Dirt to Pop Up at Aventura Mall

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Aventura Mall is undergoing a massive expansion that will turn the already gigantic shopping center into the second largest mall in the United States.

The downside to this progress is the temporary closure of the mall's food court to make way for bigger things. That leaves few places to grab a bite to fuel a shopping spree — until now.

Dirt, the South Beach restaurant that specializes in clean food in a fast-casual setting, is opening a pop-up at the mall. The eatery, located on the lower level of the mall’s Nordstrom wing, will open in early December, in time for Christmas, and will remain open through the spring.

The pop-up will offer a smaller menu than that at the South Beach flagship and soon-to-open Brickell restaurant and will focus on meals that are easy to eat on the go. According to executive chef Nicole Votano, the Aventura spot will feature a "Dirt lite" designed to energize shoppers, "giving them the boost needed to enjoy their shopping experience while feeling satisfied rather than lethargic."

The menu will feature bowls, salads, and panini such as an herb de Provence turkey melt with black pepper goat cheese, honeyed Florida citrus relish, and upland cress on multigrain toast and an olive-oil-poached tuna sandwich with spicy local greens, Teena’s Pride tomatoes, sun-dried tomato/cerignola-olive spread, and fresh basil on ciabatta.

For those looking for something to munch on while strolling the mall, grab-and-go bites such as a fig-and-oat granola bar and matcha green tea pistachio balls will be a welcome change of pace from the usual soft pretzels. Dirt will also offer chilled and hot JoJo teas, smoothies, and house-made sodas. Like the South Beach location, the pop-up will provide vegan, gluten-free, and Paleo options.

The temporary Dirt will also serve Sweet Melody ice cream. Says Votano: “We’ll offer inventive seasonal and delicious flavors in a perfect portion size that won’t tip the scale but will thoroughly satisfy. Because who doesn't love ice cream?"

Votano says the decision to open the pop-up was easy. "We couldn't have found a better place to bring our mission to serve fine food fast to our customers during the holiday season. And I can’t say I’m upset that I have a great excuse to spend more time in my favorite mall.”

This is not the first time the mall has welcomed healthier dining options. Bunnie Cakes successfully popped up at Aventura Mall last year, and Dr Smood is scheduled to open at the mall shortly.

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