Here’s some bright cheery colour to brighten up our otherwise drab rainy day! It’s been a total washout here in Toronto today so for those of you who ventured out, props to you because good god, I would have been wrestling with my umbrella all day had I gone out. It was freakin’ windy out! I spent my day at home scrapbooking and organizing photos in photo albums. I live dangerously, I know, ha! I hope you guys like the scrap layout up top because I had a ton of fun making it 😀 Pink, green, and pastels. Ahhh, the way to my heart. So, for your drooling pleasure today: Fresh’s soba noodle beach bowl! Even though this particular dish isn’t the one currently being featured in Fresh’s Veggielicious special (the one featured is actually the Ninja bowl), I figured it was appropriate anyway given how Fresh is participating in Veggielicious and all.
I know I raved on and on about how much I adored my spicy black bean burrito dish on my bed of greens here the first time I ate at Fresh, but I have to say, the beach bowl just might be tied for possibly my favourite dish so far! I looove soba noodles. Also referred to as buckwheat noodles, they are Japanese noodles that are served both warm and cold. The first time I had soba noodles was a number of years ago. I found these great noodles at T&T supermarket and they were packaged and served cold with big leaves of green leaf lettuce, cold shrimp, wedges of tamago (Japanese egg), and peanut sauce. Oh god, I loved it so much and devoured it every time I ate it. I was so sad though when I found out they no longer made them, so Fresh’s soba noodle bowls totally fill that void in my heart whenever I’m out to eat and in the mood for them.
This meal was really special. My boyfriend and I were celebrating our 2-year anniversary and were out during that Sunday to see the Raptors play that afternoon. It was a nice, peaceful Sunday morning brunch and even though I probably could have ordered off of Fresh’s popular weekend brunch menu, I reeeally wanted noodles and veggies and cheese and all that good stuff, so that’s what I had. It was a day to celebrate and besides, I’m a girly little piggy ^_^ I went out all out and even ordered myself a fresh glass of mixed fruit juice: mango and strawberry, super bright and refreshing! It’s fun to mix and match fruits and other drinks to create my own special concoction and I especially love choosing things like mango, grapefruit, coconut milk, things like that.
Fresh has a number of bowls on their menu and you can either have them with brown rice or soba noodles, which cost an extra dollar. The bowls have amazing combinations of vegetarian and vegan protein and vegetables. Think tempeh, tofu steaks, sprouts, grilled vegetables, raw vegetables, and curry stews and sauces. Depending on whether you choose to have brown rice or noodles, and whether you add cheese to your meal, bowls range in price from $8-$15, and some bowls offer a “baby” size (a half portion) at a discounted price. It was my first time trying a Fresh bowl (remember what I said about eating my way through the menu? Ha!) and I chose the beach bowl with soba noodles.
The beach bowl, to me, is perfection in a bowl. SO many of my favourite things all in one! The beach bowl is served with warm delicious grilled red bell peppers, sweet potato, and zucchini, thick slices of avocado, thinly sliced sun-dried tomato, a huge helping of sunflower sprouts, and olive oil, tamari (a variation of soy sauce that is slightly thicker and wheat-free), and lemon juice. I added goat cheese to my bowl and oh my god, YUM, they gave me a nice generous scoop of cheese. As you already know, I love cheese dearly and because the grilled vegetables were nice and warm, the goat cheese was easy to spread around and made everything so deliciously creamy. The mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs just made the soba noodles so amazingly good.
And this was actually my first time eating sunflower sprouts and I loved them. Which is awesome because I am so not a fan of regular sprouts, so along with alfalfa, I can enjoy sunflower ones! For me, it was a fusion of new things (sunflower sprouts) and old favourites (um, hello avocado and noodles), and I couldn’t have been more satisfied. It was delicious and I was full. So full I needed to doggy bag the rest! Time and again, Fresh delivers and lives up to its name and their menu just inspires me every time I look at it…which is a lot, ha. So in conclusion: I LOVE YOU BEACH BOWL! 😀
Fresh currently serves 3 locations in downtown Toronto:
326 Bloor St. West (right off the intersection of Spadina Ave. and Bloor St. West, just east of Spadina)
894 Queen St. West (at the intersection of Crawford St. and Queen St. West, near Trinity Bellwoods Park)
147 Spadina Ave. (near the intersection of Spadina Ave. and Queen St. West, a block south of Queen)
They are currently serving a Veggielicious special until April 24th for a price fixe of $15: 16oz Chi-Spa Juice (ginger, dates, apple, soymilk, banana, cinnamon, chia seeds), Ninja Bowl (salad greens, tofu cubes, sundried tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, spicy ginger tamari sauce, and your choice of dressing on brown rice or soba noodles (add $1 for soba), and a Ginger Molasses Cupcake with Lemon Frosting.
Scrapbooking materials used: emerald green cardstock (paper printing shop); baby pink and beige cardstock (Recollections); green and blue patterned cardstock paper (Green Tea stack by DVWV); patterned journalling tags (Darcy Collection by Anna Griffin); pink floral chipboard alphabets (K & Company); spring pastel flower embellishments (Paper Bliss); glitter blue, green, and brown chipboard button embellishments (WT, Westrim Crafts); scalloped edge decorative scissors (Provo Craft); circle paper punch (marvy uchida); paper corner rounder.