Friday Bites with Chad Barnett
After spending nearly half his life focusing on all things fresh with the SUBWAY® brand, local franchisee and father-of-three Chad Barnett knows a thing or two about food.
“I’ve been around awhile – don’t let my baby face fool you,” jokes Barnett, moved to Arizona from Texas in 1997 and instantly fell in love with the local Valley, not to mention its dining scene.
“Within a few years, I met Rick Ueable, who owned about a dozen Subway franchisees in Arizona. He and his partner were looking for someone to assist in operations management, and since my wife and I fell in love with the Valley – I jumped at the opportunity,” said Barnett. “Over the past 15 years, we’ve worked together to expand our business to 41 local SUBWAY locations and counting.”
And as the busy owner, who is also the chair of the local SUBWAY advertising board and on the volunteer board of directors for SUBWAY’s local nonprofit, Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona, is in the midst of helping Arizona debut its new Rotisserie-Style Chicken, which is 100 percent breast-meat and raised without antibiotics, he took some time to sit down with Phoenix Bites to share his favorite haunts when not noshing on a Sweet Onion Teriyaki or BMT.
“I am all about trying new dishes all across the Valley. And believe it or not, Subway in Arizona is actually quite the testing ground for new concepts itself,” says Barnett, noting that SUBWAY’s toaster ovens, breakfast menu items and several other game-changers in the brand’s 50-plus year history were first tested in the Valley. “SUBWAY franchisees in Arizona are also unique in that we launched our own nonprofit, Subway Kids & Sports in 1999 as a way to give back to local children’s programs that help give kids access to sports.”
Barnett notes that the organization is now accepting grant application through May 1. Interested parties can visit www.subwaykidsandsportsaz.com to download the application.
Now, onto his foodie faves!
Friday Bites with Chad Barnett
Impressing out of towners | Blanco Tacos Tequila
It’s almost a necessity to make sure your visitors try some great Mexican food while there here in the Southwest, and the vibe at Blanco Tacos is so much fun. If you’re looking for a good time on a Friday or Saturday night, Blanco Tacos has a great DJ and the best bartenders. Lupita there is as sweet as can be and will always remember a face. It’s not an over the top restaurant, but their food is always so good and fresh. I like to get the Braised Short Rib and Avocado Crisp almost every time I go, and the Chicken Mole & Vegetable Arroz is excellent.
Special occasions | Tie – Different Pointe of View and Lon’s at the Hermosa
The weather here is one of the many things that makes Phoenix special, so when I think of a restaurant for a special occasion I immediately think of outside seating to soak up the gorgeous weather. Two restaurants jump to the front of my mind: Different Pointe of View and Lon’s at the Hermosa – you have to sit outside at both. Whether you are overlooking the city at Different Pointe of View or getting lost in the live music at Lon’s, both restaurants are truly special.
Best Brunch | T. Cook’s
Not only is T. Cook’s a cool place for brunch, but it’s also a great date spot. The food is awesome. I like to get the Farmhouse Omelette for a lighter fare or the Breakfast Burrito for something hardier. As the food is great, it’s actually the staff that really makes the place memorable. The host, Linda, is wonderful. And, where else in the valley can you be served by Kenny G? When you go, you really have to appreciate the eclectic and artsy décor. And, you’ll notice that all the chairs are different – it’s really cool inside and a perfect spot for brunch.
Best for People Watching | Olive & Ivy
I’m thinking Olive & Ivy near the Scottsdale waterfront. You can see it all in Scottsdale from families, to a meat market on Friday night, to of course, plenty of cougar watching. Ha ha!
Adventurous Eating | Southern Rail
This restaurant is southern food with traditional fixings as sides, but yet the food and the ambiance has an urban flair to it. Southern Rail has a great wine selection and a cool, relaxed atmosphere too. If you’re contemplating on whether to get an appetizer or dessert, definitely go with the beignets as an appetizer! You can thank me later!