Edge, Food, Reviews

New South Miami restaurant offers relief for students bored of dining hall food

Having served the Miami area for the last 15 years, Natural Chicken Grill opened the doors to its new South Miami location—conveniently nestled on Red Road between Sunset Place and Red Road Commons—only a month ago.

In addition to being the newest and largest, the South Miami location is the only one offering drive-thru service. Its menu includes everything from pita wraps to chicken platters to their signature “chops,” comprised of rice, chicken or churrasco, and a variety of toppings and sauces. With a motto of “Always Fresh,” the restaurant aims to provide healthy and tasty food for affordable prices.

It seems like Natural Chicken Grill has all the makings of Coral Gables’ latest hotspot. So, Kay-Ann and I did some investigating to find out whether NCG is fit to be UM students’ newest go-to.

The atmosphere:

An interior decorated with wood paneling, stainless steel, wooden furniture and subtle accents of red make the restaurant feel modern yet still laid-back and homey. The presence of locally sourced art manages to tie in the eclectic, Wynwood-esque aesthetic that Miami is known for.

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Natural Chicken Grill

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Natural Chicken Grill

Being able to see directly into the kitchen offered an extra layer of comfort, as we could see the chefs cooking with real, fresh ingredients. During our visit—which was around 7 p.m.—service was speedy, and the restaurant was calm and quiet.

The food:

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Our first round of food, which included multiple appetizers, signature sauces, and Natural Chicken Grill’s “Cripsy Critters” dessert. Photo credit: Jordan Lewis

For meat-eaters, Natural Chicken Grill offers an array of options. Guests can order a quarter, half, or whole grilled chicken, marinated chicken breast, chicken fajitas, pitas wraps, and multiple variations of their signature chicken and churrasco chops.

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Natural Chicken Grill’s “Chicken Chop”—yellow rice topped with grilled chicken, yellow rice, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, and pita bread. Photo credit: Jordan Lewis

Kay-Ann: I ordered the South of the Border Chop. Though it boasts itself as one of the more popular meals, I found myself fiddling around the meal and unable to finish even though I came with an empty stomach. The real star of the show was their churrasco chop. It was everything you could ask for—perfectly cut, cooked and seasoned and it went well with all their signature sauces. I came for the chicken, but I’m definitely coming back for the steak.

For vegetarians, options are less expansive but still there. Natural Chicken Grill offers a Vegetarian Chop—a vegetarian-friendly version of their signature chop—and multiple salads, including a “create your own salad” option.

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Natural Chicken Grill’s “Vegetarian Chop” —a well-seasoned mixture of black beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and yellow rice, topped with pita bread. Photo credit: Jordan Lewis

Jordan: Because salads are available almost anywhere, I went with the small Vegetarian Chop, minus the tomatoes. Truthfully, for something targeted towards vegetarians, I thought it was a little short on vegetables, the only actual one being lettuce (and maybe the avocado from the guacamole, even though it is technically a fruit). So, I added sauteed onions and corn for $1.29 and 99 cents, respectively. This made all the difference. Though I was very hungry, I could barely finish the small portion. I left feeling full, satisfied, and not like I had canceled out the day’s workout.

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Natural Chicken Grill offers customers the ability to customize any dish with a lengthy list of signature sauces, including BBQ Chimichurri, Garlic Cilantro, and more. Photo credit: Courtesy of Natural Chicken Grill

Aside from their main courses, Natural Chicken Grill offers desserts, all less than $4, including flan and tres leches from authentic Cuban bakeries.

The bottom line:

Though not five-star restaurant food or a home-cooked meal, Natural Chicken Grill offers a healthy, reasonably priced alternative when you’re tired of standing in food court lines or ordering Chipotle on Postmates. Yes, it lacks in vegetarian options, but what more can you expect from a place with chicken in its name?

We give this restaurant a 7/10.

If You Go:

 

Natural Chicken Grill

6800 Red Rd, South Miami, FL 33143

(305) 901-5224

website

Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-9 p.m.

Prices for single meals range from $4.99 to $18.99, with steak dishes being the only items that run for $15+. Family packs, lunch specials, and kid’s meals are available.

Delivery available through Uber Eats, Postmates, GrubHub, and DoorDash.

October 12, 2018

Reporters

Jordan Lewis

Kay-Ann Henry


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