I’m not a fan of salad. There, I said it. For a wellness lifestyle blogger this might come as a surprise. I am though, a sucker for hearty veggies and this is what lead me to discover Bolay.
It was a night like any other on the west side of Miami Dade, land nearly void of healthy eating options. I was having dinner with a dear friend when I began to moan and gripe about not having a place that service good veggie side dishes.
“There’s this new place called Bolay in Pines…” she said.
My food antennae was alerted. After a healthy dose of skepticism on my part and my friend building her case based on Instagram photos my mission was beginning to form. This week I would make it to Bolay.
The next day,lunch hour had come and I was greeted with a gloriously long window of time to check on this new and trendy health spot. As I approached the building, it was raining… of course. I was promptly greeted in a pleasant way by an employee. Good customer service, check.
La Tour de Bolay
My tour guide was given by manager, Colleen Carias. She has a professional precision and an unwavering smile that would have left any HR hospitality talent scout hiring her on the spot. I don’t even think Disney personnel could beat Colleen as she allowed me to interview her all the while handing out menus, greeting guests and staying engaged with my questions. Impressive.
I’ve been to my share of healthy restaurants, some were really good, some way too eccentric and others worthy of running away from. So I asked what makes Bolay so different? What I gathered was crucial to the success of a company that stands by two things I adore, good taste and quality food.
According to Colleen, the staff at Bolay makes everything daily, as in food which is brought in fresh. A new concept for Pembroke Pines with less than a handful of restaurants that boast the same concept. But here’s the kicker. The majority of the food is gluten free and hardly anything has dairy. If it does have dairy it’s the Feta and Parmesan cheese. OK… I’m reluctant to believe this food is going to taste great in Pembroke Pines but I continue with the tour.
Colleen goes on to explain the unique bullet points below:
There’s no fryer
The food is kept warm with infusion burners
food is roasted or grilled
No fried food? That alone for the area is a big step. This process of preparation is common in vegan restaurants so now, I’m curious.
Other facts about Bolay is that although they opened May 6th in Pembroke Pines, this is their fourth location. A Florida start-up from Wellington,the menu was created by Chef Martin Oswald of Aspen, Colorado. Their most recent additions being in Boca Raton and Pembroke Pines.
Wake Up Call
Just a quick side note here: It shocks me how local restaurants in the area have not caught wind of the severe shortage of healthy places to eat in South Florida. I’ve been saying it for years but foot traffic doesn’t lie and the full house at Bolay in middle of the week during lunch time proves my point.
I put the pressure on Colleen to build the perfect bowl for me as like a true sport, she rose to the challenge. To see the images click here. I was given a healthy concoction of:
cilantro noodles forbidden black rice ( I liked it already) balsamic mushrooms paleo brussel sprouts lemon chicken (favorite) steak aujus minted tomatoes cilantro pesto sauce
Judge me for the amount but they were reasonable portions I swear. All in all, it was a heck of a bowl and I was able to pack away the latter half for another meal. The price? A decent $10 and some change. Not too shabby considering food that makes you fat, bloated and sleepy afterwards costs about the same.
From now until July 15, 2017, Bolay will be offering a 10% discount if you show any proof of gym membership (a card is sufficient). Bolay also offers catering, so if you want to impress your guests or land that corporate account you can have a healthier alternative at Bolay.
Drum roll please. I sat down undisturbed for my meal and the moment I dug in I could not be stopped. I found a culinary health haven with actual taste in Bolay! My skepticism flew out the window with each bite and I think I gave a small whimper of relief that the people of Pembroke Pines finally had a new addition to their food stop. Bolay will keep your waist size small, wallets happy and taste buds singing. Even the cookie was delicious! (tip: free cookie offer on Yelp) The only veggie that wasn’t my cup of tea was the smoked cauliflower but hey, making something tasty out of cauliflower is a near impossible task. All is all, Bolay is a trip worth taking to discover what real health food should taste like.
Michelle Orchid Rodriguez is an entrepreneur,wellness lifestyle blogger and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Her mission is to promote a higher quality of life through healthy living. She is the founder and CEO of Lumina Massage Inc., a Miami-based specialty massage company that focuses on neuromuscular therapy and prenatal bodywork.