Explore a Trio of Tasty Lunch and Dinner Options!
By Cheryl Mandell
Estero Crossing is one of the newest plazas in Estero, located on Corkscrew Road just west of I-75. The two buildings feature approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space and a great combination of informal dining options. Behind the plaza stands Corsa, a luxury apartment community in the midst of construction.
This new plaza offers a variety of shops and services, such as Sherwin Williams, OrangeTheory Fitness, The Joint Chiropractic and Dunkin’, but if you’re in the mood for delicious and easy meals, three new casual restaurants are sure to please patrons of all kinds.
Since Bubbakoo’s Burritos opened in Point Pleasant, New Jersey back in 2008, it has provided a fun, easy atmosphere with a skater/surfer vibe and rock music from the ’90s. Fifteen years later, Bubbakoo’s has reached 10 different states and served thousands of its unique burritos. Already established in Naples for over a year, Bubbakoo Burritos opened its doors in Estero in April.
Smiling employees provide a fast-casual dining experience, creating burritos, quesadillas, tostadas and more in assembly-line fashion. This isn’t just ordinary Mexican cuisine. Bubbakoo’s “popular creations” – such as the Hibachi Steak and Shrimp Burrito and the Crispy Chicken Bacon Sriracha Ranch Quesadilla – are a great way to step into Bubbakoo’s world. The Chiwawa (yes, we spelled that right!) is a clever signature dish consisting of a lightly fried ball of white rice, cheddar cheese and anything else you can dream up to fit inside. It’s covered in breadcrumbs, which provides a slight crunch with every loaded bite. Manager Ashley Barton says it’s a favorite among customers.
Looking for more traditional options? The menu offers classic Mexican cuisine like a taco trio or burrito. There are also many ways to personalize your choices with sauces ranging from not spicy – like BBQ or General Tso’s – all the way up to three-alarm spicy, which includes their Nashville hot and ghost pepper flavors.
Get your fill with nearly 10 protein options and fresh toppings including rice, beans, corn salsa, jalapenos, bacon, guacamole, queso and more. There are also some non-Mexican menu items such as hand-tossed wings, curly fries and cauliflower bites.
Delectable, unique sweets include the Love Chips, which are lightly fried flour tortilla chips coated in powdered sugar and topped with raspberry sauce and caramel drizzle. Or try the Nostalgic Boardwalk Cookies, perfectly fried oreos that are a staple at any boardwalk, fair or festival along the eastern seaboard.
Bubbakoo’s has an app for ordering food and downloading coupons and more. They also offer value deals, family combo packs, kids meals, and even catering options for large parties and events. Franchise owner Sean Powers said they recently made 75 burritos for a local country club event.
Right now, Bubbackoo’s is focusing its expansion efforts in Florida, said Powers. “There’s a store in Orlando, and we’re looking at spots north – possibly North Port, Tampa.”
Bubbakoo’s Burritos is a great place to grab a bite and unwind with fresh, made-to-order menu items. Go ahead – create something different!
Mango Habanero Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad – This popular salad is a great dish for those who appreciate a sweet-and-spicy combo. The heat of the habanero is offset by the sweetness of the mango – an unforgettable fusion of flavors. The light and airy crunch of the tostada shell is the perfect complement to the soft and savory filling of green leaf lettuce, grilled chicken, black beans, pico de gallo and cheddar cheese.
Hibachi Steak and Shrimp Burrito— This isn’t your mother’s burrito. Hibachi-style steak and shrimp are generously loaded into a soft tortilla with white rice, black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheddar cheese. A unique and satisfying meal!
10151 Estero Town Commons Place, unit 205
Estero, FL 33928
Open every day 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
CHICKEN SALAD CHICK
Humble beginnings often make the best success stories, and Chicken Salad Chick’s story is no different. Founder Stacy M. Brown, a southern stay-at-home mom, was always on a quest for the perfect chicken salad. She would taste and test, often asking family, friends and neighbors to offer their opinions. One day, she had a revelation – everyone’s idea of the perfect chicken salad is completely different. From there, she set to perfecting her own recipe, which wound up being a huge hit in the neighborhood.
After being anonymously called out to the local health department for selling her salads from home, Stacy and her business partner-turned-husband Kevin had a lightbulb moment. In 2008, they decided to turn her home operation into a true brick-and-mortar store, and today there are over 200 locations in 17 states.
Chicken Salad Chick is the perfect place to go when you’re craving some fresh, soul-satisfying food. All chicken salads are made in-house, and with the abundant variety, there is a flavor for every palate – traditional, savory, fruity, nutty and spicy options abound.
Each season, a new flavor is rolled out.
“Dill-icious Diva has been our summer staple for a couple of years now,” said Operations Manager Ashley Schongar. It features the brand’s signature chicken salad combined with dill and cucumbers. It pairs perfectly with a side of seasonal strawberry salad.
