Friday, October 23, 2009

ReFRESHing Lunch

During my recent trip to Toronto, I dropped into a favourite lunch spot, Fresh. Although a bit of a chain in Toronto with 3 locations, Fresh has not officially franchised itself across Canada or North America. In a way I respect this, but on the other hand I wish it would expand! Living in Ottawa could be a reason for this wish, but I also think countless others would enjoy Fresh, particularly you Californians out there.

Fresh is a vegan restaurant and it offers a variety of extremely tasty, creative and healthy options, including organic and gluten-free menu items! However, it is not just for vegans. People who like a hearty, tasty meal will still be satisfied at Fresh, where they offer everything from wheatgrass shakes to vegan burgers and sweet potato fries. My personal favourite are the delicious crispy tofu cubes -- add them to any salad and you have a winner.

I wish the service there was as good as the food, but I am choosing to focus on the positive! For example, the California Classic salad I enjoyed, complete with greens, pesto white beans, toasted pecans, hearts of palm, avocado, grape tomato and crispy tofu cubes. I chose green dressing, which consisted of ginger, garlic, cilantro, rice vinegar, agave and sunflower oil. My salad was extremely tasty, satisfying and healthy and I loved every bite.

I washed it all down with a 20/20 -- you guessed it, a freshly squeezed vegetable juice designed to enhance your vision. This juice was made up of broccoli, spinach, red pepper, parsley and carrots. It wasn't the best juice I've had there, but I felt a need for something healthy that day, and I surely received just that. On the menu I didn't see any crazy health claims, but I am sure there is tested science behind many of the food combinations Fresh provides.

I will spare you a regurgitated history of the creator of Fresh, Ruth Tal, or the many details and menu options available -- instead I suggest you check out their website at

Better yet, if you are in Toronto, please visit a Fresh location. I promise I have no shares in the company, I just love it! Be prepared to wait a bit, but I assure you, the wait is worth it.

Have a fresh and healthy Saturday, everybody!

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