“Locally-sourced, healthy, organic ingredients used in salads, bowls, juices, and popsicles.” – that’s how Delray’s newest fast casual restaurant localgreens describes themselves. There are many reasons why I have frequented this new dining concept since my first media visit there – first off, everything is customizable to a new level. Secondly, the fresh flavors are expertly combined to create innovative hot and cold bowls and salads that pack a punch of different flavors in each bite. Third, their array of sodas is anything but usual – flavors like Lemongrass and Meyer Lemon Cucumber will have you permanently ditching your basic diet Coke.
But most of all? Their touchscreen ordering system makes it so you don’t have to interact with another human being – basically my life goal.
But seriously as you can see, the screen makes it super easy to order and customize any dish you would like. Take out items you don’t like in the creations, add in the ones you do, add as many proteins (Ahi Tuna, Steak, Citrus Shrimp, Free Range Chicken, Tofu Scramble, or Beyond Meat Chik’n Strips) as you like, or simply make your own salad creation!
The first grain bowl we decided to order is one of their three hot bowls, The Hawaii Mang-O: nutri-whole brown sushi rice, mango, cucumber, pea tendrils, sesame seeds, red onion, macadamia nuts, basil, toasted coconut, spring onion, lime, and ginger soy sauce, and we chose to top ours with the Beyond Meat Chik’N Strips. The bowl is aptly named – between the mangos, macadamia nuts and toasted coconut, my mouth totally felt like it was getting lei’d. (Yeah, I’m pretty proud of that one). Personally I would have gone for the chicken but because my dining partner doesn’t eat meat, we chose the fake strips, and I could hardly tell the difference! General Manager Charlie Busek sat down with us and told us that he searched far and wide for the best imitation chicken, and his work is not in vain – on my second trip back after this media lunch (which no joke was the next day), I ordered the chicken, and I have to say I actually prefer the Beyond Meat strips. Look at that – dining AND learning!
Grains are good but noodles are better is my mantra. I’m the gal who always chooses lo mein over fried rice. My favorite sick food are buttered noodles. I am a full on nut for noodles. So of course the Daniel San, one of their cold bowls, was on my to-eat list. Made with chilled noodles, carrots, cucumbers, sriracha salted peanuts, pea tendrils, red beet hardboiled egg, red chili threads, seaweed ash, and sweet & sour cucumber dressing, the description practically leaps off the page and in to your mouth. We decided to have some fun with the customization feature and added in edamame for extra protein, and took out the cucumbers. I love how you can make all the veggie, fruit and nut additions, as many as you want, without any extra charge. In this case, more is more!
The last grain bowl that we treated ourselves to is the Good Karma Bowl: red quinoa, nutri-whole brown rice, red cabbage, beets, carrots, pea tendrils, sun-dried cherries, chipotle toasted almonds, mint, grapefruit, orange, spring onion, and yuzu thai basil vinaigrette. We topped it with the Tofu Scramble, something I had never had before and something I probably won’t experience anywhere else due to the unique flavor which is a unique blend of spices including cumin to give it extra flair. Upon first bite, I wasn’t in love, but the more I ate, it surprisingly turned out to be my favorite and is now my go-to when I frequent (and I mean FREQUENT) the restaurant. The red quinoa gives it a delicious crunch and the tofu in my humble (but expert, duh) opinion is the perfect topper. So many flavors, your palette is going to be happier than a Jilly in a candy store.
localgreens also features Power Snack Bowls, which is up to you to design. Start with a base of açai or Greek yogurt, and top with whatever fruit or dried fruit (those sun dried cherries though!!) you -please, along with granola, sunflower seeds, bee pollen, honey, cacao nibs, toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, candied pecans, or macadamia nuts. It’s a great way to start or finish your day, or a pick-me-up at ANY time of day. Burger King may claim you can “have it your way,” but localgreens is truly the one who delivers on this promise!
And don’t forget to pickup a healthy juice while you’re there – a refreshing way to please your palette and get the nutrients you need while on the go! Flavors like “Shine” (pineapple, green apple, cucumber, ginger), “Green Lover” (green apple, cucumber, kale, spinach, celery, parsley, romaine lemon) and “Watermelon Kiss” (watermelon, pineapple, lemon, mint) will make you wonder why you ever drink something as tasteless as water to begin with.
If you’re reading this and aren’t local to the Delray area, be patient, and perhaps localgreens will one day be local to you. This is a concept that I foresee making a huge splash and hopefully within a few years having stores all over the country – because I can’t live without it, and you shouldn’t have to!
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.