Review: Bare Naked Kitchen is healthy and tasty

Bare Naked Kitchen is located on West Tennessee Street. Photo courtesy: Bare Naked Kitchen

Nestled between multiple national fast-food chains on the corner of West Tennessee and Copeland streets, Bare Naked Kitchen has emerged as Tallahassee’s newest healthy eating gem. Located at the former home of the recently closed Spear It American grill and bar, which became a staple for college students and locals alike, Bare Naked Kitchen offers fresh fare and light but filling options in the heart of Tallahassee’s college community.

Offering in-house and curbside pickup, delivery, or dine-in options, the eater provides guests with a range of choices. Deriving its name from the use of all-natural ingredients and transparent, chef-driven recipes, Bare Naked Kitchen’s menu includes chef-created bowls, including the “Fit To Be Thai’d,” “No Miss Steak” and “Skinny Mexican” bowls, as well as crispy lavash flatbreads, fresh salads, cauliflower crust pizzas, and healthy grab-and-go snacks available at the counter.

Aside from healthy ingredients and catchy names, Bare Naked Kitchen also offers an ambience that college students will surely gravitate toward. Self-described as “a convenient culinary experience where you can eat adventurously,” Bare Naked Kitchen’s dining room features bright, gentle colors with wooden swings and potted plants scattered throughout.

Despite an array of tasty sounding dishes, I opted to “Be My Own Chef” and build my own signature bowl. Given the options of selecting a base, up to four vegetables, two additional toppings, and the protein of my choice, I ordered a steak and basmati rice base bowl loaded with broccoli, corn, avocado, black beans, almonds, and mozzarella cheese which came out to $15, in line with the most expensive chef created bowls on the menu. Even with the steak cooked to order, my bowl was brought out to my table in less than 10 minutes.

The first thing I noticed after receiving my bowl was the sizable portion of overall food provided, which was fitting for the $15 price tag. However, this brought my attention to the steak, which while well cooked, was disproportionately small compared to the amount of rice included with the bowl. In addition, the steak was not fully sliced, leaving me to cut the steak with nothing but plastic utensils.

Although I would have preferred a larger helping of pre-sliced steak for the extra $2 charge over other protein options, the bowl in its entirety did not disappoint. Packed with fresh and flavorful ingredients, the bowl was both light enough not to cause “The Itis” felt after many comfort meals, while still managing to be filling enough to force me to bring home leftovers.

With a diverse menu of healthy and tasty options, an iconic location, and a well-crafted aesthetic, Bare Naked Kitchen is well on its way to establishing itself as a staple for both college students and locals alike, much like its predecessor. After enjoying a tasty bowl crafted to my personal tastes, I plan on making Bare Naked Kitchen a regular stop when looking for a quick, healthy, tasty meal in the heart of Tallahassee.