Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vex in the City: Part 18 Fresh

Taste of the food >< >< >< >< Very good. Fresh always comes out on top when it comes to taste.
Look of the food >< >< >< >< The presentation of the food is always well-done. It looks tasty, bright, and healthy.
Environmentally-Responsibility >< >< >< >< >< There is reuseable cutlery, plates, cups, and utensils. There is a section on their website called Sustainability which describes their environmentally responsible practices by 1) using biodegradable and compostable take-away containers, 2) cooking oils that are recycled for biodiesel purposes, 3) wastes that are composted or recycled when possible, 4) recycled paper products, and 5) biodegradable environmentally safe cleaners.
Health Savvy >< >< >< I did not see any print or online material about the benefits of eating food at this restaurant. However, I like that the vegetable juices, shakes, and beverages are available. There are also E3 Live shots and Elixirs which are described in the menu with a number of health benefits.
Hospitality/Warmth >< >< >< >< >< The staff was very friendly. Since this a large eatery, there is a host and then a team of waiters so you do not sit for long without service.
D├ęcor/Vibe >< >< >< >< >< The decor was very modern and funky. Compared to the decor of the old location, I love the use of orange, green, blue, and accents of purple. See the cover of the cookbook below to get a better idea of what the inside looks like.
Added Perks >< None. They did not know I was doing a restaurant review.
Ethical and Community-Minded >< >< >< >< There is a bit of information where groups and communities could place some information. Plus, they have a website a

Price (for a main course)
$0 - $9 to $30 - $39 It really depends what you order and eat.

I used to go to Fresh a-l-o-t. Too many times to count. My boyfriend (currently my fiance) and I would go there and each time and order the same thing. He would have the Buddha Bowl and I would eat Dosas. We loved their sweet potato fries, their cashew cookies, and he would always order one of their overpriced juices. I would always think that they were overpriced since I knew I could make the same thing at home a lot cheaper but so is the experience of eating at a restaurant. There came a time when we went to Fresh so much that we got tired of it. All the food began to taste the same.

Years and years ago, I purchased their cookbook for $15 which was a wise investment. This was my first foray into vegetarian cooking. At the time, I found the recipes long, complicated, cumbersome (I like that word), and overwhelming. (I have come a long way since then.)

It had been a few years since my last Fresh visit. In fact, since I became vegan this year, I went to Fresh three different times. Bragging three locations in Toronto (I've only been to one), Fresh has become an institution of great plant-based cuisine. It is also probably the easiest "crossover" menu for the non-veg crowd. (Many of my non-vegan friends have been to Fresh.) I noticed a few changes. First, the menu was expanded to include a wider variety of items. Second, they have a lot more vegan-friendly items. Third, I missed their food, the taste, and variety. On each of my three visits, I had difficulty selecting an item from their menu. Fresh is definitely a must-visit eatery if you are ever in Toronto.

Visit One
I met up with a friend to catch-up in the summertime.

My friend had this fruit juice which I do not remember what it was but she loved it.

I had the All Green juice which was very refreshing and tangy.

The infamous cashew cookie.

Visit Two
Breakfast of Champions. I had a wonderful brunch with survivors to say goodbye to Agnes who is moving across the country. I will miss you Agnes.
The Blueberry Almond Pancake Platter

The Banana Nut Pancakes

I had The Full Breakfast. It was very delicious. The scrambled tofu was amazing and I loved the veggie sausage.

Visit Three
This was from a visit with my fiance and Cid Palacio of the Art for Cancer Foundation. This was Cid's first visit to Fresh.
The Detoxifier juice

I had the Mushroom Onion Burger with Daiya cheese. It tasted very good but they could have melted the Daiya cheese before serving it to me. I could have sent it back but had it just the same. I enjoyed the slaw on the side as well as the yummy sweet potato fries.

The infamous Buddha Bowl.

The amazing vegan carrot cake,

Not to be outdone by the cashew cookie.

The latest Fresh cookbook which shows the interior of the Annex location that I visited.

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