A Happy Balance: The Grille’s new app brings new items and more options

. May 2, 2017.
Raw Ahi Tuna hits Balance: featured on new items like the Hawaiin-style salad called Poke (center) and Sushi Tacos. PHOTOS BY NICK AMRHEIN.
Raw Ahi Tuna hits Balance: featured on new items like the Hawaiin-style salad called Poke (center) and Sushi Tacos. PHOTOS BY NICK AMRHEIN.

Hanger— that disorienting fever of anger and hunger— is no joke. When your belly grumbles, interacting with counter help tests your patience. Skip the line and score.a healthy meal made just for you at Balance Grille.

Accompanying their spring menu release and the promise of downtown developments, the new customizable app includes a point system with the option to  pick up your fresh-made meal in the restaurant— no eye contact required.

Customization app your fingertips

Since opening  in February 2010, owners Prakash “PK” Karamchandani and HoChang “CJ” Jang have monitored customer feedback, which was invaluable when developing the new app.

“The number one complaint we receive is the amount of time people wait in lines: ‘Why does it take me five minutes to get my food, but ten minutes to order?’” said PK. “We can’t hurry a new customer, so we’ve added a second, virtual customer service desk.”

Regulars won’t have to wait in line behind someone reading the menu for the first time; they can use their phone to place an order that can be picked up immediately, or at a set time. While this type of staggered ordering was offered on Balance’s first ChowNow app, the new version includes a point system to earn rewards, like free drinks and snacks, and updated menu options.

“Customization is the coolest thing about this app,” said PK. “Every feature available to our employees, and every level of customization is available in the app.”

Turn a Wiseman bowl into a flavor combination that might not even be very wise— up to you.

Classic combinations are displayed with every ingredient listed. Customize based on taste with dozens of options.

 

Whether you simply want to leave out an ingredient you dislike or create a completely new bowl, the app allows you to adjust menu items to taste. With 18 vegetables and garnishes, over a dozen sauces, five starches and four proteins, options are plentiful.

“A bowl is five vegetables, a protein, a sauce and a starch.  With our set menu we match combinations,” explained PK. “You can use the app to pick a bowl, but deselect all the vegetables, swap a sauce, and get a completely customized bowl for the same price.”

Okay, poke

New menu options go beyond customization, when the spring menu launches Friday, May 5. A week later the app will unlock secret menu items and then new bubble teas will be added.

The spring menu will include Poké, a Hawaiian raw fish salad. This Balance protein-rich salad will boast cubes of raw ahi tuna, vegetables, a ponzu-style dressing, and a light garnish of black sesame seeds and sesame oil. “It’s lightly citrusy with a light soy glaze. It’s not sweet or salty, it just has that clean, subtle flavor,” described PK.

Also added: a Sushi Taco made with ahi tuna and with spicy mayo, a Jerky Taco, featuring tofu enhanced with an Asian-Caribbean jerk sauce made from fresh pineapple, but PK suggests chicken as a tasty swap.

The Korean BBQ Taco, made with house Kimchi and Chef Jang’s family Bulgogi sauce— a customer favorite that had rotated off the menu — has been brought back.  

“We got a lot of complaints when that left, people were really upset. We usually don’t bring stuff back, but we kind of have to on this one. People keep asking for it,” said PK.

Fans of the Wasabi Aioli Tacos, Filipino Adobo Tacos, Citrus Ginger Tacos and Sweet Potato Salad, be warned: these items will be retired.

Downtown dreaming

Balance’s developments include plans for a restaurant in downtown Toledo.

PK confirmed that Balance Grill will open their fourth restaurant in the downtown area, but he won’t divulge the location just yet. In addition, their Korean fried chicken pop-up, offered earlier this year, Auspicious Fried Chicken + Dumplings, will also open as a stand-alone restaurant in the downtown area.

No timeline has been announced, so anxious downtown diners will have to patient— although they won’t be waiting in line. For Balance customers, waiting is a thing of the past.

Sylvania: 5860 W. Central Ave., 419-578-7777. 11am-9pm, daily. 
Maumee: 514 The Boulevard, 419-893-9999.11am-9pm, Monday-Saturday. (soon to be open on Sunday).
Perryburg: 26520 N. Dixie Hwy., 419-874-7777. 11am-9pm, daily.
balancegrille.com