A great way to enjoy Chicken Salad Chick is to order a trio. The trio includes a scoop of any flavor of chicken salad, pimento cheese or egg salad, a side item such as the very popular broccoli salad or grape salad (a southern classic), and a cup of soup, with a varying type each day. Fancy Nancy, featuring chicken salad with Fuji apples, seedless grapes and pecans, is the most popular chicken salad flavor. Over 40 pounds are made each day, more than double the amount of any other chicken salad flavor.
“My personal favorite is the Kickin’ Kay Lynne,” said Catering Manager Annette Cologi. “I love spicy food. It’s a combination of buffalo sauce, ranch, bacon, jalapenos, cheddar cheese and sriracha. I love it.”
There’s plenty of seating for dining in at Chicken Salad Chick, and to-go orders are popular, too. The catering side of the business is booming as well, serving churches, schools and local organizations like Golisano Children’s Hospital, where the store provides donated catering in an ongoing partnership.
Chicken Salad Chick is a welcome addition to the community and is sure to please every chicken salad-loving patron for lunch, dinner and any time the craving hits!
Classic Carol, Fancy Nancy & Sassy Scotty— Generous scoops of three of the most popular chicken salad flavors on the menu. The Classic Carol is the traditional all-white-meat shredded chicken, finely minced celery, mayo and secret seasoning. Fancy Nancy is the top seller with Fuji apples, seedless grapes and pecans. Sassy Scotty is a zesty blend of zesty ranch, bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.
Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Broccoli Salad and Grape Salad – Not to be outdone by the chicken salad is the smooth and savory pimento cheese sandwich. It’s a blend of freshly grated sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses with a smidge of creamy house dressing. It’s served with broccoli salad containing fresh broccoli florets tossed in sweet dressing with shredded cheese and chopped bacon plus the grape salad, featuring red and white seedless grapes covered in sweet cream cheese blend, topped with brown sugar and crushed pecans. A sweet surprise!
Chicken Salad Chick
10151 Estero Town Commons Place
Estero, FL 33928
Open Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
CRISP & GREEN
The clean and bright atmosphere at Crisp & Green is a perfect reflection of the food and healthy lifestyle behind the brand. This popular store is a fast, casual, healthy restaurant with made-from-scratch salads, grain bowls, smoothies and more.
Founder and CEO Steele Smiley created Crisp & Green with the firm belief that every community should have access to convenient, healthy food choices which positively impact their lives.
Smiley opened the flagship store in downtown Wayzata, Minn., along the shore of Lake Minnetonka in 2016. By 2020, Crisp & Green had expanded to Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Florida and Iowa; today, there are nearly 250 locations nationwide. The Estero Crossing location is the latest to arrive on the scene in Southwest Florida.
Everything is prepared in-house, from each signature salad and grain bowl to the restaurant’s extensive list of unique, delicious dressings, such as the Jalapeno Green Goddess and Korean Chile Cashew. Refreshing agua frescas include pomegranate lemon and citrus green tea.
A wide variety of smoothies and acai bowls offer delectable yet healthy selections for those craving something a little sweeter than salad. The fan favorite smoothie, Purple Rain, is named after Minnesota native and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Prince.
Estero owner Kelly McCoy, who also owns the Naples Crisp & Green, can’t get enough of the Imagine Dragon Fruit Bowl, which is a tantalizing mix of acai sorbet, dragon fruit sorbet, banana, toasted coconut, granola and blueberries.
“All of the ingredients come in whole,” said McCoy, assuring the freshness of every menu item. “The corn comes in on the cob, all of the proteins, everything comes in fresh.”
Seasonal summer salads include the BBQ Smokeshow, which contains mixed greens, romaine, barbeque chicken thigh, Napa cabbage, carrot, pickled onion, roasted corn, poblano, blue corn chips and smoky barbeque ranch. Another summer sensation is the Crispy Teriyaki Salad, a combination of brown rice, spinach, roasted chicken, Napa cabbage, carrot, roasted broccoli, fajita peppers and onions, crispy wontons and teriyaki dressing.
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options are available. The menu (and staff) are very accommodating to customers’ dietary restrictions. Crisp & Green also offers beautifully presented catering bowls that would add color and creativity to any event.
The next time you’re looking for a fast, healthy and totally satisfying meal, stop in and grab a seat, or order online or through their app, which offers loyalty rewards. You won’t regret the decision to skip the burger.
You Feta Believe It — A top seasonal salad for summer, this bowl is filled with spinach, mixed greens, roasted chicken, strawberries, cucumber, feta, sunflower seeds, basic and balsamic vinaigrette. The savory feta and chicken perfectly balances the sweetness of the strawberries.
The Bold & The Buffalo – Looking for a little spice in your life? This signature salad combines brown rice, arugula, buffalo chicken, roasted cauliflower, carrot, radicchio, white cheddar, croutons and C&G Ranch dressing. Just a hint of heat – and totally awesome.
Crisp & Green
10171 Estero Town Commons Place, unit 306
Estero, FL 33928
Open every day: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.