Gym, Tan, Lunch: Sizing Up the Muscle Maker Grill, the New Restaurant on Lower Greenville

If you've driven down Lower Greenville Avenue lately, you might have noticed the Muscle Maker Grill, a restaurant that quietly slid into the old Company Café spot. A bright red sign announcing the place was recently illuminated, and the "EST. 1995" caught my eye.

It turns out the casual restaurant is a chain based in New Jersey, which, if you've spent any time in New Jersey, makes the name all the more awesome. If you don't get it, watch a couple of episodes of Jersey Shore. Everything will come into focus, bro. No seriously, bro. Bro. Seriously.

This is the Godfather. It's on the section of low-carbohydrate menu choices, and I got it because I'd just gotten done with the gym and a high-protein, low-carbohydrate dinner actually sounded like a perfect meal. The Godfather pairs a grilled chicken breast with a bed of broccoli, some tangy red peppers and what the menu described as portabella but were actually either cremini (baby portabellas) or button mushrooms.

The plate wasn't half bad. None of the ingredients in the dish exactly exploded with personality; the mushrooms were bland, the cheese was flavorless and the steamed broccoli tasted exactly like something you would eat when you're trying to be healthy. If it really contained 429 calories as the menu suggested, though, I could see myself going to this dish a handful of times, if only for utilitarian purposes, before I got bored with it.

The menu isn't strictly low carbs. There are pasta dishes and brown rice can be added to anything. There are also a number of wraps you can get packed with lean proteins and vegetables, and if you prefer to drink your dinner, there are a number of smoothies to choose from.I think the best way to sum the place up is Applebees with a completely healthy menu, with a smoothie bar and a large selection of protein supplements and snack bars to choose from. All of this with that Jersey Shore mentality you will either love or let drive you up the walls.

Let's get pumped?

Muscle Maker Grill, 2217 Greenville Ave., (214)272-2210, musclemakergrill.com

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