I’m a planner. Always have been, always will be. I get it from my Dad. He was the Dad who would take us to Disney World and have us crying by the end of the day because he needed to drag us to each and every attraction, show, and whatnot, on a very tight schedule, and we would be exhausted. And along with his nose and bad allergies, I also inherited the planning gene. So when I know ahead of time that I’m going to a restaurant, whether it be for a media dinner, birthday dinner, or date, I spend countless hours pouring over their menu deciding what to eat. Because along with being a planner, I’m also heavily indecisive when it comes to choosing food. Which explains the somewhat cryptic title of this blog. At Bolay, the fast casual chain located in Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens, and now Boca Raton, diners choose their own ingredients when building their bowls, or “bols.” And let me tell you, each ingredient is so enticing, that it is hard to choose! Bolay also serves delicious juices such as “Beets By Bolay” and “Pineapple Express,” and they offer an array of indulgent but gluten-free desserts.
Bolay works just like a Chipotle or Saladworks – you go down the production line and choose your ingredients, and they also have pre-made recipes as well. You can do a small Bol or a large Bol. Obviously, if you know me, you know I went for the large, which is 2 bases, 2 veggies, 2 proteins, a topping and a sauce. Let’s start with the bases. The base is super important, because most of them are from my favorite food group: CARBS. You can choose between Cilantro Noodles, Peruvian Quinoa, Moroccan Basmati Rice, Forbidden Black Rice, Marinated Kale and Currant Salad, Baby Spinach and a Seasonal Base (at the time, this was a Caribbean Sweet Potato Mash). Did I mention that everything served at Bolay is GLUTEN FREE? So even the carbs are healthy!! As I mentioned in my previous blog, I’m on a Forbidden Black Rice kick, so that was an obvious choice. And since cilantro is one of my food buzz words, I just could not resist the noodles. Okay, maybe this deciding thing isn’t toooooo difficult…
….But then there were the veggies. Smoky Cauliflower, Balsamic Mushrooms, Paleo Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli With Ginger Orange Glaze, and a Seasonal Veggie (which was a Cajun Sweet Potato). Okay. Well Brussels are pretty much a must. Smoky cauliflower sounds so enticing. But the ginger orange glaze on that broccoli though…. And balsamic mushrooms are making me drool…. Luckily, the staff at Bolay is super nice and lets you sample bites in order to help your decision. I finally settled on Brussels and cauliflower. And then it was time for the most difficult decision of all… the proteins.
Miso Glazed Tofu. Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna. Caribbean Spiced Steak. Spicy Thai Shrimp. Pork Tenderloin. BBQ Chicken. Lemon Chicken. JUST LET ME HAVE ALL THE MEATS (and non-meats). I mean, one sounds better than the next! In my pre-planning prep, I thought I would go with the Spicy Thai Shrimp and the Miso Glazed Tofu. But once I sampled a bite of the Caribbean Spiced Steak, I knew where my heart was. (Side note, I sampled a bite of the miso glazed tofu and the ahi tuna, and I am DEFINITELY coming back for those BAEs). So I went with the shrimp and steak, and my bowl was ALMOST complete. Which was good, because my mind was spent and I was sweating from the pressure of choosing harder than Charlie Sheen during a sobriety test.
The line of decisions.
There were two more additions before my Bol was complete – the topping and the sauce. For toppings one can choose from the Asian Herb Mix, Parmesan Cheese, Minted Tomatoes, or Goat Cheese Crumbles. With all the ingredients I had chosen, the Asian Herb Mix was really the only option that I felt would mesh well. Then lastly, the sauce. There are 3 choices: Carrot Ginger, Spicy Thai and Cilantro Pesto. Whether it’s dressing, soup, juice, whatever, Carrot Ginger makes my heart beat faster than a shirtless Ryan Gosling. So this was a no-brainer for me. I finished up my meal with a gooey, soft, melty chocolate chip cookie and a cool glass of one of their flavored teas. It was time to enjoy the fruits of my labors.
The verdict? DELICIOUS. The perfectly cooked Black Forbidden Rice comforted my soul. The Cilantro Noodles gave a great burst of flavor and added so much heartiness. The plump, juicy shrimp mixed well with the Asian Herb and the Carrot Ginger Sauce. The Smoky Cauliflower was good, although out of all the ingredients, this is the one I thought could use a little work – I would have liked a little more smoky flavor. But the major standouts to me? The Brussels Sprouts and the Caribbean Steak. The flavors in these two ingredients were off-the-charts good. I finished off my bowl with fantasies of the next one running through my head. I am SO thrilled to have this as an option for a quick and easy meal, and I don’t think I’ll stop until I’ve tried every possible combination of ingredients out there. If any Albert Einsteins want to calculate that for me mathematically, please be my guest. My brain is too busy already thinking up my next Bol…
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.