PHOENIX — Phoenix has no shortage of incredible restaurants. While some have been part of the Phoenix food scene for decades, new restaurants are welcomed every year.
Miracle Mile Deli, a New York-style delicatessen, has been part of the Valley for 71 years.
"We are known for having the Valley's best pastrami, biscuits, and corn beef sandwiches," said Josh Garcia, vice president of Miracle Mile Deli, which is located near 16th Street and Campbell Avenue in Phoenix.
Pita & Co., a casual Mediterranean restaurant near Southern Avenue and Dobson Road in Mesa, has been open for a year, an anniversary that fell during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're basically a build-your-own Mediterranean shop. You come in and pick whether you want a pita, platter with rice, kind of like a bowl, or a salad," said owner Sarah Abdul.
Yet, both have found themselves having to adapt their menus and transition their operations to nearly full to-go/carry-out orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit those in the hospitality industry especially hard.
"The sales decrease was 80% and I said, "OK, I have to take a break,'" she said. "I closed down for two days, went home, brainstormed, and kind of, ya know, that's where everything started."
Sales at Miracle Mile are down, too, about 50-55 percent, said Garcia. He has also had to make tough decisions, including furloughing some of his staff.
"For us to have to make those decisions is extremely difficult. It's a very weird situation for us, obviously uncharted waters," he said.
While their menus may be world's apart, what ties them together is what they're doing for all those working so hard to keep us safe during the global pandemic.
"They really are on the front line," said Abdul, referring to the doctors and nurses working at Valley hospitals, specifically nearby Banner Desert Medical Center. "Not only are they risking their lives, but their family's lives."
The staff at Banner Desert Hospital were much of her lunch crowd, but now they are understandably too busy to step out. So, she's bringing the food to them.
We're asking our customers to donate anything from a dollar to how much anything they want to the workers on the front line, whether it's hospital workers or first responders. And what we do is take that money and cater to the hospitals and first responders," she said.
So far, the community has stepped up to help out. "It's been great. Everyone loves it," she said. We're taking any ideas of any hospitals or stations that anybody can recommend."
Miracle Mile Deli also working to keep firefighters, first responders, and hospital employees well-fed.
"We're taking care of them because we know how hard that they're working to came care of us and support our local community as well," Garcia said.
Donations to Pita and Co.'s first responder fund can be made at https://azpitaco.square.site.
Donations to Miracle Mile Deli's first responder fund can be made at http://miraclemiledeli.com.
For those looking for a local restaurant to support for #TakeoutTuesday, both Pita and Co. and Miracle Mile Deli are open.
IF YOU GO:
Miracle Mile Deli
4433 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Pita and Co
2110 W Southern Ave #103 Mesa, Arizona 85202