We told you it was coming, but it took a bit longer than expected. Muscle Maker Grill has officially thrown open the doors at its new Shops at Midtown Miami location. They deliver, they cater, they'll wrap it to go. This place aims to be the healthiest version of fast-casual yet to hit the area. While neighborhood chain giant Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has health in mind as well, Muscle Maker Grill is more dedicated to your waistline. All menu descriptions are followed by a calorie count, and dishes are created with diet strategy in mind. From a section completely dedicated to low-carb solutions such as the "Godfather" -- a grilled chicken breast topped with portobellos ($9.99, 335 calories) -- to power carbs delivered in the form of "Cajun"-style whole-wheat penne ($9.99, 330 calories), this is a menu that respects your workout.
The enterprise began in New Jersey when a hometown boy couldn't find the right kind of foods to fuel his workout. Rod Silva started out making lunches for people at a smoothie store he owned, and they asked for more. The franchise now has more than a hundred outposts in New York, California, and Florida.
Items such as the "Lean and Mean Cheeseburger Salad" ($9.29, 584 calories) are topped with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and fat-free barbecue sauce. "Guiltless Entrées" include the "El Mexicana," a chicken fajita with brown rice and beans ($9.99, 353 calories), and turkey chili with fat-free sour cream ($9.99, 341 calories). Vegetarians have a section, and those who live in mortal fear of gluten will also find shelter at the Muscle Maker Grill.
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Thirty-two-ounce protein shakes ($5.99) range from the more caloric chocolate-peanut butter (390 calories) to a more responsible strawberry version (280 calories). There is even a dietary dessert on the menu. Splurge on a sugar-free cheesecake ($2.99, 380 calories), and if you consider dessert without sugar a "splurge," you truly belong to the muscle club.
Does the place actually make muscles, though? Only if you don't head to Sweet Point Bakery next door.
Muscle Maker Grill
3250 NE First Ave., Ste. 110, Miami