So, as most of you know, Toronto has been covered in ice since the weekend, leaving many of us without power and warmth (me included still!). Over the first day, it was an adventure – we have lots of good food at home, so we whipped together some great meals, and even cooked over our fondue pot one evening. But, then we needed a good meal in light and warmth, and wanted to stick close to home, so headed to Fresh’s newest location on Eglinton.
I have eaten at Fresh before and always enjoyed it, but have never got around to reviewing it until now. There are a lot of restaurants in that category – oops! Fresh has multiple locations in Toronto and are all vegetarian, although I would say it’s almost vegan, as are most items on their extensive menu.
If you are into drinks, you will love their menu, from juices, to teas, smoothies to wine and beer, they have it all, and a lot of purely organic choices. My brother, who can now read well, said as soon as our server came to our table, “I would like a ‘create your own’ juice with apple, carrot, cucumber, mango, orange, pineapple, pomegranate, banana, kale, and ginger,” and he also, from years of training ordering at the Big Carrot Juice Bar, made sure that he was getting the 16 ounce size, and not a mini one like him! We all thought it was a weird combo, but they obliged making it and he loved it and downed it within around 30 seconds, barely leaving me time to take a picture. Drink ordering tip: Try putting green into your juice or smoothie, it may look odd, but tastes really, really good.
I enjoyed a large, warming glass of peppermint tea, which was much needed, and the rest of the table indulged in tap water from their glass bottles. We skipped appetizers, and got right into main courses.
My mom ordered the Ace of Kales salad (hold the nuts – and the bad thing is that they wouldn’t substitute the nuts for seeds even though we had a nut allergy at the table), and she loved it, depicted below in a photo. I had a couple forks of it, and it was great, especially since it had jicama in it – mmmmm, jicama! My sister truly enjoyed her Squash Tacos, and my brother loved his roasted vegetable and pesto burrito and ate nearly the whole thing, my father usually gets more leftovers from his meals! My father ordered the Sam Houston Burrito, which he didn’t seem overly excited about, but certainly said he would have it again – it was “good”!
I ordered with complete confidence – I knew the Clubhouse Wrap was for me, and added avocado slices to it knowing that would be an ideal add-on. Even though, I typically dislike raw tomatoes, the ones in this burrito were to my liking and added to the colour, texture and flavour of each bite. I think people who eat fast food, and aren’t adventurous would still like this wrap. Oh – and don’t forget to try their quinoa onion rings or their sweet potato fries with rosemary. They are a fried treat and you can choose great dipping sauces. I loved the miso gravy and the avocado chipotle, interchangeably!
Seeing Sweets from the Earth on their menu (for the second dinner out in a row!), was super exciting and I think we might have cheered out loud. I know it’s not actually healthy, but I can’t resist it, it’s so good, and they use great ingredients, and don’t use any of the really bad ones!
So, what can I really say? What is the bottom line? This is a great restaurant for everyone – even meat eaters, and those possibly scared of eating a vegan meal. If we all ate what Fresh served, we’d be off to a great start towards promoting better eating and feeling great after meals!
Extra note: for their version of Fast Food, they have a front counter with grab and go salads and sandwiches and lots of desserts and efficient takeout, in compostable containers!
More pictures to come – our power situation is causing some technical difficulties!