Jaime’s Local Love: Little Chef Diner at the Garfield
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Little Chef Diner at the Garfield is a small diner with a huge heart.
Hometown chef Mike Beltran went from Arizona culinary student to Arizona culinary teacher, making a name for himself around the Valley. He attended culinary school in 2012 at The Art Institute of Phoenix. He left his job as an equipment operator for the Town of Buckeye to work as a dish washer to kickstart his culinary career. From there, he worked at a local café, went into catering for 8 years, and created a personal chef business. Mike also had the opportunity in opening the kitchen for Edson Madrigal at Centrico (in downtown Phoenix) in 2016.
After working several years in the kitchen, Mike got his teacher’s certification and began working as a high school culinary instructor for Tolleson High School. While working as a teacher, he opened his food trailer called Culinary Theory in November of 2021. In June of 2022, he and his wife Daphnie became the proud owners of Little Chef Diner at the Garfield.
The post-World War II diner seats 9 people inside and has ample outside seating. The diner model—named Little Chef—was built to boost the economy after World War II. There were only a 3500 of the Little Chef models made, and Mike and Daphnie’s is Number 683. It was found on Route 66 in Williams, AZ next to a Texaco gas station for sale for $3400 in 1979. It was purchased and brought to the location at the Garfield where it now sits.
Mike and Daphnie offer diner style food with a modern twist and aim to make Little Chef Diner at the Garfield a centerpiece for the neighborhood and their community. The rest—they say—is history. Check out the Valentine Diner lock box as you chow down on a chopped cheese or ube pancakes.
Little Chef Diner at the Garfield
ADDRESS: 924 E Roosevelt Street Phoenix, AZ, 85006
Instagram account: @littlechefdiner, @the_garfield_phx, @culinarytheory
Facebook account: www.facebook.com/littlechefdineraz
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