Biz Buzz, Feb. 20, 2014

■ More options for fresh, fast casual food tucked between Home Depot and Pet Smart are now available off Patterson Road near Mesa Mall.

Grand Junction’s second Which Wich sandwich shop is now open in the 2400 block of F Road just a few miles down the road from its sister at 2691 Patterson Road. The same quality food and friendly service show up at both places thanks to consistent training, a shop spokesman said. 

Diners Ron and Linda Kazmierczak said they approved of their first visit to a Which Wich and enjoyed their well-balanced meal of cheese, sauerkraut, pastrami and rye bread. 

Mason Oatberg goes to the store on Patterson Road enough to know when the menu is up to snuff and he said the grinder at the F Road store was perfect. He drops by the restaurant once a month or so.

Two doors down, electrical ducting and other construction activity was underway at what is slated to become Grand Junction’s first Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill franchise.

The soon-to-be Costa Vida will occupy about 3,400 square feet, one of three units in the commercial structure it shares with Which Wich.

A third tenant was not evident Tuesday.

Costa Vida is headquartered in Salt Lake City. The franchise offers fast casual fare that stresses the fresh flavors of Baja, Calif., a restaurant spokesman said.

■ It appears Ruby Canyon Custom Framing and Emporium at 211 E. Aspen Ave. in Fruita has closed its doors. The entrance is locked and its business telephone number has been disconnected.

Lee Mathis, from Decadence, will be opening a new pop-up flash restaurant for one night called “Cheezes” at the Veterans of Foreign Wars at 1407 Ute Ave. on Feb. 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The menu will consist of six different gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with dipping soups, priced $5 to $7.

■ Award-winning Florida Chef Nitza Mendoza will be the headliner for the 2014 Edesia: A Palisade Culinary, Wine & Spirits Adventure March 30 at Wine Country Inn in Palisade.

Edesia, which benefits Marillac Clinic, is named for the Roman goddess of fine food and drink. Alpine Bank is the presenting sponsor, while Remy Martin, the French champagne and spirits giant, is principal title sponsor of the event.

A native of Peru, Mendoza is an honor graduate of the Culinary Arts Program of Le Cordon Bleu College in Miami. 

Although trained in classical French techniques, Mendoza says her real passion is fusion, especially in seafood.

Celebrity chefs will be cooking with Mendoza for the new VIP Luncheon as well as for hourly culinary demonstrations in the Vintner’s House.

Last year, Mendoza won a bronze medal in the American Culinary Federation’s Best Chef of the Americas competition. Over the past 13 years, Mendoza has paid her dues as an apprentice with chefs Jean George Vorgerichten, Jordy Valles, Ralph Pagano and Marcelo Marino.

Her work history includes stints at exclusive restaurants and hotels such the Ritz Carlton and St. Regis in Miami, Key Biscayne and Bal Harbour, Florida. She currently is executive chef at the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables, Fla.

“The essence of my cuisine is to allow the natural flavors of food to express themselves. I believe whole-heartedly in actively continuing to learn and always having fun,” she said.

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