If you have not yet been to Chef JJ Johnson’s Harlem fast-casual rice-centered eatery, Fieldtrip (@fieldtripharlem), you are missing out. Located at 109 Lenox Avenue, this thoughtful space is creating dynamic food and servicing the community.

While Fieldtrip will be celebrating their first year this summer, the restaurant has participated in myriad culinary pop-ups, Harlem EatUp! and was a featured seller at the 2019 US Open already. This recent James Beard Award Winner is always looking to get involved and share his “rice is culture” gospel.

Chef JJ’s strong belief that Harlem is the place where African American history, legacy and the future coexist. “I look to bring that understanding of Harlem with Fieldtrip, where we are servicing a specific need in the community––with our healthier option for an accessible, affordable meal for the whole family.”

The industrial designed space of poured concrete floors, exposed brick walls and steel beams is warmed by the flood of light from the glass window front. Also, the exposed kitchen, standing tables, and long counter are important elements for Johnson, saying, “we pay homage to how Harlem fed its community with personal counter service.”

Chef offered me a tasting of Fieldtrip’s small but impactful menu (fieldtripnyc.com). I enjoyed a shrimp bowl over sticky rice with green curry sauce, kabocha squash, greens and toasted coconut; sides of Nana’s Bread with house made red curry carrot dip and the almost famous crab pockets stuffed with crab and garlic herbed cream cheese with sweet and sticky sauce, (these are a problem). To drink, I had their dragonfruit lemonade and a box of sake.

Check out Fieldtrip and support their work because Chef JJ is giving it right back to his community in spades. Bravo!