Fullylove’s: Come for the food, stay for the vibe

February 14, 2023
By Mark Whittaker
By Mark Whittaker

Off the eatin' path

Let’s just get this out of the way: Fullylove’s has the best music on University Boulevard. 

When you walk in, you will likely be treated to a mix of old and new-school R&B, soul, funk, and hip-hop. Sometimes it’s loud and sometimes the volume is low, but either way, the likes of Mary J. Blige, Roots, Fugees, Beyonce, Dre, Snoop, and more are your partners in crime as you order and eat some amazing comfort food. 

Inside the dining room at Fullylove’s (Photo by Mark Whittaker)
From Fourth Avenue to Main Gate Square

Fullylove’s has been around for quite a while. If you recall, they were on Fourth Avenue for a short run just a few years back. Owners Jason Rios and Rosaleen Ochoa wanted their place to be a spot to come and chill, but the hassle between leasing disagreements and the occasional vandalism wasn’t worth the headaches. 

Having gained such a solid following in such a brief time, Fullylove’s became a pop-up of sorts, cooking and serving out of Prep & Pastry on Campbell Avenue, post-Fourth Avenue. In December 2021, Fullylove’s found a fully sweet location on the corner of University and Park Avenue, literally right across from the main gate of the University of Arizona. This meant a change in clientele. 

Jason Rios of Fullylove’s (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

On Fourth Avenue, Rios and Ochoa catered more towards the night crowd of hipsters and students looking for a good time. In their current location, the day crowd of hipsters and students looking for a good time fill the dining room. 

It’s all about comfort

“Our idea coming into owning a restaurant was really to just keep it simple and relatable, having something for everybody,” said Rios. “We are now right by the university, there is a high school and middle school nearby, but we are also near a neighborhood. So, we just focus on the comfort foods, burgers, shakes, salads, and wings. But like the best burgers, salads, wings, and shakes.”

Wings at Fullylove’s (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

Named after their son, Anthony Rios-Fullylove, the food at Fullylove’s is indeed meant for everyone. This means you too, vegans! Yes, nestled between beefy burgers and milky milkshakes, you can find vegan-friendly sandwiches, Chick’un Strips, and shakes made with almond milk and Oreos. 

No, you heard correctly. Oreos are indeed vegan and have been since their dawn in 1912. 

Milkshake at Fullylove’s (Photo courtesy of Fullylove’s)

Ochoa has a background in business marketing and photography while Rios worked in behavioral health — still does, actually. He said he’s going back into the field once things at the new-ish location have settled in and settled down a tad. While their son may be a chef, both Ochoa and Rios have had very little to do with cooking and working in the food industry when they opened their restaurant. Now, look at them. 

Fullylove’s delivers serious burgers, be them beast or plant-based.

The Outlaw Burger is a conquest of some happy dance-motivating yum. As a huge supporter of the onion ring, this one is a provider in so many dimensions. The addition of muenster cheese and a house aioli infused with chipotles give it that desperado approach, manically oozing with devilish flavor. 

The Outlaw Burger at Fullylove’s (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

One thing that I am vastly happy about that is taking over is vegan technology. It’s giving herbivores and omnivores additional opportunities to sit at the same table together in food bliss harmony. So, calling all vegans that want a burger without the murder! Fullylove’s has your back. 

Biting into the V-Licious Vegan Burger’s patty, along with the oven-roasted tomatoes, truffle oil, and vegan cheese, the tempting tongue deception fancies into some brain games. After that first bite, I kept asking myself, “How is this not meat?” 

V-Licious Vegan Burger at Fullylove’s (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

You’ll be asking yourself the same question with the added bonus of not feeling guilty about its truth. 

Football may be over but there are plenty of other sportsings to be had. As you gaze upon athletics making goal units, you are going to need a gaggle of wings.  Do yourself a favor and grab some from Fullylove’s. Nibbling on their very citrus forward lemon pepper seasoned wings will make the people around you briefly forget that they are watching the Wildcats participate in a competitive ball match.

In fact, all of the sauces for the wings are housemade and delicious in their own accord. 

Once again, being vegan does not mean being left out. The vegan “chicken” strips will make any fan of munchies and merriment stand up and proclaim “score!” They’re just super tasty and you totally won’t miss the meat. 

Beer, brunch & more

Fullylove’s now offers an often accompaniment to watching games with friends (or alone if that’s your jam): beer. It’s a festive and frothy selection of domestics and local brews — a fine accessory to their already heady jostle of fare.

Wings at Fullylove’s (Photo by Mark Whittaker) 

If it’s a Saturday and you need something to soak up said suds from the night before, they serve breakfast from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Eggs and bacon, biscuits and gravy with vegan noshes of avocado toast, and even French toast that can go animal-free for a slight fee. 

Fullylove’s is planning on expanding its drink list to cocktails in the future but just like the obstacles they had to deal with while on Fourth Avenue, getting a liquor license is not the easiest of feats. Ochoa and Rios would rather stay focused on the immediate task at hand, which is keeping the family business running smoothly and keeping the customers smiling and coming back for more. 

“We do have a lot of regulars,” said Rios, with a smile. “In fact, there’s this one guy that comes in all the time and he had to explain to his wife that Fullylove’s was a restaurant. She thought it was something of a, well, adult nature when she saw the credit card receipts. Yeah, I can see where someone that doesn’t know about us can get that impression. Although, I will say our food is pretty sexy.”

Jason Rios of Fullylove’s (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

With a cold beer in your hand, a fantastic feast in front of you, and an old-school slow jam bumping on the system, Fullylove’s deliciously lives up to its name. 

Fullylove’s is located at 994 E. University Blvd., and open from noon – 7 p.m. on Sunday – Monday and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Tuesday – Saturday. For more information, visit fullyloves.com and follow Fullylove’s on Instagram and Facebook

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Article By

Mark Whittaker began his journalism career in San Francisco around 1997. It was for a small Northern California music magazine that segued into contributing to numerous magazines, websites, newspapers and weeklies throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s. Mark interviewed bands,...

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