Yolanda takes orders at the counter, and James does all the cooking.
“My grandmother was a cafe proprietor and a prepare dinner,” James states. “So I was on her hip she taught me how to cook dinner. Then my mother was a skilled, experienced cook dinner she also taught me how to cook dinner. Ever considering that I was a younger kid, I grew up around dining places in the cafe sector.”
For several years, James experienced only shared these traditions with loved ones and good friends. But in 2018, he obtained a most cancers diagnosis and underwent cure. He experienced worked in the company entire world for a long time, and began pondering about creating alterations in his everyday living. The pandemic was the catalyst for him to indulge his enthusiasm.
It claims anything about dedication when anyone decides to open their to start with restaurant (not an uncomplicated feat beneath the best of ailments). But it says even extra when that individual quits his career to open a seafood restaurant in a landlocked location like the Valley of the Sunshine. There is just not a fishery for hundreds of miles, but James knew he could do it.
“My spouse imagined I was crazy at initially,” states James. “‘Okay, wait around a moment, is it the treatment?’ she questioned me, and I am like, I’m telling you, we lived in California the previous 30 many years…feeding on grilled fish, mahi-mahi tuna, shrimp — all of all those fish. Then, when I would go again east to Virginia, to Norfolk, to the Chesapeake Bay space, you know, we would take in the fried fish, the catfish, the oysters. I normally had this notion to combine both equally into a person, and listed here it is.”
The final result is a minimal bistro off Interstate 10 in Ahwatukee that serves all sorts of contemporary fish each day, virtually any way you want it. You can get it blackened, dusted in Previous Bay, or lightly breaded, between other preparations.
At first look, the menu can be scary, but Yolanda is the reassuring voice on the other side of the counter. She walks consumers by way of the myriad options. Very first, there are appetizers to choose from and specials that change each day. If you are craving one thing East Coastline, the crab cakes ($15) are a have to. The appetizer comes with two four-ounce crab patties deep-fried to a golden brown, seasoned with Outdated Bay, and perfectly portioned, with the suitable ratio of lump crabmeat to cake.
Upcoming are the entrees. Pick your fish, and determine whether or not you would like it grilled or fried. Fried seafood is flippantly breaded with a cornmeal recipe that was handed down to James, and grilled merchandise occur with no less than six marinade options (garlic butter is a individual favourite).
Meals are served one particular of a number of approaches: as a sandwich on a bolillo roll ($13.50-$18.50) plated with two sides ($17.50-$24.95) with a salad ($14.95- $18.50) with a taco ($4.50-$5.50 for every taco) or à la carte ($10-$18). According to the Browns, tacos are a well known decision, adopted by the plate, which arrives with the prospect to consider some future-amount coleslaw, Aged Bay chips, or hush puppies.
James does not prep substantially, in buy to be certain that anything is produced to buy that motivation extends to the hush puppies and chips, which are created refreshing.
The menu rotates constantly dependent on what is available on a supplied day. James employs selected distributors, but also talks straight to fisherman on both of those coasts he can get phone calls as late as 10 p.m. from fishermen who just concluded their catch. If he purchases the capture, he’ll pick it up at Sky Harbor the subsequent morning.
“We get the catfish out of Mississippi, the oysters come from a seller in Washington point out, and tender-shell crabs appear from back east,” he clarifies. “We work with a wide variety of different sellers that will work with us. We’re a modest mom-and-pop, so we are not able to get a massive amount, and the wide range of resources will allow us to retain the freshest or best-top quality seafood that we can get in this article.”
The food stuff stands on its personal, but the neighborhood all around the cafe has cemented the couple’s position in Ahwatukee. “Now they see that this is just a relaxing mother-and-pop,” Yolanda claims. “We want [our customers] to relax and have a excellent time.”
Chesapeake Bay Bistro recently obtained accepted for a BYOB license, so shoppers can now appreciate their meal with a bottle of wine or their beloved brew.
The Browns hope to have a entire-fledged wine and beer license in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, grab your favorite bottle and put together to indulge in some fresh new seafood.
A single of the most exciting features of the menu is the Maryland Blue Crab ($8-$10), which is just coming into year. James suggests he is waiting until finally the crabs get a tiny larger — eight or 9 inches — and expects to have them in the next several months.
Chesapeake Bay also can take orders on-line or about the telephone for pickup and provides catering.
Chesapeake Bay Bistro
5033 East Elliot Street
Open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday by means of Saturday, and for meal from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday by way of Thursday and 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Shut Sunday and Monday.