Downtown Glendale has a new tenant on the way — the dinner-only vegan restaurant Casa Terra is opening at 58th Drive and Glendale Avenue on Monday, February 11. Founder and executive chef Jason Wyrick has created a plant-based menu inspired by flavors of Mexico and the Mediterranean — specifically Italy, Spain, and Morocco.
The restaurant will add to the fast-growing list of vegan options in metro Phoenix.
The 2,800-square-foot dining space will seat just 65, complete with an expo-style kitchen where guests can view food preparation. Offerings will include small plates, wood-fired pizzas, cocktails, and entrees like smoked mushroom cazuela, saffron chorizo risotto, and house-made gnocchi, and desserts. Once open, Casa Terra will operate from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
But what’s additionally interesting is Casa Terra’s opening in downtown Glendale. One might assume the first fine-dining vegan restaurant in Arizona to open in downtown Phoenix or near Arizona State University in Tempe. But Wyrick — a renowned vegan chef, speaker, author, and publisher whose life was changed for the better by adopting a vegan diet 15 years ago — has roots in Glendale, and says he wanted to do something important for the community.
“We’re opening Casa Terra in downtown Glendale because the west Valley has traditionally been under-served with vegan options until recently,” Wyrick says in an email. “We want to be part of changing the scene here and provide something unique that will draw people from all over the Valley to Glendale. Also, I grew up in Glendale, and I love this city.”
Talk of veganism in downtown Glendale might bring to mind Veggie Rebellion — the vegan grocery store less than a quarter-mile from Casa Terra’s front door. While Wyrick’s new restaurant is not affiliated with Veggie Rebellion, he says they’re friends, and the store’s presence played a part in the Casa Terra's location — as well another nearby vegan eatery, Mi Vegana Madre.
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“With Casa Terra, Mi Vegana Madre, and Veggie Rebellion in downtown Glendale, we make a trifecta of vegan awesomeness,” Wyrick says.
Wyrick says the Casa Terra team is anticipating that vegan dining options will continue to expand in the west Valley, and they’re excited to be part of that growth in its early stages. But while Casa Terra will serve diners seeking vegan options in Glendale and the west Valley, Wyrick says he feels his establishment will entice vegan dieters across the Phoenix area.
“What we are offering at Casa Terra is something that people have been craving for years,” he says, “We believe that we’ll be a destination, regardless of where someone may live in the Valley.”
For more information, see the Casa Terra website.