Healthy Dining in Maplewood ⋆ Jersey Bites
When they couldn’t find good, healthy food options in their neighborhood, Todd and Jessica Marvel launched Sprout, in Maplewood, NJ.
Sprout, opened in November 2017, offers salads, wraps, and bowls “made with love and fresh ingredients.” The goal for the Marvels is to bring healthy, homemade, high quality, and tasty food options to their Maplewood community. The entrepreneurs plan to expand their concept and bring Sprout to other locations in the future.
Sprout hired architectural firm Studio 1200 to design the space and brought on Brooklyn artist Anthony Arias to bring one of the large walls in the dining area to life. Sprout, with its bright, crisp and light interior, seats 36 customers. Diners walk up to an open kitchen to place their orders, watch the staff create their meals, then pay and carry their food to the dining area.
I was recently invited to come in and try Sprout and we found the food to be fresh, healthy without being fussy. All the food and dressings are made daily, from scratch, using high-quality ingredients.
Some of Sprout’s signature menu items include the Endless Summer quinoa salad with avocado, scallions, pumpkin seeds, carrots, tempeh, cilantro, mint, basil, spinach, romaine, and miso ginger dressing, the Sedona braised southwestern chicken bowl with quinoa, avocado, scallions, tortilla chips, Cotija cheese, kale and purple cabbage tossed with a Cabo vinaigrette and the Nagano soba noodles bowl. Any salad can be ordered as a wrap, a fact that one customer, standing behind me in line—a regular—wasn’t aware of until that day. She was very excited about it. Diners can also opt to create their own salads by selecting from a menu of fresh ingredients. The open kitchen staff gathers all the components of the salads or bowls and using a mezzaluna, (a knife with a curved blade handles on each end) finely chop the ingredients. I love that technique as it blends the items together and creates forkfuls with a bit of everything in the dish on them.
We elected to start with soups and ordered the white chicken chili and the roasted chicken and quinoa. When we received our food, we’d been served two of the roasted chicken and quinoa soup, but since it was hearty and delicious, we gladly ate it.
One of the entrées we selected was the Nagano soba noodles bowl with soba noodles are topped with carrots, edamame, celery, scallions, kale, and purple cabbage then drizzled with spicy cashew dressing, with a squeeze of sriracha. All the ingredients tasted fresh and the flavors were bold and exciting. Our second entrée was the new BoSSAMic bowl with slow roasted pork, kimchi, cucumbers, radishes, white rice, and kale with house-made scallion ginger sauce and ssam vinaigrette. That bowl was also put together with super-fresh ingredients and we liked the spiciness of the kimchi, crunch of the cucumbers and radishes, and the tender pieces of roast pork in the dish. Both servings were sizeable and could have easily been enough for two meals.
The kids’ menu includes a grilled cheddar cheese as well as a fun Sprout Box where children select a base, a vegetable, and a protein.
Sprout serves an assortment of canned beverages as well as homemade lemonade and cold-brewed iced tea. We opted for the Spindrift grapefruit sparkling water, which is lightly carbonated and more flavorful than regular sparkling water and seltzer.
Note that diners can place their orders online for faster pick up.
Sprout’s One-Year Anniversary
Sprout is turning one and is hosting a celebration on November 17, which is open to the public. The festivities are from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature free samples, a sneak peek of the new Sproutwiches—hot pressed sandwiches—giveaways and raffles throughout the day and a DJ spinning music.
Sprout is a smart concept and I look forward to seeing what’s to come.
181A Maplewood Avenue
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
Menu and hours are subject to change.