3/25/2014 7:30:00 AM Chew on This: The Checkered Apron charms in Chino Valley
Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier
Checkered Apron servers Amanda Boeckner and Lissandra Baize show off the Checkered Apronís popular homemade pie and two of the restaurantís famous Lunch Box burgers and French fries.
Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier
Diners in Chino Valley enjoy the variety of choices available at the Checkered Apron Restaurant. Besides a number of homemade choices, the local restaurant also offers its famous Lunch Box Burgers, which have become a Chino Valley tradition.
The Checkered Apron
1120 S. Highway 89, Suite A
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed on Sundays.
Price Range: 89 cents for a donut to $7.59 for a specialized lunch salad.
How to Pay: Cash, credit or debit.
Background bites: The Checkered Apron seats approximately 60 people. Visit their website at www.lunchboxcafe.biz or find them on Facebook.
Sylvia Baize wanted to run a restaurant where, when diners heard the name, they'd think of old-fashioned home-cooked food, which led to the name "Checkered Apron."
The Chino Valley restaurant is the home of the popular Lunch Box burgers and the popular Chuck Wagon Breakfast Burrito. Like the restaurant itself, its drive-thru window opens Monday through Saturday bright and early at 5:30 a.m.
Sylvia and Patrick Baize, owners of the Checkered Apron, moved to Chino Valley a little over three years ago when they bought The Lunch Box restaurant. After two years, the family purchased The Checkered Apron and moved to their current location at 1120 S. Highway 89, Suite A, taking the Lunch Box Burgers with them.
"We had wanted to have a drive-thru and we wanted to make donuts, so it was a dream come true for us to come down here," Sylvia said.
The Baize family moved to the area from South Dakota, where they owned their first Checkered Apron restaurant. They brought the name with them to their new location in Chino Valley.
"I wanted a name that would make people think of home-cooked food and make them think it would taste good," Sylvia said.
The Checkered Apron's previous owners, Patrick said, were known for producing tasty, quality-made donuts. The Baize's also bake pies, cookies and a number of other desserts from scratch.
"We do pastries and donuts. We like to specialize in homemade baked goods. We do homemade breads: white, wheat, rye, sourdough, cinnamon-raisin, and cinnamon bread. For our specials we do hoagie rolls and hamburger buns, but we do buy the hamburger buns we serve with our regular hamburgers, because we sell so many," Sylvia said.
Donuts can be purchased either individually, six at a time or by the dozen.
"We sell to car dealerships and we're interested in selling to motels," she added.
Besides their assortment of baked goods, the Checkered Apron offers full breakfast and lunch menus as well.
Customer favorites include their assortment of Lunch Box burgers, which include BBQ bacon burgers, pastrami burgers, bleu burgers, Hawaiian, Ortega, patty melts and veggie burgers. Hot pastrami sandwiches are another popular choice among diners, Patrick said. For breakfast, he said biscuits and gravy are among the top picks, as are the breakfast burritos, such as the restaurant's All Out Burrito, which Patrick said are nearly twice as large as the regular breakfast burritos.
"By and large, 98 percent of the people that have that say it's the best they've had," Patrick said.
On Friday evenings, the restaurant stays open for dinner. Besides regular menu items, the Checkered Apron offers grilled chicken breast, steak, and a large fish and chips platter among other offerings like their Friday night special. On the first Friday night of every month, look for a catfish dinner; Brazilian food on the second Friday, mashed potatoes and gravy and pot roast are served on the third Friday; with chicken fettuccine Alfredo made on the fourth Friday. On the rare month with five Fridays, baked tilapia is on the menu, Sylvia said.
For special order baked goods, including gluten-free items, call the restaurant 24 hours in advance at 928-636-0902.