The concept of farm to fork is gaining traction in America amidst the fast food joints and chain sit down restaurants. The food is fresh, local, delicious and with price, however, it is difficult to afford the healthy meal.
Enter Blu Star Grill. The restaurant offers the best of all worlds with an informal, friendly setting serving natural, fresh foods made by a classically trained chef at a low price point.
Blu Star owner Nelson Bass has been in the restaurant business for over 40 years. He owned a restaurant in uptown Charlotte for 21 years before the lease came up and his wife begged him to retire.
“That lasted 15 miserable months,” Bass said with a smile. “I was itching to get back into the business.” He had an idea for a restaurant that would serve fresh, natural foods from specific vendors and famers, local if possible. The space in Mooresville became available after a restaurant failed and Bass jumped on it. Blu Star opened in October of 2011.
A good portion restaurant menu is a simple: pick a protein, pick your bun, pick your sauce, pick your topping and pick your side. The proteins range from black angus burger shipped fresh, not frozen, from Colorado several times a week to a homemade black bean burger to Mahi-Mahi which is caught in the Pacific Northwest, flash frozen and shipped overnight. The sandwiches start at $5.99. So for the less than the price of a burger at a sit down chain restaurant you can get fresh, hormone free meat with organic, local, homemade toppings.
However, the menu also contains fresh salads, wraps and sandwiches made with the same excellent ingredients and the dinner menu offers more entree type items.
Chef Kevin McIntrye runs the kitchen and boasts 20 years of restaurant work plus a degree from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York. He came to work at Blu Star after owning his own restaurants in the Boston area and stints as an Executive Chef in corporate dining with MBNA and Bank of America. The concept of Blu Star Grill appealed to him because of the quality of ingredients. “The use of natural, local and organic products whenever possible spoke to my core values,” McIntyre said. “It helps everyone involved: vendors, famers, the community and the customers. It creates this circle of friendship.”
For lunch, customers approach the counter to order their food. At dinner, more entrees are introduced and it turns to table service. A diner can still get a burger, but can also get Grilled Alaska Salmon or Teriyaki Marinated Chicken breast made with the same natural, antibiotic free products. There is a fresh soup of the day and specials creatively combined by McIntyre made with whatever is fresh, local and interesting on that specific day. All meals are cooked to order, so that the amazing taste is maintained from the grill to the table.
Debbie Fann of Statesville is testament to that cook to order mentality. “You can tell that the chicken is grilled when you order it,” she said. “It tastes so fresh.”
The decor is all National Parks, most of which are in the Southwest. It gives the quaint restaurant a natural atmosphere that goes well with the food choices. “There is nothing more natural than a national park,” smiles Bass. The name came from a road-trip to Decatur, Georgia where Bass saw a blue star on a barn and was struck with the beautiful simplicity of the symbol. His son convinced him to take off the ‘e’ to appeal to young people. The space is purposely small to connect the customers to the food and the staff.
Blu Star Grill is the true definition of a neighborhood restaurant with its use of local, organic fare. Bass’ dream of creating a place with fresh, organic food is a delicious reality. Get to this place before it is discovered by foodies and organic lovers alike.
“We don’t take short cuts,” McIntyre said. “And you will taste the difference.”
Blu Star Grill
120 Market Place Drive, Mooresville