Monday, 3 January 2011

A "Fresh" Perspective for a Change

After plenty of feasting during the Christmas break (I'll link my sister's entries when she posted what she cooked on Christmas and New Year's Eve as soon as they're up) as well as a meatfest last night thanks to The Stockyards, a lighter, healthier meal was in order.  Originally some university friends and I planned to have lunch elsewhere, but since it was still closed due to the holidays, we decided to go to Fresh Restaurant on Spadina.

Established in its current form in 1999, this local franchise features vegan cuisine, proving that eating vegan, or at the very least vegetarian, can be fun, delicious and full of creativity.  (I've yet to enter a blog entry of my dining at a Chinese vegetarian restaurant the evening I first arrived in Toronto a couple of weeks ago; that will be forthcoming I promise.)  Inspired by flavours and ingredients from around the world, the menu offers a variety of vegan-friendly drinks and meals, from smoothies to wheatgrass shakes, and from salads to rice or noodle bowls.
In the past I've not been a fan of smoothies mostly because they usually had bananas, and I'm no fan of bananas.  Fortunately, Fresh had a few non-banana smoothies, such as the Lucky Charm.  Made with Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and mangoes, it was slightly tart yet refreshing.
For my actual lunch I had the Beach Bowl on soba noodles.  Dressed with olive oil, tamari (a type of Japanese soy sauce) and some mixed herbs, the bowl was topped with sundried tomato, avocado, grilled bell pepper, grilled zucchini, grilled sweet potato and (a novelty to me) sunflower sprouts.  It was a light and tasty dish.  With all the filling meals with quite a bit of meat for the last couple of  weeks, it was refreshing to have this kind of meal for a change.

Though making sure it is vegan-friendly, Fresh's selections can still be quite welcoming to an omnivore like I am.  Even if you don't come because you want a vegetarian meal, it is still a good place to get a light and healthy meal that can still give life to one's tastebuds.

Name: Fresh Restaurant
Address: 147 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON (also at 326 Bloor St. W. & 894 Queen St. W.)
Cuisine: Contemporary, Vegan
Price Range: $10-$20
Accessible: Yes (only Spadina location known)

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