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Restaurant Review: Muscle Maker Grill Focuses on Nutrition

Eating healthy never tasted so good.

In the fast-food nation we live in today, rarely do we see restaurants that serve food with the customer's health in mind. Enter Muscle Maker Grill, a refreshing establishment focused on low-carbohydrate, high protein, nutritious food. And the food tastes pretty good too.

Muscle Maker Grill (MMG) started from a single restaurant in Colonia in 1995. The Wayne location, located in the Wedgewood Plaza on Hamburg turnpike, opened in 2000. 

The inside of Muscle Maker is clean and inviting. The style is a modern take on an old-school diner, with an open kitchen and bar seating. Decked out in red, there's a dining room featuring flat-screen televisions that seats 30 people. 

The menu at Muscle Maker looks like any typical deep-fried dive: chicken nuggets, taco salads, a dish called the Godfather.

At first glance, these meals might appear unhealthy. But the chicken nuggets are not fried, the taco salad is made with lean turkey, and the Godfather is a low-carborydrate delight topped with roasted red peppers and portabella mushrooms.

There are appetizers, salads, wraps, burgers, pastas, entrees and protein shakes to wash it all down. We tried the Signature wrap, which featured grilled chicken breast, turkey bacon, reduced fat cheddar cheese and a signature sauce. Muscle Maker offers an impressive choice of eight side dishes, which range from brown rice to a Caesar salad. We tried the Western potatoes.

When I imagine eating healthy, naturally I envision smaller portions. Again, I was humbled, as the wrap was quite large, fitting nicely in my hand. What was equally impressive was how well the wrap held its contents, a failing of so many of its counterparts. The chicken was tasty. The turkey bacon mimicked its pork cousin very well and provided a delicious crunch.

Muscle Maker's signature sauce is like a Southwestern Russian dressing, orange and tangy without being overpowering. I had some of the sauce on the side with my wrap, and actually saved the remainder for another meal I tried. As far as sides go, I'm a huge fan of the Western potatoes. Boiled and skinless, they are far from a visual masterpiece, but they had excellent texture, with just the right amount of subtle flavor; a spicy kick that makes you want to grab another.

Another issue with healthy eating can be portion control. With my stomach, I expected the dish to leave me with room to explore other options. The meal left me wanting more, but not feeling sluggish like fast food does. 

Muscle Maker Grill is unlike any other restaurant, especially one that is franchised. They have set the bar high and succeeded. No doubt you will see other establishments attempt to copy what MMG has done so well here. 


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