9822 Tapestry Park Cir
Jacksonville, FL 32246
http://www.flamebroiler84jax.com/ (local franchise site)
https://www.flamebroilerusa.com/ (main company site)
7159 Philips Hwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
1539 San Marco Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Fast Food and Healthy tend to be seen as an oxymoron. Sure, places such as Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Chik-fil-a, and others are trying to add healthy options to their menu, but for the most part, it’s all fried, all the time, supersized.
Flame Broiler is looking to change that thinking with its first chain expansions on the east coast, right here in Florida. Flame Broiler is mainly a west coast chain promoting truly healthy fast food alternatives at traditional fast food prices. A healthy, filling meal of less than 200 calories and around $8? Inconceivable! We were invited out by Flame Broiler’s corporate and the local Jacksonville franchise owner, Jackie, to check out their menu and prove to me that healthy food is available at an accessible price point for 99%-ers.
Jackie currently owns all three Flame Broiler franchises here in Jacksonville; one in Tapestry Park on the Southside, another one on the Southside at Philips Hwy, and the third location in San Marco. We decided to try out the Tapestry Park location.
Flame Broiler touts their kitchens as fryer-free and sure enough, looking over the order counter and through the window, there wasn’t a fryer in site; just a few rice cookers and some flat tops grills and broilers. One other thing you’ll notice is the simplicity of the menu. You choose between three types of protein; chicken (white or dark meat), steak, or tofu. The protein is layered on top of a vegetable medley of broccoli and carrots. And at the bottom is your choice of starch; white rice or brown rice. And it’s all topped with green onions, if you choose. Within those choices lies a myriad of options to create enough unique, healthy, and tasty meals for everyone. If you can’t decide on a particular protein, you can go half and half; half chicken, half steak, for instance. You want ultra healthy? You can go for all tofu, and double vegetable instead of rice. Once you choose your combination, then you decide on size; Mini, Bowl, Plate. Small, Medium, Large, if you will.
For our visit, we tried a few different combinations to make sure we had a good idea of the full menu. We chose two Plate sizes and a Bowl. For the Bowl, I decided on doing a half and half; half chicken, half steak over the vegetable medley and white rice. For one plate, we decided on all tofu, over the vegetable medley with white rice. The final plate was half steak, half tofu with the vegetable medley over brown rice. The main difference between the Bowl and the Plate, other than more food, is the Plate comes with a salad of raw cabbage, and a side of half an orange.
The proteins are marinated in something Flame Broiler calls Magic Sauce.It’s sort of a soy/teriyaki sauce blend. They also serve it on the side. This Magic Sauce does some major prestidigitation on the food. As the old cooking adage goes fat is flavor, but without the aid of fats, such as butter or chicken skin to render flavorful fat from, additional flavor has to come from somewhere, otherwise, it would be a dry, bland mess. The Magic Sauce fills this gap nicely. The staff at the Tapestry Park location jokingly calls it crack sauce because of its addictive qualities. They say people can’t stop putting it on the food. I can taste why. It really was delicious; sweet teriyaki flavor with the saltiness of soy sauce is an incredible combination. It complemented everything on the plate, particularly the tofu. I’m not much of a tofu guy, but it soaked up that sweet sauce flavor like a sponge. I couldn’t stop eating it. They do offer a hot sauce and a hot-hot sauce if you like little heat with, or instead of, the sweet.
The steak and chicken are also marinated and charbroiled. The end result is great flavor and a tender protein. The steak, in particular was fantastic, and paired with the Magic Sauce, definitely takes on a Korean BBQ flavor profile.
The vegetable medley of broccoli and carrots are steamed, maintaining their vibrant color and crunch. For rice, I prefer white rice over brown rice. It’s a texture thing for me. To me, white rice tastes and soaks up flavors and sauces better than brown rice. The raw cabbage salad wasn’t mind-blowing in flavor, but from a health perspective, it is nice roughage to help aid digestion. Much better than a large order of French fries sitting in your gut.
So if eating better and getting healthy is one of your resolutions for the new year, keep Flame Broiler on your list when all the other new year’s resolutions fall by the wayside.
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to taste new menu items. This meal is usually comped, as this one was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.