Honeygrow is a fast casual restaurant that focuses on healthy stir fries, salads, and fruit parfaits.
We originally did not give this one a second glance after hearing it was a chain, but the folks at honeygrow invited us in for a meal to change our minds and we are certainly glad we took them up on the offer.
What sets honeygrow apart from other chains is its commitment to a seasonal, locally sourced (when possible) menu that's all organic and non-GMO. Basically, the food is good for you and also good for the planet!
With all of those constraints, you might think the dishes would be boring or uninspired, but on our recent visit we found our meals had unique ingredient combinations and sauces that kept things packed with interesting flavors.
Kiosk Ordering at Honeygrow in East Liberty
The ordering system at honeygrow is pretty simple to use – you order from a touch screen that guides you through the process. Pictures of each item in each dish appear, and a simple touch enables you to add or subtract ingredients.
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You pay at the touch screen kiosk and then pick up your order from the counter when it's ready.
Healthy Stir Fry and Salad Options with Local Ingredients
The stir fry options include lots of Asian-inspired flavors like a spicy garlic noodle dish and a sweet soy five spice rice dish, while the salads included classics like a white bean tuna or a cobb.
For both the stir fries and salads, there is the option to build your own dish completely from scratch with your choice of proteins, veggies, and noodles/rice. And let's not forget the dessert menu, the honeybar, which is basically a build your own fruit parfait with lots of fruit and topping choices.
Drink options include cold pressed juices as well as fair trade sodas from Maine Root. We tried the honey ginseng green tea which was refreshing with just a hint of sweetness that was much less than we anticipated (a good thing).
We ordered a few items from the winter menu including the roasted garlic stir fry and the winter kale salad. The roasted garlic stir fry started with whole wheat noodles that were topped with chicken, kale, chickpeas, red onion, a crunchy coriander topping, and a roasted garlic tahini sauce.
The sauce was creamy with a pleasant garlic punch and a nuttiness from the tahini. The kale and chickpeas made us feel virtuous and added some color and texture.
Now, normally I'm not a huge fan of kale, but the kale salad here just might be winning me over to the green side. This salad started with kale and spinach tossed with a pomegranate vinaigrette and added in mushrooms, pears, brussel sprouts, and bleu cheese to the mix.
We had the pecans omitted due to my allergy and instead substituted some parmesan crisps. All I can say is, wow!
There were hints of sweetness from the vinaigrette and the pears, and these were nicely balanced by the bitterness and saltiness of the brussel sprouts, kale, and bleu cheese. The parmesan crisps on top added just the right touch of crunchy texture.
If only all salads could be this interesting!
End Your Meal with a Honeybar
The honeybar was a perfect way to top off the meal. One unique thing about honeygrow is that they source their honeys locally, and you can choose from clover, wildflower, or buckwheat honey at the honeybar.
We opted for a mix of bananas, blueberries, and strawberries drizzled with wildflower honey and topped with mini chocolate chips and house made whipped cream. I can't explain how something so simple tastes so delicious, but it does.
After a weekend of overindulgence, this meal was exactly what we needed – nourishing, healthy, and affordable while still being inspired and flavor-packed. We're excited to see how honeygrow expands around the city – look for a few more locations soon!