Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill…don’t panic, they’re organic!

Before having my daughter I was a vegetarian and a vegan for a while. All that changed when this pregnant mama craved nothing but Mexican Carne Asada and Patty Melts! Call it coincidence, but my daughter could live off of steak (or as she calls it, “carne”), beans and rice. I created a Mexican monster, and we’re not even Mexican. 😉 I grew up in Los Angeles where there are Mexican restaurants and fast food joints on almost every block. While I love an occasional sit-down-fancy-mexican-meal-where-I-pay-a-lot-of-money-to-get-stuffed-on-chips-and-salsa-before-my-meal-comes, some quick, healthy Mexican eats are a must on a much more regular basis. Imagine my delight when I discovered Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill in Hollywood, CA a few years ago…ORGANIC Mexican fast food?!?!?!? I’m sold.

Now, whenever we visit California, the little and I can’t wait to have lunch and/or dinner at Sharky’s. You will find us there at least once a week, ok, sometimes twice. We’ve been to the locations in Hollywood, Burbank, Toluca Lake, Tarzana and Woodland Hills. We have never been disappointed. A menu that includes organic rice and beans, organic greens, organic tofu even, and meat and chicken that are chemical and hormone-free, how could you go wrong?  I can’t get enough of the Nachos and their Naked Santa Fe Burrito with Steak. The mashed Yucatan yams are a must and their chips and salsa addicting. Oh and let me not forget, this fast food joint serves beer too, but I usually skip that and go for their Bahamian Tropical Iced Tea. I take full advantage of the free refills.

Steven Paperno, owner and founder of Sharky’s, had a mission and a vision before even opening Sharky’s many years ago, “Changing the way the world eats.” Thanks Steve. Ask my daughter why she loves Sharky’s so much and she will tell you, “It’s got the best rice and beans and burrito…and it’s organic.” Yeah, I’m doing my part to help with that mission too. 😉 One of Sharky’s philosophies reads, “Don’t Panic, We’re Organic.” Yup, basically one of the reasons I am comfortable taking her there to eat “fast food”.  I also have to mention that Sharky’s does not use any microwaves. Everything is prepared fresh on stone fired ovens and mesquite grills in an open kitchen right behind the ordering counter. Aside from the food, I also appreciate that I have always been treated well when visiting any Sharky’s location. I have always experienced friendly, fast service in a casual and very clean environment.

Being back in Pennsylvania, I haven’t really found good quality Mexican food in my area. There are a few places in the city and nearby areas that I will be giving a try. But no organic Mexican fast food around here. Some pretty decent places for Mexican food are Las Margaritas in Northeast Philly and Taqueria La Morena in Hatboro, my current favorite. Sadly, while I was in California recently, enjoying my Sharky’s, Tortillas Restaurant in Willow Grove closed its doors. I think the new Mad Mex chain that opened nearby may have been too much competition. So here I am, dedicating this post to Sharky’s simply because I am craving it so much that I thought a post was in order. After all, they are one of the pioneers of organic fast food. Maybe Steve will eventually bring the premier “Fresh-Mex Grill” to the East Coast. If not, it’s okay; nothing beats Cali-Mex food anyway. :-p

So if you plan on visiting Southern California, or you live there and haven’t been to a Sharky’s yet… umm, what are you waiting for???? Check out Sharky’s!


Sharky's Woodfired Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by steven Paperno on March 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    WOW this makes it all worth it. Yep, this is me “Steve” the one you mentioned in your nice blog about Sharky’s. I just love hearing people talk about Sharky’s as you just did. I created this restaurant chain for guests like yourself who cannot find great tasting healthy food at affordable prices. You are so kind to take time out of your day to give others feedback on your personal experiences. It is very much appreciated and I would like to reward you and your daughter with a gift card on your next visit. Please e-mail Becky Larsen, VP of Marketing at and she will send you the card. Thank you again for the nice gesture and truly do appreciate the feedback.


    Steven Paperno
    Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill


    • Mr. Paperno, wish you could have seen my daughter’s face when I read her your reply. 🙂 Thank you so much! It means a lot that you took the time to read and reply to my post. July can’t come soon enough, when we’ll be back in Los Angeles and eating at Sharky’s!!! Take care and thanks again.


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