Recently Living Social featured a restaurant deal for Fresh Cafe and Market. This little off the beaten path spot has a lot going for it and a few quirks that, given the concept of this cafe, should be addressed. Fresh has quite a loyal following due to their Farmer's Market and store presence because of their wheatgrass, you know, the "best shot you will ever have in your life". This claim to fame is spot on.
The cafe isn't a place you would stumble across. Maybe that is the purpose, to keep it sort of a hidden gem.
Because this deal required the total amount to be spent in one visit, I order two meals and a drink.
The veggie burger was excellent. I loved the combination of quinoa, rice and mushrooms for the depth that you sometimes miss when eating a veggie burger. The sprouted wheat bun was perfect with the soft, moist and almost creamy "burger". The avocado was an excellent accompaniment and the greens and sprouts brought the perfect crunch that you look for in a good burger. The side of mango/black bean salsa was a smart addition to this plate. The only disappointment was the premade, bagged tortilla scoops. Really? If we are going to for natural, organic and fresh, make your own chips.
The lemonade was perfect. I added raspberries and the natural sweetness was a perfect addition to the lemon juice. I loved that this lemonade wasn't overly sweet. It was a perfection combination with a hint of bitter for those who appreciate real lemonade.
Veggie Burger (vegan, soy & gluten free) $8.5
Fresh made patty of quinoa, brown rice, mushrooms, carrots, chia & oats baked to a perfect
golden brown & served on a whole wheat bun with avocado, tomatoes, greens & sprouts.
Fresh Squeezed 100% Real Juice
All Juices are served blended or on the rocks
Fresh Lemonade/Limeade $5.00 add Fresh Berries for .50
The falafel salad had the making of a great salad, but missed the mark in a few ways. The falafel was dry...really dry. Even with the raw dressing it lacked, what I think, is the perfect falafel round. The flavors of chickpea, onion and garlic were present, but the usual flavors of cumin and coriander didn't come through. Maybe the dryness was a factor that didn't allow me to discern those flavors. The greens were fresh and the vegetables were as well...but the cut up "baby carrots" were a miss.
Falafel [fah-la-fell] (vegan, soy & gluten free)
Falafel balls (baked ground chick peas & Mediterranean seasonings) on a bed of organic greens tossed with tomatoes, cucumbers & seasoned olives with your choice of fresh raw dressing.
A few final thoughts. As I was looking around, I loved seeing a few of the grab and go items they have at the Farmer's Market...black bean brownies, coconut, baked kale chips to name a few. I was even excited when I saw animal crackers in plastic containers. I thought that maybe, just maybe, this was a place that baked their own! But alas, that was not the case because the slightly hidden Kirkland container caught my eye. They weren't even organic! Yes, I know they are a pain to make and you have to buy special cutters, but make squares if you don't want to buy the cookie cutters. Homemade grahams are not that difficult and this is the little touch that I am looking for when I visit a place like this.
Very good meal, mostly, with a few minor, and adjustable, setbacks. Go give Fresh a try today!