Tarnished Treasure: 24 Carrots in Tempe Misses the Mark

Categories: Cafe Review

carrots086.jpeg
Jackie Mercadetti
Tacos, a carrot overeasy drink with an Arizona bowl.
I believe that you should eat whatever makes you feel good and stay away from whatever doesn't. When I heard about 24 Carrots, a Tempe restaurant and juice bar specializing in vegan cuisine, I was excited, because meat-free food has come a long, long way since the advent of the Tofurkey. Unfortunately, for a restaurant that specializes in promoting vegan and raw food, 24 Carrots offers little in the way of innovation, and the food is just not great.

There seems to be a gaping void at 24 Carrots. The space feels incomplete, the source of the ingredients is shrouded in mystery, the food is generally missing flavor, and the service is spotty at best. There is no sign above the storefront. Handwritten notes and store hours are Scotch-taped to the doors. I would be willing to give the slow service and half-finished décor the benefit of the doubt if this were a brand-new restaurant. But 24 Carrots opened its Tempe location in December after a five-year stint in Chandler -- it seems the owner has had more than sufficient time to work out the kinks.

See also: Sasha Raj of 24 Carrots in Tempe: "I Wanted to Work for a Transparent Company"

The service at 24 Carrots is kind and thoughtful -- when you can get it. On multiple occasions, I waited at the register for several minutes before being acknowledged -- a dealbreaker at counter-service establishments. I never saw more than 10 people in the space, but staff was consistently unavailable to pick up on the little things (a lack of appropriate utensils, a 20-minute wait for a cup of coffee).

carrots053.jpg
Jackie Mercadetti
Inside 24 Carrots in Tempe.
On a side note: 24 Carrots employees have beautiful, glowing skin and posture that's a little too good. It's enough to make you want to eat nothing but unseasoned raw vegetables and fake cheese all the time.

The cafe is simply not built for speed. Food consistently took too long to arrive at the table, and beverages (especially juices) often arrived after the rest of the meal. Though 24 Carrots' juices are the most redeeming menu offering, this is not a spot to stop in for a smoothie on your way to work. Allow yourself ample time to receive your drink. If you're in the mood for coffee, skip the non-dairy milk drinks and opt for regular brewed (Café Justo) coffee or tea.

The restaurant's website offers a non-specific platitude about where ingredients are sourced, with no substantiating information: "What you leave out of your menu . . . is as important as what you choose to include." Neither the menu nor the website provides details about farms or farmers that supply the restaurant's ingredients or whether these ingredients are conventionally or organically produced.


Location Info

24 Carrots

1701 East Guadalupe, Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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12 comments
paragon1685
paragon1685

Seriously? 24 Carrots has now officially, much to the chagrin of the New Times, NOT listed its food suppliers along with all 616,093 other restaurants in the United States. Why not ask the owner? She is typically there interacting with customers, and will gladly dole out names, dates, and places!!! But let's knock 24 Carrots down a notch for that. And it's interesting that the reviewer is purportedly an expert on the subject of protein, as if protein deficiency is, and has ever been, a serious health issue in the United States. (It's only an imaginary hobgoblin for those hopelessly and helplessly addicted to animal products and processed food.)  What other cuisine is ever challenged by reviewers on meeting alleged nutritional requirements????


And you'd think at least one person at the New Times would have one wit of good sense to send someone to review a place who actually would eat something other than (presumably) heavy-salted processed food, ala praising cheese of all things as "absolutely nothing feels as good as real cheese tastes"; when such a person would (likely) never otherwise set one foot into a venue such as 24 Carrots, other than to mock it and its purportedly tasteless, "boring vegan" cuisine.  (Is it any wonder there is a health crisis in the United States?...)


Though, unlike the infamous New Times' review of Rawsome Café in 2002 (http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2002-06-27/restaurants/severe-grain-damage/), in which the reviewer derided the appearance of both the patrons and the staff, this reviewer at least had something positive to say about the staff's appearance. Though, what other type of cuisine ever gets reviewer's comments about the appearance of staff???? At least that's something worth nothing in this review.


But the sad fact of the matter, in my mind, is that the unhealthy will always be threatened by, and defensive about, the healthy (in any context). We advertise our dysfunction on a daily basis, of which this review predictably finds its place in line.

david.rollins770
david.rollins770

What do you call a food publication with writers & an editor that have literally no understanding of cuisine & food culture? New Times Chow Bella.

Just another in a string of several ridiculous reviews and "food" articles.

I see that not many people read this publication anymore. But why are any of us? Zero credibility or sensibility.

"Eat what feels good", a horrible start to a horrible review and write up. New Times is just awful.

tesseract
tesseract

" In fact, I'm gonna rip a page out of Kate Moss' book here and say that nothing, absolutely nothing, feels as good as real cheese tastes"

My Question is: Why a non-vegan person is writing a review about a raw/vegan restaurant?

I find this pretty ridiculous. I have never been to the restaurant, but this article is not going to stop me from going like it will do to a lot of people, they are ruining business and not caring. Hey New Times why dont you hire more positive people?

Tony Morales
Tony Morales

As a professed carnivore I couldn't disagree with this "review" more. 24 carrots food has always been flavorful and the service spot on, strange that you would criticize the time it takes for "slow food" to be prepared. I've not often found the NT to be objective with a few shining exceptions, Eric Schaefer & Lauren Saria come to mind but this one is pretty far off of the mark.

Sarah J. Hough
Sarah J. Hough

Desert Roots! Also, specifically the "meatball" hoagie at Green :)

spork
spork

I don't trust new times food reviews. the misspelled thing above laments not knowing the name of the farmer who grew a tomato, but I'm more concerned about a zaida dedolph... what the fuck is that and why should pay any attention to its opinion on anything.

sophistic
sophistic

and what is with the repeated random insertion of '-' into words? con-structed?  really?

bigdipperaz
bigdipperaz

Yes god forbid honesty takes a hand in the critical journalistic world

bigdipperaz
bigdipperaz

@spork the Zaida Dedolph is a majestic bird that is spritely in its nature. Very hard to spot in the wild, as it is rare, but when you do see it you will be entranced by their gaze. 

tesseract
tesseract

Why is a non vegan person reviewing a raw vegan restaurant?

Wold you send a vegan to review a steak house?

tesseract
tesseract

Why a non vegan person is reviewing an raw vegan restaurant?

Would you send a vegan to review a steak house?

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