“Freshii”, a Canadian-based 50 restaurant chain, opened in Charles Village in late June of 2011 with a motto of “Fresh food, custom built” and a mission to provide healthy, responsible eating combined with green business practices (100% of their packaging is re-cyclable and/or bio-degradable). Co-owner Rebecca Fielding, a former Peace Corp volunteer and a Program Manager with Hopkins’s Jhpiego, invited us to sample the menu. The new restaurant, located a half flight up over a dry cleaner, is bright with white walls highlighted with vibrant green, polished wood floors, white topped tables and decorated with motivational posters promoting fresh food.
The menu offers a unique combination of Chef-designed or custom “made to order” soups, burritos, wraps, rice and noodle bowls plus salads with special breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings.
Breakfasts including organic coffee are available for $5 while lunch/dinner offering average $6 – $9)
We were intrigued by the Lemongrass soup ($2.50/small or $7/large). While Marty had to ask for his to be hotter, the flavorful broth with rice noodles, grilled chicken, carrots, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, bean sprouts and fresh cilantro impressed us. We felt that it ranks among the best lemongrass soup we’ve had in Baltimore – a definite “Thumbs-up!” (the large size would definitely make for a filling meal!)For a main course, John ordered up a custom salad ($6); he chose a base of spinach (other options include romaine or “freshii mix”); he picked toppings from a long “no additional charge!” list including: chick peas, cilantro, artichoke hearts, sunflower seeds, diced tomatoes, red onions and black beans.
For an additional .50 to $3, you can add grilled chicken, bacon, salmon, steak, tofu, egg or tuna. From a long list of dressings, he decided to sample both the cucumber dill and spicy ariracha (fyi – the ariracha has quite a kick to it which John enjoyed and had Marty grabbing his drink after swiping a finger full! <Wink!>) Marty tried a special steak wrap ($7); the staff forgot to heat it up and he was a bit disappointed in the result (we feel that will be less of an issue as the staff get more experience)
For dessert, we tried the fat-free probiotic frozen yogurt available with a choice of 20 toppings ($5). John added fresh blueberries and mango to his while Marty opted for a dash of honey and strawberry.The Greek style, tangy yogurt was unlike any frozen yogurt we’ve had before and we found it awesomely good (and were a little embarrassed that we somehow were able to gobble down the full huge serving after our soup and entrée dishes!) The yogurt was so good that just a week later, we dragged a couple of friends to Freshii to get more frozen yogurt and they were equally impressed! If you’re looking for fresh, nutritious food, Freshii is decidedly worth finding!
BASICS: Freshii (Charles Village); 3113 St. Paul St; 410-276-3160; www.freshii.com; 410-467-3737; Open 7 days/week; breakfast, lunch& dinner from 7 am to 10 pm No liquor; lots of veggie options