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Mace & Crown | June 24, 2017

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Lemongrass Grille Brings Fresh Southeast Asian Cuisine to Ghent

Lemongrass Grille Brings Fresh Southeast Asian Cuisine to Ghent
Shannon Jay
Contributing Writer
Lemongrass Grille "build-your-own-bowl" entrée. Photo by Shannon Jay.

Lemongrass Grille “build-your-own-bowl” entrée. Photo by Shannon Jay.

Lemongrass Grille is the latest addition to a long line of tasty eateries on 21st Street in Ghent. After success with their location in Greenbrier, owner Robert  Brennan decided to grace another city in Hampton Roads with their fresh cuisine.

“You either grow or you diminish,” Brennan told the Virginian-Pilot last year.

Since then, the build-your-own-bowl joint has won Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Best of 2015 Readers’ Choice Award for best new restaurant and best vegan/vegetarian restaurant, recognizing their tasty options for all diets. Brennan’s classically-trained background as a chef and 20 years of restaurant experience ensures Lemongrass Grille is the real deal.

The concept is simple — begin with a variety of bases such as citrus lime rice, salad or noodles. Next comes the protein, including tofu or a juicy meat option, marinated and seasoned to perfection.

Then, top the bowl with your choice of veggies and house-made sauces. A great go-to is the spicy red or mild green curry sauce, and the chili sweet potatoes are a must. A variety of garnishes are available to add the perfect pinch of flavor to finish off your dish, including cilantro, pickled ginger, raw veggies and fruits.

All ingredients are fresh and locally grown. The “all natural” food philosophy hits close to home for the Brennan family.

The Brennan family researched foods filled with antibiotics and growth modifying hormones, grown and raised in filthy CAFO’s (confined animal feeding operations). They learned how these foods negatively affected a member of their immediate family with autism in a major way.

The more they learned, the more the Brennan family found foods have the potential to affect all families with many potential health problems. After these conclusions, Brennan and his family strived to create a unique restaurant, providing cuisine that was healthy and fresh, yet flavorful and fast, at an affordable price.

The atmosphere of the new location is rather bland. While the Greenbrier store has lots of windows and natural light, 21st Street’s large, lime-green walls have only a few generic art pieces, making the large store feel a little empty. Once the shady patio opens up for summer, Lemongrass Grille may become Ghent’s new, warm weather hot spot with it’s refreshing dishes.

No matter how the restaurant looks inside, the food — and the amount you get for your money — more than make up for the interior design. The rice bowls are great leftovers, and generous portions ensure tasty bites for days.

Lemongrass Grille’s new spot is located at 725 W. 21st St. and is open everyday at 11 a.m. except Sundays. They’re open until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.