Restaurant Openings

Grainmaker Is Now Open in Boston

The Southeast Asian-inspired quick-service restaurant has grain bowls, tacos, house-made passionfruit lemonade, and more.

Grainmaker dining room photo provided

Grainmaker dining room photo provided

A Boston-born, salad-bowl-and-street-food spot debuted this week near South Station. Grainmaker, a startup from longtime fast food operations executive Chris Freeman, is a Southeast Asian-inspired take on popular fast-casual counter service.

The flavor-forward menu is designed by New York City-based chef consultant Doris Choi. It’s centered on organic grain or noodle bowls and salads, topped with a choice of seven-spice chicken, lemongrass steak, kale and pork meatballs, tofu, or vegetables. Think outside the bowl with a few other options, like tacos with a choice of protein, cabbage slaw, and fruit salsa; and banh mi on a Somerville Bread Company baguette. There are also snacks, like Thai-style guacamole and plantain chips. Beverages are made in-house, including smoothies, house-made passionfruit lemonade, and more.

Freeman, who started his food service career with Burger King and also helped Boston-based B.Good get established overseas, lead ample market research to develop the menu, he previously told Boston.

“Customers really appreciate a build-your-own concept, but not entirely. They want a chef-driven menu,” he said.

Freeman has big plans for Grainmaker, hoping to expand to 10 Boston-area locations within the next four years. The first location, formerly a Bruegger’s Bagels, seats about 60. It is open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

91 Summer Street, Boston, eatgrainmaker.com.

Grainmaker photo provided

Grainmaker photo provided