Jon and I are in Southern California with some of our family celebrating our grandson’s fifth birthday at Great Wolf Lodge; a family vacation property that combines water slides, pools and kiddie features with a theme park environment like a small scale Disneyland. Finding good plant-based eating options is almost always a challenge on the road and especially so at a place where the food offerings are designed to entice kids to come up for air just long enough to take in nourishment. Think: pizza, hot dogs and buttered noodles.
Doing a bit of exploring outside the Lodge we decided to walk to a Subway sandwich shop less than half a mile away. As we cut through a strip mall I saw a sign for Flame Broiler. Eureka! One of my plant-based heroes, Chef AJ, highlights Flame Broiler in her Easy Meals to Make you Thin video. I couldn’t let the chance to try one of AJ’s recommendations pass by; AJ lost over 50 pounds several years ago by tweaking her plant-based diet to remove processed foods and she knows her stuff.
The Flame Broiler we visited at 12871 Harbor Boulevard M-1, in Garden Grove, CA 92840 is a smallish fast casual place located in an older strip mall. Ordering your bowl here is easy: Select your serving size: mini, regular, or plate. Choose white or brown rice. Choose your protein. The tofu Flame Broiler uses is organic and not genetically modified, nice!
We each had a regular size bowl with brown rice, blanched vegetable mixture of carrots, cabbage and broccoli with tofu and topped with green onions. We were called to pick up our order after five minutes of prep-time and headed over to the sauce options: Magic, Triple Hot, Hot-Hot, Hot, and Teriyaki…we opted for the Teriyaki.
The regular size bowl is an ample serving and begins with a base of perfectly cooked brown rice, a bit of cabbage, perfectly tender-crisp carrot slices and bite-sized broccoli florets covered with a generous portion of flame grilled tofu cubes and a sprinkle of sliced green onions. The cost for two regular bowls and two bottles of water was about $17.60.
Doesn’t that look good? It tasted even better! We loved the fresh taste and firmness of the tofu cubes and considered how we might duplicate the flame broiler technique at home. The food was not noticeably oily. Flame Broiler’s nutrition information states no fat grams in the brown rice, cabbage, broccoli and carrots (tofu was not displayed in the nutrition fact sheet). We will be back before this trip is over, I am sure.
The sad news is we don’t have a Flame Broiler in Sacramento, yet. According to the website there are about 90 independently owned Flame Broiler locations in Southern California, if you get the chance to try one please share your experience in the comments below.