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10 Fast Food Restaurants That Santa Ana Should Pursue

March 31, 2010

The City of Santa Ana has one of the highest obesity rates in the State of California.  One contributing factor is the enormous availability of unhealthy fast food restaurants throughout Santa Ana.  McDonalds has 10 locations in Santa Ana.  Jack in the Box has 7 locations here.  Burger King has one less location than Jack in the Box with 6 locations in Santa Ana.

The following list of organic fast food restaurants from Mother Nature Network are fast food restaurants that the City of Santa Ana should make an effort to attract to our city.

1. Organic To Go – Organic fast-casual chain with restaurants on the West Coast, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. They serve tasty sandwiches, pizza, salads, wraps, soups, breakfast burritos and quesadillas, all made with organic ingredients. They also use green packaging and uses a fleet of Priuses to deliver food.
They already have 2 locations in Irvine and their website lists a location in Costa Mesa that is a 5-minute walk from the southern border of Santa Ana and 4 miles from Downtown Santa Ana, but a reviewer on Yelp states that Organic To Go is no longer there.  Perhaps they needed to move north of Sunflower.

2. Chipotle –  Started in Denver in 1993 by Steve Ells and is known for its guacamole and burritos — its large (organic) burritos. The folks at Chipotle believe food should come packed with integrity. That means free range meats that are mostly antibiotic-free and vegetarian-fed. Not all their beans are organic yet, but the percentage is rising quickly.
Chipotle has two locations in Santa Ana, which are both on the very edge of our city.  Hopefully they will open more locations throughout Santa Ana.

3. Evos – Evos  is where old-school fast-food fans go when they’re jonesing for a burger and fries. Evos burgers are free of antibiotics and slow roasted in an oven. The shakes avoid the standard fast-food syrups and are made with organic milk and sugar, fresh fruit and juice. Instead of deep frying its fries, it blasts them with hot air in a process it calls air baking. It also uses organic ingredients whenever it can.
Their closest location is 220 miles away from Santa Ana in San Luis Obispo.

4. GustOrganic – They are a New York City restaurant that servers 100-percent organic food. It was started by Buenos Aires native Alberto Gonzalez, who first had the idea 10 years ago while traveling to NYC and finding a lack of the good, fresh food he ate growing up. He was working as a sustainable business consultant and naturally fused his vision for a sustainable future into the day-to-day flow of running a great restaurant.

5. O’Naturals – Started in Portland, Maine, by Stonyfield Farm founder Gary Hirshburg and his wife, Meg, O’Naturals offers quick dishes that are tasty and healthy, using locally grown ingredients whenever possible. I’m a fan of the chicken TMB (tomato, mozzarella, basil) sandwich and love  the ginger carrot soup. My kids always order the mac-n-cheese and can’t stop eating the brick oven flatbread made by the O’Naturals staff.
They have locations in Arizona, Kansas, Maine, and Massachusetts.

6. Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food – Amanda’s  is a restaurant located in downtown Berkeley, Calif. Founder Amanda West started a blog back in February 2006 called Feel Good Fast Food, which highlighted great green fast food and places where things could be improved. After a few years of blogging, Amanda spun off the Net and opened up the first (and only to date) Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food.

7. Burgerville  has 39 restaurants spread around Washington state and Oregon and has been in business since 1961, when George Propstra opened up shop in Vancouver, B.C. Burgerville was serving fresh, locally made foods decades before it was the hip thing to do. The restaurant has a solid fast-food foundation of burgers made with antibiotic- and hormone-free beef.

8. Sellers Market – They are a small chain with three restaurants in San Francisco, as friendly a city for a green fast-food chain to launch as you can find. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a wide variety of egg scrambles, salads, sandwiches (both cold and hot), pizza, lasagna, chicken, and even meatloaf, as well as healthy wine and beer.

9. Pizza Fusion –  They use a fleet of hybrid cars to deliver their pizza, buy wind credits to offset 100 percent of its energy usage, use only eco-friendly cleaning supplies, stock spudwear utensils (100-percent potato) that biodegrade in 50 days, serves its food in corn-based biodegradable plastics, and all Pizza Fusion restaurants are LEED-certified.
There are locations in Hollywood, San Diego, and Temecula, but no locations in Orange County.  Did they really locate in Temecula before Orange County?

10. Pret a Manger – They were brought to life in London in 1968, and starts its online menu off with “Pret operates a bit like a restaurant.” It gets all its ingredients fresh in the morning and gives anything left over at the end of the day to charity. Its food is free of any chemical preservatives and additives and includes a wide range of sandwiches, soups, hot wraps, sushi, salads, baked goods, cakes and sweets.
Their locations on this side of the Atlantic are in Washington D.C., New York and Chicago, so far.  Hopefully, their west coast debut will be in Santa Ana.  It’s possible!  Which Wich opened its first California location outside of San Diego County in Santa Ana (right near a Chipotle).

For links to these restaurants, please click here.

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