Gourmet to Go changes its menu everyday, serving a variety of homemade specialties

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Gourmet to Go at 115 N. Ohio St. is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Fridays with a drive-thru and indoor, sit-down seating. The restaurant offers fresh food, made by hand and has a different menu each day for customers to have a variety.
Gourmet to Go at 115 N. Ohio St. is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Fridays with a drive-thru and indoor, sit-down seating. The restaurant offers fresh food, made by hand and has a different menu each day for customers to have a variety.

Though the pandemic took its toll just months after it moved into its new location on North Ohio Street, Salina's Gourmet to Go, and its owner, persevered to find success as one of the places for Salinans to grab lunch throughout the week.

Blake Barrett grew up in Salina and after spending some time in Chicago and Dallas and gaining experience and education in culinary arts, he wanted to bring some of the knowledge he gained back to his hometown.

"I felt like Salina needed something different than the typical (restaurant)," he said.

As the master chef of the restaurant, which is located at 115 N. Ohio St., Barrett is in charge of creating and training his staff on how to make the food found on the menu, which is never the same each day.

"We change the menu every day," Barrett said. "People will ask if we make Italian, Mexican or American food or whatever, and I say we make it all."

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Simple prices with fresh, homemade food

Apart from the changing menu, Gourmet to Go is not your typical restaurant that might be found in Salina, partly because of the way the food is made, with fresh ingredients and by hand.

"I'd say 90% of our menu is homemade and healthy-ish," Barrett said.

He likes working with what's available at the time and building the menu off of that.

"I'm a seasonal person, and I play with that," Barrett said.

Barrett said he wanted to bring this kind of food that would typically be found in larger cities to the working-class people that live in this part of town. After having kids, he also knew that coming back to Salina would be a good thing for his family.

"Big cities are a lot different than Salina," Barrett said. "I didn't (necessarily) want to raise my kids in that."

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While drive thru customers make up around 70% of the business, Gourmet to Go at 115 N. Ohio St. offers indoor seating as well. The business offers fresh, fast food with a menu that changes every day.
While drive thru customers make up around 70% of the business, Gourmet to Go at 115 N. Ohio St. offers indoor seating as well. The business offers fresh, fast food with a menu that changes every day.

Though the menus change, pricing is an easy thing for customers, with each daily lunch special, which comes with an entrée and a side, being $13.

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, with breakfast options that are $11, and are also changing frequently and are available until 10:30 a.m.

The restaurant also offers dessert options, which again change each day, for $7.

Some of the items include rise and shine tacos, sunrise panini, Hawaiian chicken and bacon, and Thai chicken.

Many of the customers make Gourmet to Go their quick lunch stop, with around 70%, according to Barrett, getting their food by way of the drive thru at the restaurant, though there is dine-in seating for people who want that option.

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Finding success outside the walls of the restaurant

In addition to offering breakfast and lunch, Barrett also runs catering out of the restaurant and said he loves working with and collaborating with those customers so that no two catering experiences are the same.

"I customize all our caterings, without set menus," Barrett said. "I work with the client, they tell me how much money they want to spend and I tell them what I can make."

Some of this catering success has led to other food projects for Barrett, who said he  is working with Great Life in Salina to make offerings for dinner each night at the golf and fitness center.

For more information about Gourmet to Go, call the restaurant at 785-820-8888 or find it on Facebook. Barrett said the Facebook page is updated before Gourmet to Go opens each Monday, letting customers know what each day's menu options for the week will be.

This article originally appeared on Salina Journal: Salina market Gourmet to Go finds a niche eatery, catering service