From the creators of Philadelphia-based honeygrow comes minigrow: a fast-gourmet dining experience for everyday eating. Making its debut in Chicago at 28 S. Wabash Avenue on March 20, minigrow brings consciously sourced, chef-driven food to the heart of The Loop.
“We are excited to expand the minigrow brand and think that Chicago’s food-centric palate makes for the perfect next city to do so,” said minigrow founder and CEO Justin Rosenberg. “Chicago is a culinary mecca and we believe minigrow’s unique approach to chef driven fast-casual dining will make a great addition to the landscape.”
Rosenberg leads the menu’s development focusing on flavor profiles for the build-your-own noodle and salad bowls. A former financial analyst, Rosenberg left to pursue his passions for food, design, and creating a business focused on the things that he loves. After staging at various restaurants from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., Rosenberg launched honeygrow and has grown it to 22 locations across 10 cities.
minigrow’s menu will feature custom mazemen noodle and salad bowls, cold-pressed juices and chocolate chip cookies that are made in-house, daily. Like Rosenberg’s honeygrow, minigrow’s ingredients are always fresh (there are no freezers in the minigrow kitchen!) and sourced locally and seasonally when possible. The culinary team make all of their own dressings and sauces from scratch, using a specific type of noodle with a texture light enough to cook quickly, yet can maintain a good chew after being tossed together with ingredients. The minigrow menu selection will feature premium ingredients such as dashi poached salmon, crab and roasted pork shoulder, as well as sauces like Black Pepper Tahini and Lemongrass Curry.
“When creating the menu for minigrow, I wanted to make sure that no matter which ingredients you put in the bowl, they would all go well together,” said Rosenberg. “Our staff is specially trained to guide guests as sous chefs through the ordering process and help them create epic bowls—but it’s really hard not to make a great combination with whatever ingredients you choose.”
For diners willing to put their faith (and taste buds) in Rosenberg’s hands, they can opt for his signature bowl, “The Chicken Jawn.” Made with flat wide, three wheat noodles, miso corn, sweet + sour onions, black truffle, whole roasted organic chicken, chives, and topped with parmesan cheese. The “Jawn” pays homage to the company’s Philadelphia roots, both in name and in personality. Guests cannot add, remove or substitute ingredients in the dish, because as Rosenberg said—and Philly natives know to be true—the Jawn is what it is, and you can’t change that.
The walls of minigrow will be curated with designs by notable working and up-an-coming artists from around the country, making art as accessible as gourmet food. In Chicago, local Emmy Star Brown has designed a feature mural that reflects her clean, modern and monochromatic pallete. For this piece, Emmy created a bold and energizing mural that speaks to the dynamic flavors of clean ingredients. In her work, the seamless fusion of organic lines resembles life, growth and the value of nourishing ourselves with real food.
Following honeygrow’s charitable footsteps, minigrow is passionate about connecting with and supporting their local communities. On opening day, they will be partnering with nonprofit, JBF Greens Chicago, to help raise funds to support their local programs that nurture, honor and celebrate food leaders in America. For each salad or stir-fry sold, minigrow will donate $5 of the proceeds to the James Beard Foundation.
Later this year, minigrow will also be collaborating with chefs around the country to create special, limited-time-only menu item collaborations. These collaborations will be crafted for a good cause as each participating chef will select a nonprofit they are passionate about with proceeds from their bowl going to that charity.