Eating healthy in a fast-casual dining environment isn't always an option, but California-based restaurant MIXT aims to alter this perspective. Now open in Scottsdale Quarter, MIXT is keen on offering farm-fresh salads, protein-packed plates, sandwiches, and grain bowls. The goal is to bring the farm-to-table concept into a fast-casual dining space. This idea was born out of discontent.
"I was frustrated I couldn't find a high-quality meal that was less fussy than a fine dining establishment." MIXT CEO and co-founder Leslie Silverglide says, readily. Passionate about health and wellness, Silverglide says she loves to eat salads that don't leave her feeling hungry two hours later, and were real meals.
She wanted to build a restaurant focused on quick service in a fast-casual environment with nutritious ingredients, but customizable in-house. When she and her husband, David, decided to move forward with this idea, friends didn't think it would work. "People told us we were insane, but we knew there was an opportunity to create a better food space," Silverglide says. "We were going to try this even though people thought it was a terrible idea."
Working toward it meant doing the leg work. Silverglide, analytical by nature, conducted research and measured how many people went into restaurants during the busiest times. She dissected the traffic in San Francisco and what food options were available. "There were options, but they weren't the most healthy — sandwiches, burritos, pizzas, and burgers. There was something missing," Silverglide says. In 2006, the first MIXT opened in downtown San Francisco. On opening day, there was a line down the street.
In 2020, MIXT opened its 16th location, the first in the Valley, with other locations in California and Texas. There is a minimalistic quality to the surroundings, which is intentional.
"I wanted to think about the environmental footprint of our space and make certain it was a green build," Silverglide says. It is an entire philosophy that is employed within MIXT restaurants. There is a conscious effort to think about energy efficiency, water conservation, and landfill diversion. "This isn't just talk. I am proud to say MIXT is the first multi-unit restaurant to become a Certified B Corporation." That means MIXT is "legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment," by B Corporation.
MIXT's green efforts extend to food, too. The mantra, according to Silverglide, is to "bring better eating to everyone." Part of this movement means the organic greens for salads are supplied on a daily basis. Silverglide emphasizes that "broad line distributors are not used, but local and regional companies are sources for these ingredients."
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The company strives for zero waste. "We have a pretty sophisticated inventory with our food and we provide meals for all of our staff," Silverglide says. This aligns with MIXT's sustainability goals, which are threefold: introducing a green-built environment in the restaurant space, focusing on a 100 percent landfill diversion, and having transparency in its food sourcing.
A focus on sustainability doesn't mean taste is compromised. Guests have the option to customize their salads or go with signature options like The Bachelor — arugula, greens, grilled flat iron steak, blue cheese, herb roasted potatoes, cherry tomatoes, savory herbs, and balsamic vinaigrette topped with caramelized onions and breadcrumbs. All dressings are made in-house as well.
For those craving something heartier, market plates allow patrons to pair their choice of meat with two sides. Grain bowls are also available. Kombucha and craft beer from local sources are some beverage options. For convenience, MIXT also has a salad valet where customers can order online and pick up their lunch or dinner curbside. This is an effort to make healthy food accessible for those on the go.
Silverglide says people are embracing the MIXT message so far. Why? "When you come to MIXT," she says, "you don't need to sacrifice taste for health."