Sizzlin’ Greens menu full of healthy options

Ray Holden and his four sons have opened a fast-casual dining experience in Winter Garden that caters to diners who want healthier meals.

Sizzlin’ Greens partners are five members of the Holden family: Stephen, left, Ryan, Jason, Ray and, not pictured, Kyle Holden. Menu items include Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Minestrone Soup, Summer Salad with Chicken, Cobb Salad with Shrimp and a Chimichurri Steak Sandwich.
Sizzlin’ Greens partners are five members of the Holden family: Stephen, left, Ryan, Jason, Ray and, not pictured, Kyle Holden. Menu items include Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Minestrone Soup, Summer Salad with Chicken, Cobb Salad with Shrimp and a Chimichurri Steak Sandwich.
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Ray Holden had spent 30 years with a popular restaurant chain and was looking for something different, a business venture that would include his four sons. After a year of brainstorming and planning, Ray, Ryan, Stephen, Jason and Kyle Holden have opened Sizzlin’ Greens in Winter Garden.

The new fast casual dining experience opened in April and already has amassed a following of diners wanting a menu consisting of healthy options and plenty of proteins.

The family created Holden Brothers LLC, and everyone is an equal partner. Ray Holden and Ryan Holden have overseen the entire creation of Sizzlin’ Greens; Stephen Holden and Jason Holden operate the restaurant as general managers; and Kyle Holden is in charge of marketing, social media and communications.

The Holdens moved to Central Florida when Ray Holden opened a Miller’s Ale House on Kirkman Road 30 years ago. The Holden boys grew up around the restaurant business and worked in them as they got older. The brothers attended local schools, and all graduated from West Orange High.

Everyone still lives in the area: Ray, with wife Jackie, in Windermere; Ryan and Jason in the SODO district of downtown Orlando; Stephen in Hamlin; and Kyle in College Park.

After three decades with Ale House, company president Ray Holden, now almost 65, thought it was time for a change.

He and son Ryan threw themselves into creating the concept of Sizzlin’ Greens.

“My wife, Jackie, is a holistic practitioner, and she’s a very healthy eater,” Ray Holden said. “We both had a hard time finding healthy choices in this area, not just Winter Garden but Orlando.

I had an idea — we’ll build a restaurant that she can eat at and I can eat at; it will be based on healthy.”

They enlisted the help of Italian chef Enzo Paparella and worked with him in a test kitchen before traveling to California and Utah to work on creating their menu choices.

The Holdens selected six proteins that could be added to salads, sandwiches and wraps.


“There are seed-oil dressings; our dressings are made with 100% extra virgin olive oil and imported Italian vinegars,” Ray Holden said. “Everything is made from scratch here. We don’t have any products not made here. We have fresh, clean ingredients, antibiotic-free chicken, grass-fed burgers, all our soups are made fresh daily, organic greens.”

Ray Holden said he is a sandwich guy from Long Island, New York, and he believes it’s the bread that makes the sandwich. The eatery’s specialty is rustic baguette bread, but diners can also order their proteins in gluten-free, spinach or whole-wheat wraps. Vegetarian meals are on the menu too.

Sizzlin’ Greens uses the best ingredients for all of its menu items — “not only healthy but clean and the best quality,” Ray Holden said.

The healthy options are extended to the children’s menu and include grass-fed sliders, apples or fingerling potatoes.

“We have no friers, no microwaves and no ingredients you can’t pronounce or spell,” Ray Holden said. “We’re intentional about healthy and clean.”

The restaurant’s slogan is “Healthy is Hot.”

The owners have created a summer menu with six wraps, including a seared ahi tuna.

Sizzlin’ Greens uses DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub delivery services. The Holdens are adding a catering service to the business. They also have applied for a beer and wine license, with plans to offer natural, organic wines and local craft beer.

When building their business from the ground up, the Holdens wanted to offer a fast-casual dining in a setting that was more than a fast-food experience.

“We created this beautiful restaurant; we spent a little more money than your average buildout,” Ray Holden said. “We wanted it to look fresh and clean. The terrazzo tile is imported from Italy. To take it up a notch, we went with the plateware; we didn’t want to go with the cardboard bowls. We wanted to put it on real plateware and with real silverware. We bring the food to your table, and we clean your table to take it up a few notches in quality and service.

“Even the kitchen, we were very intentional that we wanted people to see us cooking their food to order — cooking it in front of them and bringing it out to them,” he said.

Big windows give the place an open feel, and the dining area extends onto a patio area.


Owning a restaurant together is a double-edged sword. While they are all in contact throughout the workday, they enjoy spending time together socially as well and there isn’t much time for socializing right now. The Holdens and their sons and their families typically go on vacation each year, although a 2024 trip is being postponed while they concentrate on the restaurant.

“It’s our baby right now,” Ray Holden said.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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