Ever since I heard about a fast, healthy and organic food concept coming to the Miami area I was psyched about the opportunity to go. I’ve always liked the “fast” part of fast food, but the fast food options that I actually really like are few and far between. While I’m not a vegan or vegetarian or even a pescatarian, I appreciate good food that doesn’t just taste good, but is good for me as well. Needless to say, when I walked through the door and saw Grown’s motto: “Real food, cooked slow for fast people” I knew I was in the right place.
Grown restaurant is the brainchild of Shannon Allen, the wife of former NBA star Ray Allen. Frustrated with the fast options out there, like so many others including myself, they decided to do something about it, and I’m glad they did. They pride themselves on serving organic, locally grown and nutritious ingredients and in their own words “practicing sustainability beyond the kitchen”, which is unheard of in the fast food arena. [Read their cool story HERE.) Grown opened in March of this year and according to the numerous press articles they’ve scored since then, business is booming and there’s no slowdown in sight.
They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there are options for just about every type of eater there is from vegan and gluten free dieters to seafood lovers and carnivores like me. My mom, who resides in Miami Beach, had been once before soon after it opened and raved about it so she was eager to join me on my first experience. She let me pick everything for both of us so I could try a number of things at once. I opted for the free range rotisserie chicken with sides of sautéed broccoli and herb roasted red bliss potatoes and ordered the grilled shrimp with sides of green beans with carmelized onions and toasted almonds and long grain rice for my mom. You could choose a sauce with your meal so I chose the herb yogurt, which went perfectly with the chicken and potatoes and the cilantro lime sauce that went well with just about everything we ate.
Let me start by saying just about everything was delicious and seasoned to perfection! And it only took about 5-10 minutes from the time we ordered our food until our order was ready. My absolute favorite item was the green beans and I loved pairing the sauces with the sides as well as the proteins. My one disappointment was the long grain rice. I was expecting some type of snazzy wild or different type of grain rice but it was just plain ole white rice and didn’t seem to have much seasoning on it. But that’s not stopping me from going back. There are so many other yummy treats left for me to try.
In addition to the full meal options like we had (which also can be ordered family style feeding up to four people), they have a generous assortment of wraps, salads, soups, sandwiches, gluten-free baked goods, cold-pressed juices and smoothies. You can opt to eat in like we did, inside the restaurant or at one of the communal tables on the outdoor patio, or you can take advantage of the take-out or drive-thru options. I also absolutely loved how they have an “almost grown” menu and a little play station for the kiddies complete with interactive tablets to keep them occupied while the adults try to eat in peace.
Last but not least, while Grown may be an alternative to your normal fast food options from a timing perspective, don’t expect it to compete with the fast food boys from a cost perspective. Considering all of Grown’s ingredients are USDA-certified organic and sourced mainly from organic farms in South Florida, it is not cheap. The meal prices range from $12 – $25 per person. With drinks, our order came up to $48 total for lunch. I believe it was worth every penny, but sadly I couldn’t afford to eat like that every day.
Even with the elevated price point for fast food options, I believe Grown is well worth a visit. It really is in a class all by itself because most of their food options are still cheaper than many of the sit down restaurant options you’ll find in the Miami area, and I’ve been to many of them. When you visit, be sure to drop me a line to let me know what you thought of it…that is, if you don’t see me at the counter next to you!