Original Grain: Best Spot for Gluten-Free and Healthy Eats
Original Grain is definitely no traditional deli — you won’t find pastrami on rye here. But you won’t feel deprived. Original Grain has an expansive menu offering nori wraps, fan-favorite grain bowls and smoothie bowls. Original Grain’s menu is designed to be gluten-free, but it also accommodates the vegetarians and vegans.
“Even more so now than five or 10 years ago, people are aware of the dietary restrictions, whether they are gluten-free, whether they’re vegan, whether they have a specific allergy,” Chris Bily, owner of Original Grain, says. Indeed, the health food restaurant’s nori wraps, grain bowls, and smoothie bowls are completely vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
Original Grain mainly offers food for those who have dietary restrictions. However, the restaurant’s menu works for anyone looking to attain a full serving of vegetables and nutrients that are good for you. And as winter approaches, now is the time to make sure your body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy through cold and flu season.
What exactly is a nori wrap? It can best be described as a big sushi burrito. “As opposed to the traditional white or wheat wrap you’d get at a normal deli shop, for us the nori wrap is thinking a little outside the box and really sort of creating a bigger, more badass sushi roll,” Bily explains.
There are five different options for how you can have your nori wrap but every option is vegan, and gluten-free. The menu is updated often, so check here to see what’s offered now.
The Great Swell and the Mexi-Cali are both grain bowls and are the most popular amongst customers. With these bowls you have the option of choosing bamboo rice or original grains, which are all gluten-free.
While the Great Swell is more of a traditional poke bowl, the Mexi-Cali is a more Mexican-Californian inspired bowl. The Great Swell contains radishes, avocado, cucumbers, carrots, edamame, cilantro, tuna, spicy sauce and a sesame ginger dressing. The Mexi-Cali contains corn, black beans, avocado, pickles, onions, radishes, cilantro, pulled chicken and is topped with carrot & cumin dressing.
Another fan favorite is the noodle bowl. Each week, Original Grain offers a “Poke bowl of the week.” Make sure to ask about it, when you arrive! The Soba and Kimchi noodle bowl comes with short rib, kimchi, carrot, edamame, apple, scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds. All of these wonderful vegetables are served on top of soba noodles and with ssam sauce for you to drizzle.
Soba and Kimchi Noodle Bowl
The smoothie bowls just might be the second best thing about Original Grain, next to its grain bowls. A big part of a healthy gluten-free diet is fruits, vegetables and milk — and that is exactly what you get in a smoothie bowl. All bowls are blended with banana, coconut milk, yogurt and agave.
Depending on what your particular taste is, you can get the greenest bowl (Green Thumb: matcha, kale, apple, mango, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, bee pollen) or get the most berry-filled bowl (Purple Swag: acai, blackberry, blueberry, granola, chia seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries).
Salmon Poke Bowl of the Week
Future updates to menu?
Original Grain acknowledges the growing popularity of new diets such as the keto diet and has visions to revamp its menu for the future. “I think that as we move forward and focus a little bit more on our menu development and our growth and expansion, we are looking at putting in some icons to signify keto and vegan items,” Bily says.
The keto diet has been the recent craze in diet trends. The intake of more fats and less carbs has helped some people (such as Antonietta Vigliotti, owner of Dolce Vita) to lose weight.
Original Grain keeps it real from its expansive menu to its Sunday Hip Hop Brunches from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant is located on the corner of South Salina and East Fayette streets in Syracuse, New York. If you’re looking for other ways of healthy eating you should give food that’s gluten-free a try.
Original Grain Menu Wall