Former Miami Heat player Ray Allen has reinvented the fast food scene in South Miami. Ray Allen’s wife Shannon Allen and the two-time NBA champion opened Grown restaurant, an organic fast-food joint, this past spring. Ray Allen’s restaurant Grown features organic and local food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Ray Allen is a 10-time NBA all-star who has also played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, and Boston Celtics during his 18-year career. He won NBA championships with the Celtics in 2008 and the Heat in 2013.
The address for Ray Allen’s Grown restaurant is 8211 South Dixie Highway, and, like a fast-food restaurant, it has a drive-thru, along with indoor and outdoor seating. The 1,900-square-foot restaurant also has a rooftop garden, and a space for cooking classes and wellness demos. The rooftop garden grows greens, herbs, and vegetables throughout Miami’s 10-month growing season. Overall, Grown restaurant reviews have been positive.
Ray and Shannon Allen were inspired to open Grown through the frustration of trying to meet the dietary needs of their nine-year-old son, Walker, who has type 1 diabetes. Diabetics have a strict diet that cannot include simple sugars including soda, cookies, white and refined breads, and artificial sweeteners.
There are a very limited number of healthy fast food options available. Shannon didn’t want to wait around for someone else to come up with a fast-food solution that would meet her family’s needs, so she and Ray did it themselves. Walking into Grown feels like being in your own kitchen, according to Ray.
When you walk into Grown restaurant, it feels like you’re in your own kitchen, says Ray, and that you feel good because you didn’t compromise your standards by eating outside the home, which often happens when you go to restaurants, especially fast-food places. He says people want to be healthier and feel better about what they eat.
What Is the Menu at Grown Restaurant?
Ray and Shannon Allen partnered with executive chef Todd Kiley to help the menu, which is gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. The restaurant is also a peanut-free facility. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates range from $4 to $18. The menu includes cold-pressed juices, smoothies, fair-trade coffees and herbal teas, soups made from scratch, fresh salads, sandwiches and wraps, and gluten-free baked goods. The following are a few samples from Grown’s menu:
- Juices: Good Morning Sunshine juice with beets, carrots, apples, oranges, and lemons. The Love Greens juice has kale, parsley, spinach, ginger, celery, apples, cucumbers, and pineapples.
- Smoothies: Grown restaurant has a variety of smoothies, including the Sunset, which contains oranges, strawberries, peaches, pineapples, mangoes, vanilla, and almond milk. The AB&J contains coconut water, almond butter, blueberries, strawberries, apples, bananas, and raspberries.
- Breakfast: There are various healthy breakfast options, including avocado toast, gluten-free blueberry pancakes, and a breakfast salad with hard-boiled eggs.
- Soups: Soup options include gluten-free vegan minestrone soup and chicken tortilla soup.
- Coffee and tea: Tea options include chamomile, green, and chai. Coffee options include cappuccinos and iced or hot Cuban coffee.
- Lunch and dinner: Dinner or lunch options include grass-fed brisket, grilled wild-caught salmon, grilled shrimp, or free-range rotisserie chicken.
- Almost Grown kids menu: What can kids eat? Some options include gluten-free French toast sticks, scrambled eggs, and organic cereal.
Feature image: Ray Allen @ Chris Bosh’s birthday party at Bamboo Miami on April 4, 2013 in Miami, Florida.
Reiser, E., “Happy Meals Weren’t Cutting it for This Star Couple, So They Founded an Organic Fast-Food Restaurant,” South Florida Business Journal website, February 17, 2016; http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2016/02/17/happy-meals-werent-cutting-it-for-this-star-couple.html, last accessed July 22, 2016.
Peterson, H., “Former NBA Star Ray Allen Is Opening a Fast-Food Restaurant That’s Unlike Anything on the East Coast,” AOL website, February 22, 2016; http://www.aol.ca/article/2016/02/22/former-nba-star-ray-allen-is-opening-a-fast-food-restaurant-that/21316680/, last accessed July 22, 2016.
“Ray Allen Opening Organic Fast-Food Eatery,” Miami Herald website, February 18, 2016; http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article61069757.html, last accessed July 22, 2016.
Oches, S., “All Grown Up,” QSR website, February 2016; https://www.qsrmagazine.com/exclusives/all-grown, last accessed July 22, 2016.
Buch, C., “Miami Heat’s Ray Allen Opening Healthy Fast-Food Concept in South Miami UPDATED,” Miami New Times website, March 25, 2016; http://www.miaminewtimes.com/restaurants/miami-heats-ray-allen-opening-healthy-fast-food-concept-in-south-miami-updated-8254547, last accessed July 22, 2016.
Josephson, M., “NBA Star Ray Allen Opened a ‘Healthy Fast-Food’ Restaurant in Miami – and People Love It,” This Insider website, June 21, 2016; http://www.thisisinsider.com/nba-star-opened-healthy-fast-food-restaurant-2016-6, last accessed July 22, 2016.