mexican and Japanese food from recognizable restaurants.
When the pandemic finally ends, it’s quite possible Flavortown Kitchen and other virtual restaurants will still be going strong because getting takeout always makes the day better.