Nestled on Riverside Drive is a culinary jewel that doesn’t disappoint. Locally sourced and served, the cuisine at Grow is a cut above. The restaurant has one simple tagline: “fresh local food,” and the owners intend to live up to that.
A quick chat with owner Saralyn Harvey told us everything we needed to know about Grow. This farm-to-table style restaurant gleans all of its dishes from Georgia farms and backyard gardens. The restaurant's offerings are fresh, tasty and affordable.
Despite the building’s modest appearance, the food at Grow was exceptional.
Summer had the eggplant parmesan sandwich with a side of squash casserole. She said the eggplant was well-breaded and the marinara sauce was sweet and tangy. The mozzarella cheese was a thick, gooey paste and her meal was satisfying overall. Eyeing it from across the table, I may have been a bit jealous.
I got the fresh tomato pasta with a side of fruit and garlic bread. The pasta was buttery and full of crispy bell peppers, tomato chunks and basil. The fresh fruit was succulent and sweet and the bread added just enough to the meal. I left feeling satisfied and not too guilty about my caloric intake.
Overall, we were impressed with the presentation and the generous portion sizes of our meal.
There weren’t a lot of side options to begin with, but the options Grow did have were underwhelming. We will give them a pass though, since they do have a rotating seasonal menu.
Grow offered boiled peanuts instead of the traditional complimentary breadsticks you might expect from restaurants. The peanuts were a tasty shout out to Georgia (and a nice southern touch) but we were given few baskets. Go big or go home, right?
We were on the fence about whether or not to put this in the questionable section. But having strong roots in the family restaurant business, Summer was adamant about placing this here. The server was just a little too pushy about getting our orders (we had not been seated for more than a few minutes when she asked, twice) and then she didn’t reappear for a long time.
Overall, Grow still hit a homerun for us. Not only is it close to campus and easy on the wallet, it’s tasty and supports local farmers.
Bear Bites: Grow