I am a huge sucker for bowl-style meals. The more veggies, protein, and grains you can pack into a bowl, the better. Chris Gannon and his father, Tim Gannon, had the same idea, and opened Bolay, a 100% gluten free, DIY bowl joint. The name, Bolay, combines Bol (a bowl) and Olay (to have fun) to make the most fun bowl spot. The numerous choices of building blocks for your bowl and the homemade, delicious sauces are why I go to Bolay once a week. 

Nancy Butler

The Bases

When making your bowl, you can choose from kale, quinoa, spinach, cilantro noodles, forbidden black rice, jasmine rice, and sweet potato noodles. If you're like me and love to carb-load, you can also do half and half. The quinoa is slightly sweet, flavored with orange and basil. Choosing the leafy option of kale isn't boring, as the leaves are tossed in a vinaigrette and studded with golden raisins and shredded carrots. The first time I ate at Bolay I had to try the forbidden black rice just because of the name. It has a chewier texture than white rice and a higher nutritional context, plus it's fun to say. My favorite base by far is the sweet potato noodles. Keeping in mind that this place is 100% gluten free, I can't figure out how the texture of these noodles perfectly matches that of a regular noodle, but has a smoother surface and a surprisingly rich, bold flavor. They are a must!

Nancy Butler

The Veggies

Bolay perfectly cooks their vegetables, every time. Whether it's broccoli, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, or potatoes, the veggies are also seasoned to perfection. One of my favorites is the ginger broccoli, which has an oven-roasted quality and bursts with flavor. I also love the roasted potatoes: little medallions of herbs, perfectly crunchy, and bursting with flavor.

Nancy Butler

The Proteins

While this restaurant is gluten free, it's not completely vegan. Protein options include lemon and BBQ chicken, pork tenderloin, steak, shrimp, and tofu. Covered in a spicy thai sauce, the small, plump shrimp are delectable. Even though I eat meat, the tofu is my favorite. It is miso glazed, firm, and full of life. 

Nancy Butler

Sauces & Toppings

One of the best parts of the bowl-making comes at the end when picking sauces and toppings. Cilantro, tomatoes, parmesan, and avocado can all make their way onto your bowl. Bolay's three sauces are unique and add a fun burst of flavor on the top. Spicy Thai, carrot ginger, and the cilantro pesto all bring different spices and fun to the bowl. I'm a sucker for the cilantro pesto, but the spicy Thai fights hard for second place. 

If you haven't tried Bolay yet, it should be next on your to-do list. The atmosphere is fun and friendly, and the food is incredibly delicious. With hundreds of combinations to chose from, you can try different things each time but still sneak in your favorite components. Just one bite of one of the healthy, create-your-own bowls and you'll understand why I go to Bolay once a week. Ps. Try one of their gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, it'll blow your mind!

Pro Tip: College students get a discount, and Bolay will be on the Rollins R-Card next year!