Video Produced by Denise Toledo
The idea for Cava Grill stemmed from the full-service restaurant Cava Mezze, which was founded by three childhood friends aiming to provide high-quality Greek and Mediterranean cuisine to the modern consumer. Cava Grill, the fast-casual spinoff of Cava Mezze, has since exploded. Growing to over 25 units, Cava Grill is primed to be a breakout brand in fast casual. Chef Dimitri Moshovitis shared with us some of the tricks to Cava’s success.
“I think that we kinda hit on every demographic. We can be in the city, we can be in the suburb. We can be in a mall or airport. We have that ‘make you feel good’ kinda food. We like to go out there and find people that we can partner up with; local farmers, local producers. And I think people see that. That does break that $8 barrier when you are part of the community,” he said.
Lamb is a central ingredient to Greek and Mediterranean flavors, and as such, Chef Dimitri wants to be sure he does it right. Keeping in line with his community focus, Dimitri knew sourcing lamb for the restaurant locally was a must. That’s why he reached out to American shepherd Craig Rogers of Border Springs Farm to supply the lamb for Cava Grill’s spicy lamb meatballs.
As Rogers says, a big part of the flavor for the meatballs comes from how the lamb is grown. Rogers creates a sweet fat on his lamb by starting at the bottom of the food chain.
“We have to spend a little more effort on nurturing our grasses and pastures to create high sugar grasses, that’s then going to create really sweet meat flavors and fat flavors,” Rogers explained.
This care translates into perfectly charred meatballs on your choice of a pita, grains, or greens. Watch how much care goes into delivering tasty, local lamb to your plate on this episode of Fast Casual Nation.