After working in high tech for years, Peninsula native Amanda West took a job at Niman Ranch, which introduced her to the idea of sustainability. Yet she still loved fast food in principle, cherishing it as part of America's heritage. One Stanford business degree later, West set up shop in 2008; her vision was nutritionally balanced organic fast food in eco-friendly packaging — in other words, Whole Foods meets In-N-Out Burger. From 100-percent compostable corn-fiber faux-plastic boxes and recycled paper bags, patrons pull beef burgers — bargain-priced at only $3.75 — and chicken burgers made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat, vegan veggieburgers made with mushrooms and walnuts, cheeseburgers made with organic American cheese, house-made fruit-flavored soft drinks, and fries that aren't actually fried. Some entrées change seasonally; a Summer Salad featuring bleu-cheese chunks and candied almonds amid organic peach slices, carrot ribbons, and Belgian endive — served with a whole-wheat roll — is as wholesome as if Grandma made it, if Grandma was a cool foodie hipster.
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