Chef Chat: Matt McLinn of The Grind (Part Two)
McLinn and his two business partners George Monzures and Allen Thompson opened The Grind on Camelback Road and 40th Street in February with a neighborhood hangout in mind.
That said, the menu is a bit fancier than your typical backyard barbecue -- apart from the PBR on tap. The Grind offers a few appetizers and three kinds of burgers (steak house blt, sweet and spicy and peppercorn crust) that can be paired with three kinds of fries (herbed, duck fat country fries and sweet potato). Burger-phobes are, of course, welcome to the pressed chicken or the ham, egg and cheese sandwiches.
Behind the 40-foot-long zinc bar, the Grind has four beers on tap (including locally made Sonoran Root Beer) and a slew of bottled domestics and imports. A glass of wine will put you back $8 to $12, but McLinn specifically chose them to match the patties.
Want to hear more about Matt's culinary role model and what's next? Read on.
Favorite local food spot: Sushi on Shea. I've been going there forever. They do a really great job; it's light and inexpensive.
Fantasy culinary vacation: I would have to go to Spain to visit El Bulli. (El Bulli, owned by Chef Ferran Adrià, is the Spanish hotspot named best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine five times. It's often associated with the foamy stuff; what is now called molecular gastronomy.) What Adrià does is amazing. A ton of chefs have tried it and I won't even say what we say in the food world, but too often when you mess with a food's shape it just doesn't taste good.
Favorite Celebrity Chef: I don't even consider the chefs on TV celebrities. I think they've become something cheesy ... My inspiration comes from chefs like Beau MacMillan at Elements and Alain Ducasse, who I worked for in Paris.
Next on the Menu: I think the three of us (Mclinn, Monzures and Thompson) want to open a few Grind locations. Everyone wants to be the best restaurant in town, but I think what we have here is a really great concept. I also have a few ideas for new concepts, but I'm afraid to say them because a couple of big wigs will take them ... I guess that's just the name of the business.
(This was part two of our interview with Matt McLinn of The Grind, check out part one and stay tuned for one of McLinn's recipes... )