Mix Creative Kitchen is the latest to grace the ever-growing and increasingly popular health-focused, quick serve restaurants in the area. Located near the bottom of Greenwich Avenue on Elm Street, a brightly lit café style eatery now occupies the longtime vacant space. The restaurant was created on the premise of bringing together “fast food” and “real food,” a theme that seems to be trending in Fairfield County. As I walked in and surveyed the premises, noting the salad and bowl areas as well as the items in the refrigerated sections I was reminded of other local favorites; The Granola Bar, Organika, B.GOOD and Freshii and was curious to see how this would stack up against the competition.
Mix Creative Kitchen is the brainchild of Palm Foods, LLC. This isn’t their first foray into the healthy-fast-food sector, with the (sadly) short lifespan of its Palmwich brand, also aimed at offering healthy fast-food on the run. I was a huge fan.
As I sat down next to a colleague I helped myself to the two soups that were offered, a golden corn chowder and a creamed broccoli. Always trying to watch my girlish figure, I was thrilled to learn that neither contained cream or any thickening agent, and made simply by blending the restaurant’s own house-made vegetable stock and fresh vegetables.
The Corn Chowder was rich, creamy and despite the simplicity of ingredients was fairly complex. First the unmistakable sweetness from the corn then a peppery finish which gave the soup a nice kick. The Broccoli Soup, also delightfully rich and creamy tasted of well-seasoned, freshly grown broccoli. Both soups were extraordinary and exactly what one wants on a cold, wintry day or evening.
From there I went on to sample several flatbread pizzas. The Napoli, made with San Marzano tomato sauce and mozzarella, The Polynesian with BBQ sauce, pineapple, red onion and mozzarella and the Garden Pizza with fresh vegetables. Each in its own right was delicious.
However, if you’re expecting a New Haven or New York City style pizza then you’ll be disappointed. Think of these more along the lines of a flatbread with their crunchy crusts, you’ll be quite pleased.
I bit into the Polynesian not knowing what I was biting into. Had I known about the pineapple I would have steered far, far, away, but alas, I didn’t know it was there. And you know what? Despite the fact that I believe that no pineapple should ever be mentioned in the same sentence as pizza, this worked – and it worked well. Sweet and smoky, smooth and crisp, the flavors and textures married well. I would later learn that the crust was gluten-free, another interesting discovery which turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
The ever-popular Avocado Toast I found to be rather bland and tasteless. (And frankly I am so over this phenomenon.) This bread was also gluten-free and had they not mentioned it to me I wouldn’t have known the difference, having both the taste and the texture of ‘real’ bread.
In between I sampled some of their house-made lemonades and iced teas made from Agave and Stevia, delicious and not overly sweet.
I was looking forward to experiencing one of their bowls and we had the option to create our own or ordering one off the menu. I opted for the and ultimately decided on the Korean BBQ. (It was a tossup between that the Sesame Ginger and the Curry Up!) My bowl was comprised of spinach, basmati rice, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, charred onion and sesame seeds in a Korean BBQ sauce with an option to add protein. I selected the spice-rubbed shrimp.
In the same vein as the other “healthy fast-food” places, the bowls are created in an assembly line of sorts where ingredients are added and tossed together. Mine were then sautéed to allow the vegetables to soften and the spinach to wilt. The shrimp and the sauce were added at the end, a lid was placed on top and the bowl was passed off to me.
I was disappointed with my bowl. It was soggy and over-sauced - perhaps from the wilted spinach, or perhaps from the steam trapped from the lid that was immediately placed on top. My rice and vegetables were swimming in excess liquid; there wasn’t enough rice to soak it all up. There was so much, in fact, that the barbeque flavor overwhelmed most of the bowl’s contents. The shrimp serving was generous. They were tender, well-seasoned able to stand up to the strong flavors. I haven’t yet decided whether I’d venture back to give the bowls another chance (perhaps ordering the sauce on the side next time) or venture over to one of similar eateries whose bowls I am in favor of.
I would return for the soups alone and order extra to bring home.
Mix Creative Kitchen is available for takeout and on UberEats.
If I were to rate Mix it up on a scale of 1 to 5 stalks of kale, I’d give it a 3.5.
Mix Creative Kitchen is located at 19 West Elm Street, Greenwich, CT, and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.