The love for kale continues on! Yesterday I introduced the Italian raw bowl from Fresh to the blog (and to those of you who haven’t stuffed your face into it yet!), with its delicious crushed kale chips, basil pesto sauce, and zucchini noodles. Today, my foodie love letter goes out to Fresh’s shredded kale slaw because it is absolute heaven in my mouth and if I could, I would sneak into their kitchens and eat their entire supply of it! By the bowlful. And then pass out from delicious happiness. And then probably wheeled out in a wheelbarrow by kitchen staff. It would be so worth it.
Their shredded kale slaw is another newbie in Fresh town and from what I gather from other Fresh enthusiasts is that it’s already made quite the impression! The side order of kale slaw comes with all burgers and wraps and replaces the cabbage slaw (which had chopped celery, red onion, and vinegar dressing) that was on the old menu. I was in conniptions after I ate it for the first time last month and I am so glad this new side order is here to stay! Cabbage coleslaw, I will always have fond memories of eating you with my grilled vegetable and basil pesto wrap filling on greens and with my mushroom onion burger. I loved you too, but it’s time to say goodbye as I go on with my life with the new kid in town.
I went full out GREEN this time with my build-a-bowl fun and ordered sides of kale slaw, sunflower sprouts, edamame beans, and Fresh’s signature house dressing with a warm bowl of brown rice. Fresh is such a fun place for me to eat at because I try things I’ve never eaten before, I enjoy foods I don’t eat on a regular basis, and I get to learn about tasty combinations of foods I never would have otherwise thought of putting together. I had sunflower sprouts for the first time here months ago and aside from times I eat yummies at Freshii, the only other time I eat brown rice is at Fresh and that’s simply because I eat steamed white rice at home and other places.
You can tell how extensive Fresh’s menu is because after eating here a number of times, I have still have plenty of meals and foods I haven’t tried yet! I’m still working my way through it and yet to try a Fresh weekend brunch, soup, salad entree, or smoothie! Mixed fruit juice, yes, smoothie, no. This was my first time having their brown rice and in combination with the kale slaw, sprouts, edamame, and house dressing, I shovelled the rice into my mouth and ate every last grain.
Fresh’s house dressing was the biggest surprise for me. I knew it would be good, but I had no idea that it would be THIS good! Made with a mixture of flax and sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, dijon, garlic, and tamari (ingredient list taken from the menu), the house dressing is one of a number of dressings and dips that come with salads and as individual additional sides to any meal for an extra $1. The flavour of the dressing is amazing. Think of it as dressing with a subtle savouriness to it without the harsh tang from straight up vinegar or lemon. The sunflower oil gives the dressing body while the apple cider vinegar gives it that sweet and sour taste that adds a kick to blank canvas foods like rice and plain noodles. The shredded kale slaw itself is tossed with a bit of vinegar dressing of its own so the whole meal was just bursting with flavour and texture with the nutty, starchy flavour coming from the edamame beans and the crunchiness coming from the sunflower sprouts and kale.
I’m really excited to feature kale in my upcoming ‘5 Great…’ series on the blog and with so places utilizing the versatility of kale in their dishes, there’s bound to be some great hidden gems and showstoppers around the city to showcase. The kale slaw at Fresh totally has my vote to be in the top 5. It’s not fancy, but that’s the beauty of it because food doesn’t need to be fancy pants to make an impression. All it has to be is fresh and delicious and made with love. And of course, enjoyed with love. No contest here. I just might order two sides of it next time.
Ate by Ate currently has 8 blog entries on Fresh. To view all the Fresh goodness and scrapbook layouts, click here.
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)