Aside from a few fast food joints whose anonymity I’ll protect in spite of their ‘Crimes Against Nutrition;’ most restaurants have healthy options IF you order wisely.
Personally I’m a fan of the ’80-20 Rule.’ 80% of the time I try to make sensible choices when it comes to my diet. I think about portion size, where ingredients are sourced and how my food is prepared. I avoid ingesting anything that sounds like it was cooked in a Pyrex chem-lab beaker and also steer clear of ingredients that require extensive Googling (i.e. “What is Butylated Hydroxytolune and should I be concerned that it’s in my cereal AND in jet fuel?!) The remaining 20% of the time, well I loosen the reigns and try to chill the F out, because life’s about balance, moderation and enjoyment!
Now unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that the Brickell City Centre has finally opened its doors. And with this dawn of a new Brickell-era comes tons of swanky new restaurants. So as long as you’re a conscientious order’er and know when to implement discipline and restraint and when to just go for it, you, 305’ers, are now spoiled for some seriously healthy and tasty choices!
American Harvest is a farmhouse-inspired restaurant that offers diners modern interpretations of timeless, multi-ethnic, comfort cooking classics. But don’t let the word ‘comfort’ conjure up images of greasy eggs or an emotional eater in hysterics weeping into their fork! Quite the contrary!
Dishes are made from scratch with high quality, responsibly sourced ingredients that come from local and regional purveyors, farmers and foragers (and who doesn’t want to eat foraged food? AM-I-RIGHT!?!) So with a focus on all things unrefined and unprocessed, not only are you going to chow down on something that tastes good, but you’re going to get food that’s as close to its natural form as possible!
Notable dishes: Harvest Cobb Salad with a side of No Mayo Chicken Salad or Sustainable Tuna
Hailing from South Africa’s Western Cape region, golfing legend Ernie Els has lent his nickname “Big Easy,” (based on his easygoing personality and effortless golf swing) to one of Brickell’s newest restaurants. While the wine selection is expansive, the grill features an outstanding selection of small dishes inspired by Ernie’s South African heritage. Ingredients are fresh, the atmosphere is relaxed and the unique dishes fill a culinary gap in the market (unless you know another Brickell-based South African-inspired eatery that I’ve missed!)
Notable Dishes: Cape Malay Seafood Pot with Nigerian Prawns and anything with their fresh-from-the-farm heirloom tomatoes
Dr Smood is ideal for the über-health conscience or those just jumping on the nutritional bandwagon. Their approach is more along the lines of using food as “functional medicine,” meanings they focus on the science ‘behind’ the ingredients that make up their dishes. Each salad, sandwich and drink has been thoughtfully designed to effectively fuel the body and maximise its absorption of key nutrients, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, proteins and/or fats.
To help guide you through what may initially feel like an overwhelmingly large menu, everything is categorised into six focal areas, or “moods” – Power, Beauty, Immunity, Detox, Energy and Health. That’s why they call it SMOOD “Smart Food For A Good Mood!”
Notable Dishes: Non-Dairy Probiotic Yogurt with Coconut Kefir and any of their Superfood Salads
For seafood lovers, Luke’s Lobster brings it to you straight from the source – the source being directly from Fishermen and “Lobstermen” (yah that’s a new word for me too). What this means is that from claws to tails, you can trace your meal’s exact origins back to the very dock from which it came! Pretty cool right?! While Luke’s food is what my husband would refer to as “badass,” I’d like to add that Luke’s commitment to sourcing superior, sustainable ingredients and supporting small businesses is equally “bad ass!”
Notable Dishes: Lobster Roll and the Tail and Kale Salad
Pubbelly Sushi is a Japanese tapas-style restaurant. So if you’re like me and tend to unsubtly suggest your friends and family order the stuff you ‘actually’ want to eat but don’t want to commit to ordering because you’re trying to eat healthy but still want to pick off their plates – well, PROBLEM SOLVED! Everything is designed to be shared!
So go with a few friends and order up a storm to maximise variety! A party of four means that on each small plate you’ll probably get one generous sized bite of something packed with serious flavour and complexity. Balance it all off with simple sides like steamed baby bok choy or with some fresh, high quality sashimi.
Notable Dishes: Tuna Pizza and Octopus Ceviche
Restaurants seem to pass out WiFi passwords with their menus, as phone use during meals has become ubiquitous in the modern age. ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ but has the Internet Killed Books and Magazines? NOPE, not at Santa Fe News & Espresso!
They have tons of local, national and international newspapers and magazines that 305’ers can flip through while they eat. The restaurant is feels bright, airy and clean (as restaurants should), so you don’t feel like your table-predecessor left bits of his meal in your mag! This menu seems to have every ingredient known to man, tons of cold pressed juices and the pièce de résistance……wait for it……. a Fro-Yo machine! FINALLY BRICKELL!
Notable Dishes: Apple, Mango and Hearts of Palm Salad
Tacology is a Mexican concept a “Mercado” where you can find traditional tacos, ceviches, tostadas, juices, salads and more. The high-end taquería hasn’t opened its doors just yet, so the burning question of whether staff will be called ‘Tacologists,’ (experts in the Science and Theory of Tacos) remains a mystery! But if it’s anything like it’s neighbouring BCC restaurants, patrons are in for something special!
So whether you need a break from shopping, have popped out of the office for a quick lunch or want to spend an evening enjoying a leisurely meal with friends and family, Brickell City Centre’s restaurants have tons of options that do NOT require a nutritional sacrifice!