The Lion's Tale

Honeygrow rightly focuses on unique food, dining experiences

The+sesame+garlic+stir+fry+offers+patrons+protein+and+vegetables+that+are+worth+the+price.
The sesame garlic stir fry offers patrons protein and vegetables that are worth the price.

The sesame garlic stir fry offers patrons protein and vegetables that are worth the price.

photo by Josh Diewald

photo by Josh Diewald

The sesame garlic stir fry offers patrons protein and vegetables that are worth the price.

Josh Diewald, Reporter

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Honeygrow is the latest fast-casual restaurant to hit the Rockville, Md. area. Like other restaurants in this category, with fresh food, like salads and bowls, that is prepared both quickly and with an eye to health, Honeygrow offers a lot that appeals to students. But Honeygrow’s secret weapon is an ingredient that many other similar places have given up: noodles.

I went to the restaurant after a long run and I wanted to re-energize. I wanted something filling, but also something that wouldn’t cancel out the effects of my run. In other words, I craved more than a salad, but also not a calorie-bomb like a burrito.

I ordered the Sesame Garlic stir fry, which was made up of creamy egg noodles and beef with broccoli and mushrooms. At $9.75, it was the most expensive item on the menu, but with so much protein and vegetables, I felt like it was a great value. It was also ready really quickly, which was great because, after my run, I was starving. But the best part was, even though it was cooked so quickly, it truly tasted like a home-cooked meal.

The best part of my dish was the fresh and tender egg noodles. While many fast casual restaurants, like Cava and Chipotle, are more rice-based, Honeygrow has a noodle option. And while one of the few dedicated pasta fast-casual restaurants, Noodles and Company, is really heavy — with many items hovering around 800 to 1,200 calories — the highest calorie meal at Honeygrow is only 820 calories.

But it’s not all about health at Honeygrow. Another thing I liked is the ordering experience; I enjoyed the do-it-yourself touch-screen ordering process. It made for a much more personalized experience where you didn’t feel like you were holding up the line with your personal special order. It’s easy to pick one of the suggested dishes like spicy garlic with chicken, or red coconut curry chicken salad, but tweak it if you don’t like a certain ingredient. Or you can create your dish from scratch.

The one downside to the touch-screen ordering system is that there is a certain lack of the human touch. Though the staff behind the counter and open kitchen greeted me when I walked in, they didn’t really have a big presence in my overall time at the restaurant.

I also noticed that the small parking lot in front of Honeygrow has a lot of competition with the other restaurants and stores in that section of Montrose Crossing Shopping Center. If you are trying to get in and out quickly, you may run into a problem and may have to settle with a parking spot much farther away.

Overall, if you want a quick, fresh and relatively inexpensive meal, eating at Honeygrow will leave you more than satisfied.

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