“People tell me all the time: ‘I thought of this idea years ago’ and they then commend me for following through on the dream,” says Roland Rafuls, owner of the franchised Evos Restaurant in the Village.
Evos is a fast, casual-themed restaurant serving healthier burgers and fries, along with salads, wraps, shakes and a diverse kids menu that’s sure to please.
The concept began in Tampa over a decade ago and was started by vegetarian food scientists according to Rafuls. Today the Pinecrest location is celebrating its first year of business.
“We started out here in 2008 during bad economic times for restaurants and we persevered because we had the faith to believe this would be a good service to the South Florida community and that young parents especially would value the eatery,” said Rafuls.
As Rafuls sits in a comfortable booth in the well-lit inviting atmosphere of the restaurant sharing his thoughts on the launching of Evos Pinecrest, a customer and her seven year old son stand nearby choosing condiments to compliment their meal. The customer says she keeps coming back to Evos because it’s a healthy and fast option. Addressing the need for kids to eat healthier is part of the mission behind Evos.
“Kids love it and feel good about it,” said Rafuls. “The community response has been tremendous. We are partnering with schools like Carrolton and St Thomas Episcopal on their lunch programs.”
The Dadeland Plaza Mall, at 9537 S. Dixie Hwy., is a perfect location for families to enjoy an Evos adventure, as several childrenoriented businesses are located in the mall and a “Kidsville” early childhood development center will open this month right next door. And what began as a temporary promotion has evolved into a staple of what Evos represents, with kids eating free every Sunday.
The menu dining options are made without deep frying, but baked with hot air industrial convection ovens that circulate the hot air evenly throughout the food. Vegetarian and vegan options are available as well, offering a diet conscious foodie the feeling of eating decadently without the guilt.
“Of all the thank yous I typically receive for being here, the vegans and vegetarians are often the most enthusiastic,” said Rafuls.
Evos was voted the greenest burger chain in America for the third consecutive year by Greenopia.com. The Earth Day Every Day philosophy Evos embraces is demonstrated by sustainable business practices, renewable wind energy usage and alternative eco friendly cooking methods.
Evos also offers the community “Spirit Nights” hosting local not-for-profit organizations’ fundraising events at the restaurant and donating food as well as percentage of proceeds to organizations like the American Cancer Society, University of Miami’s OceanKids and the local Girl Scout troop.
“Roland and Petie are super supportive,” said Pinecrest Girl Scouts co-manager Heather Rivera. “They told me about the fundraising program and even helped me with the flyers. We really don’t do much fundraising beyond selling cookies, so this was a great option for us.”
Evos Pinecrest is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 305-740-3433 or go to www.evos.com.