The name sounds like a coffee shop or a hip-hop dance studio. Solid Grindz ...
But this southside restaurant makes Hawaiian plate lunches, the ubiquitous island meal of barbecued meat with white rice and creamy macaroni salad. So, what??
According to co-owner Michelle Mejia, the name actually comes from Hawaiian slang. Grindz is another word for food (as in, "let's go get some grindz"). And solid is, well, good. Mejia owns the restaurant with her niece's husband Tap Gaoteote Jr., who is originally from the South Pacific islands of Samoa.
The two had been operating a food truck Solid Grindz at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base since 2014. (Tap is in the military reserves.) But when Erik Duong of the Snow Peas Modern Asian Kitchen told them he was closing shop to move to New Zealand with his wife, they jumped at the chance to open up a restaurant.
After all, they already knew the space. It was so close to the base, they'd been using it as a commissary kitchen to cook the plate lunches and wings they sold from the food truck. The two signed the papers on August 30 and opened the restaurant at 1402 S. Craycroft Road on Sept. 6. Tap asked friends from Hawaii and Samoa to help man the kitchen.
The menu right now is a continuation of the goodies from the food truck, but as it gets colder, they'll add heartier fare like oxtail soup and Portuguese sausage. (And as a sendoff to them, they've also kept the pho and pad Thai recipes from Snow Peas on the menu.)
If you go, make sure to order the kalbi beef short ribs with meat butchered from El Vaquero Meat Market nearby, and also the panko breaded Bang shrimp. It's perfectly fried and smothered with a creamy sweet sauce similar to Chinese walnut shrimp. (The mac salad is also choice.)
Solid Gridnz' grand opening is Sept. 24. The duo also does catering orders, which would be perfect for Wildcats vs. Hawaii game this Saturday night.
Opening hours are 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Closed on Sundays. Call 867-8040 for more info.