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She Said: Tempe’s Chick-In offers Israeli take on fresh eats

(Facebook Photo)

Don’t let the name or location fool you: I assumed Chick-In was just another fast food-chicken joint opened to serve Arizona State University students rushing to class.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Chick-In is nestled in a tree-and-table-filled little courtyard and serves up mouthwatering Israeli-inspired food.

ASU had wanted a Kosher-based restaurant and reached out to Yariv Elazar and, shortly thereafter, his idea of quick but quality street food was born. Elazar even recruited his chef friend, Maayan Glass, all the way from Israel to make it completely authentic.

The restaurant is Kosher certified, which not only appeals those keeping Kosher, but also means dishes are made with the freshest ingredients.

The menu is pretty simple with chicken options — you can have it in a pita, bun or platter — and vegan options that you can have in a pita or bowl.

You will see a variety of regions represented on this small menu thanks to Glass’ time spent in other countries.

The Vienna Chicken was a welcoming surprise, as was the breaded fried chicken with horseradish, pickled ailoli and lettuce.

Another highlight was the Cancun Chicken with chipotle aioli, guacamole and pico de gallo. The falafel calls are a must and Chick-In even offers two breakfast options.

This restaurant was such a refreshing change for this foodie. I was taken aback by the freshness of the ingredients and the vast flavors that were being created in this quaint space. You will taste the chef’s years of experience in your first bite.

What stuck with me the most was the passion behind each dish. The way Glass talked about food was something I hadn’t heard in a while. It was inspiring and, I must admit, boosted my level of excitement about food again.

If you are in Tempe, I high recommend a stop at Chick-In. I promise, you will thank me.

A second location (and maybe more) are in the works and I’m crossing my fingers that one opens near my house!