Yes, that Amy. The vegetarian food company famed for its all-natural convenience food and sustainable commitment is breaking into fast food! For now, they are keeping it very local. The first Amy’s Drive Thru is located quite close to their corporate headquarters. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see more Amy’s Drive Thru outposts pop up in other locations.
As for the food, Amy’s Drive Thru is an all-vegetarian restaurant and they have “Gluten Free and Vegan Options Available on Everything”. How often do you get to read that? The menu includes veggie burgers, organic salads, burritos, mac & cheese, chili, fries, pizza and non-dairy shakes (yes!).
2016 Update: Tony and I visited the Santa Rosa area in October, and of course, lunch at Amy’s Drive Thru was on the agenda. The inside was like a modernized barn meets fast food, with a high ceiling and big windows for an airy feel. For sunny days, they also have outside seating with outdoor heaters. It’s a definite hot-spot for young families. At least half the clientele that day was under the age of 10.
Tony was feeling a little skeptical on some of the menu items, so he kept it simple with the Chili and an order of French Fries. I thought it was a must to try their Veggie Burger, so I ordered a single. Despite the definite fast food vibe of this establishment, the order was hand delivered to our table.
To disclaim, I think it’s fantastic that Amy’s sticks to their organic stance at Amy’s Drive Thru. When I inquired about ingredients, the ingredient list was for an “organic veggie pattie” and “organic wheat bun”. I just wish they had carried the organic vibe over into wholesome food. Organic is great, but the meal was almost void of nutrition and left me feeling flat, like any other fast food burger joint.
The all-white bun was VERY sweet and tasted far from homemade. I expected a flavorful, earthy whole wheat bun, but what I received was a standard fast food squishy bun. That sugary backdrop was further amplified by their overly-sweet “special sauce”. The veggie pattie was surprisingly thin, and hard to taste between the overpowering bun and excessive sauce. I would definitely spring for a double if ordering this again. But honestly, I prefer their frozen veggie burgers! Fortunately, the giant wedge of iceberg lettuce offered just enough neutrality to slightly temper all of the sugar.
Tony was less than impressed with the Chili, too. He said it was too salty and lacked real substance. It just wasn’t well rounded. I thought the fries were pretty good, but I could only get Tony to agree that they were at least better than McDonald’s.
Amy’s, we really wanted to love your new Drive Thru! It looks like many people do. And I do think it’s a great transitional place for those weaning off of fast food chains like McDonald’s. But we’ll continue our personal search for fast food that focuses more heavily on wholesome food and naturally delicious flavors.
Where to Find Amy’s Drive Thru
Location: 58 Golf Course Drive West, Rohnert Park, CA 94928