This Miami Organic Restaurant Redefines Fast Food
Raising five children in Boston as the wife of then-Celtics star Ray Allen, Shannon Allen was ultimately so frustrated with the ready-made options that she made a promise to herself.
You see, the family watched her husband play as a captive audience at the Garden, and “my kids and I ate chicken fingers and fries three nights a week. Now I love chicken fingers, but you can’t do that.
Inspired by her second son’s type 1 diabetes and related dietary needs, the self-proclaimed fast food junkie partnered with Boston chef Todd Kiley and set to work on creating Grown, a chain Miami-based fast food restaurant that follows all the fashionable principles of healthy eating. Gluten free. Of local origin. Certified organic. Completely untreated. Bone broths, marinades and homemade dressings. Still, this isn’t an extended two-hour dinner with a gourmet chef, but a five-minute drive or counter experience, perfect even for the busy parent who doesn’t have to attend three. NBA games per week.
You could see the results of their work in full view at the recent opening of Hard Rock Stadium, where Grown outlets at the 50-meter line and at the club level did business selling organic juices from the farmhouse football, wraps, salads, vegetable-rich entrees and more.
READ MORE: Organic food, craft beers and Shula Burger among new options at Hard Rock Stadium
Ray Allen, who took and made the most important shot in Miami Heat history, is not the only ambitious one in the family. Shannon’s original Grown – a bright and cheerful 69-seat space with white subway tiles, a fruity spa water station, and a patio with reclaimed wood benches – was opened about six months just south of the University of Miami; the two Hard Rock outlets are numbers 2 and 3. But two more are slated for February in Orlando, and it’s aimed anywhere, anywhere people are a captive audience – campus, stadiums and the like – and want to eat food that makes them feel good.
That good feeling starts with one of six cold-pressed juices from the Grown menu. After drinking a large cup of Love Greens – cucumber, apple, celery, pineapple, ginger, spinach, kale and parsley – we noticed a surge of energy enough to make it possible to enter the Dadeland parking lot on a Sunday afterwards. -midday. Berry Good – apple, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and pineapple – was also delicious.
Breakfast is great here. You can go all green with the acai bowl with almonds, flax seeds, and cocoa nibs, but conventional things excel too. The light and airy gluten-free blueberry pancakes were bursting with fresh blueberries, served with real maple syrup and butter, with a colorful salad on the side as a bonus.
The menu has plenty of do-it-yourself touches that are so popular these days in fast-paced, casual places. Our Ohm Wich, southwest style egg on Dave’s Killer organic multi-grain bread with bacon, white cheddar, salsa fresca, corn and black bean salsa, lacked the gooey richness of traditional food against the hangover. drink, but it had a tight, fresh flavor and it was just enough. Fresh organic fruit is served as an accompaniment.
The rest of the menu is your own, with starters, salads, sandwiches and wraps, as well as three soups each day. A large cup of chicken tortilla soup is a meal in itself, homemade chicken broth with a hint of jalapeño and a dozen other veggies enriched with grated chicken, tortilla strips, white rice and a generous drop of white cheddar cheese. You can tell when the broth for a soup is homemade. The vegan minestrone is also excellent: chickpeas, cannellini, and kidney beans with gluten-free penne, tomato, onion, and garlic. Every day there is a special soup; our chicken noodles that night were unremarkable, too salty and sort of watery, but we couldn’t wait to try more.
Our whole wheat free range chicken wrap with Capri Vibe (basil pesto, kale, romaine lettuce, tomato, mozzarella, red onion and balsamic reduction) featured delicious tender chicken, but what can you do with a wrap? Salads and entrees are more rewarding.
We paired a large salad with kale, spinach, buttered lettuce and mesclun with the Mediterranean ‘vibe’ and seared portobello for protein. We were rewarded with homemade hummus and quinoa tabbouleh, feta cheese, green olives, roasted red pepper, red onion, ripe tomato and two gigantic mushroom caps that sliced like a steak. . The homemade herb yogurt dressing tied it all.
Former Whiskey Sous Chef Jamarr Massey, who took over about a month ago after Kiley’s return to Boston, Memphis dry rubs and slowly roasts the grass-fed brisket for seven hours to make the richer of the starter options, with a homemade barbecue sauce. We’ve paired it with mashed roasted sweet potatoes and Mexican Esquites corn, the fresh grains spread with feta and organic mayonnaise, jalapeno, fresh garlic and cilantro.
Grilled garlic shrimp, about eight per order, made for a lighter option. We had it with a tangy Mediterranean quinoa salad, red and white quinoa with cucumber, Roma tomato, cilantro and lime, as well as beautifully fresh green beans with caramelized onions and toasted almonds. .
Desserts are created daily by a pastry chef who makes organic baked goods from scratch. You could get a coconut crème brûlée with a drizzle of caramel or white chocolate; Carrot Cake with Cheese Cream Icing; mini chocolate muffin bites; homemade cookies. Desserts always disappear at 3 p.m., so there is no dessert with dinner. Instead, opt for a glass of organic wine and toast Shannon Allen for her new take on fast food.
Address: 8211 S. Dixie Hwy, Miami
Evaluation: ?? ?? ?? (Very well)
Contact: 305-663-4769; grandi.org
Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days
Prices: Breakfast $ 6 to $ 12; sandwiches and salads $ 11; appetizers $ 14- $ 17
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Free parking; organic wine; major credit cards; low noise level; Cine Park
What the stars mean: 1 (Bad) 1.5 (Fair) 2 (OK) 2.5 (Good) 3 (Very good) 3.5 (Excellent) 4 (Outstanding)
This story was originally published September 29, 2016 12:00 p.m.