Fresh on Bloor restaurant review: well-balanced meals and high quality!

I had been eyeing the Fresh on Bloor dinner menu for a week. It was easy to pick out what I wanted—you do know I’m heading for the black bean burrito, the closest thing to Mexican food—but that didn’t stop me from drooling over the choices every day leading up until the scheduled dinner with friends. And Fresh did not disappoint.

Vegetarian options 10/10

Vegetarians and vegans, listen closely. Do you go to bed at night with visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads? And I don’t just mean on Christmas Eve—I refer to the fact that plums are, by nature, meatless.

Fresh on Bloor answers your prayer. The entire menu is designed to safely satisfy the nutritious needs of any vegetarian, vegan, or healthy carnivore. Do you know how good it feels to look at a menu and know that every single item is a possibility for you? After scanning directly to the salad, stir-fry or nacho portion of most meat-loving restaurants, I find it quite the treat, I tell you.

Your choices range from every single possible kind of fruit juice, smoothie or delicacy to a tantalizing array of appetizers, salads, wraps and more than one kind of burger. *pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming!*

The Food 8.7/10

The food at Fresh is delicious and the constant line of patrons is testament to that. We simply must factor in the high quality of all food on the Fresh menu. Every single ingredient is accounted for as the menu provides an ingredient breakdown for every sauce and dip you could ask for. One entire branch lists protein and side supplements as well.

The portions are very deserving and I found myself at the tip of fullness (the kind where you’re satisfied, not the one where you’re pushed over the edge and swear you’ll never love—I mean, eat—again). The drinks are a little costly if you’re going to buy a meal as well, so trust me—you really only need one main dish to fill up.

My meal: Black bean burrito, $9.50

The black bean burrito is delicious. And it will certainly fill you up! I wouldn’t even have had room for the French fries our waiter slyly recommended we order (and therefore pay for). The large black bean burrito arrives stuffed beyond capacity with spicy black beans, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, alfalfa sprouts and red onions (unless you asked them to hold the onions, as I did), all swathed in a delicious chipotle avocado sauce (just reading those words is delicious in itself). Alfalfa sprouts are a devilishly tasty addition with a strong background flavour that tastes like nature while remaining somehow appealing. As indicated on the menu, the sauce is a blend of avocado, chipotle, lemon, lime and cilantro.

The burrito comes with a side of coleslaw, which I had a few polite bites of but that was about all my distaste for coleslaw could take.

Grain: 1.5
Fruits&veg: 2
Protein alt: 1.5
Dairy: 0

My 2nd meal: Thai burger, $9.50

I visited Fresh for the second time several months later. I was tempted to reorder the black bean burrito, as I love Mexican food so much, but I tried out the Thai burger, which I had been eyeing the day before. This burger is DELICIOUS. I was still thinking about it later and talked my friend’s ear off for 3 minutes as I savoured the memory of eating it. The heavenly Thai burger comes with tomato slices, lettuce, green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro and what I believe is a whole wheat bun—all topped off with peanut sauce (ingredients are listed on Fresh’s menu). I was a VERY satisfied customer!

The burger comes with a side of slaw, which I’m not a huge fan of but I spread some of the peanut sauce on it to make it taste less like cabbage. The burger is a bit messy—the bun started to fall apart in my hands, and I was eating out with colleagues, too!—but nothing you can’t handle. This burger is HEAVENLY. I can’t get my mind off it!

Grain: 2
Fruits&veg: 2
Protein alt: 1.5
Dairy: 0

Prices 8.5/10

I usually wouldn’t say this but we can’t bully them for the prices. The meals—most are $9.50—are well-priced as
a) they offer VERY filling, generous portions,
b) the ingredients are high quality and eco-conscious (with organic options and the like), not to mention
c) if I can get a $10 meal somewhere, I consider it well-priced (and that’s pretty average).

Service 9/10

Our waiter was very attentive and performed his part without flaw, though his intentions were see-through. When he asked, “Can I start you off with a drink?” my brain quickly filled in the blanks: “Can I start you off with a [minimum six-dollar but more likely almost ten-dollar] drink?” He finished up our order with a smooth “Would you like to share a plate of fries?” I hungrily eyed the fresh platter on the adjacent table but my wallet reminded me not to fall for it. The worst part was when he took my order and added, “Would you like cheese with that?” Luckily, my days of pouring over the menu in preparation involved perusal of the fine print: adding cheese to your burrito is another two dollars!

However, when I realized I’d forgotten my lunch bag, I was quickly told that it was being cared for behind the counter, and it was expediently returned to its happy owner. Our every need was cared for and exceeded.

Atmosphere 7/10

You don’t go to Fresh on Bloor for the décor—you definitely go for the stellar menu and care for cuisine. I was surprised to find this well-reputed place had such an average appearance, but looks shouldn’t be everything, or very much, for that matter. The dining room is a small space packed with tables and little room for spreading out. Definitely not romantic for a date, but they do say a full tummy is a happy one. The place was busy, loud and hot, but not uncomfortably so.

Tip

My friend warned me the salads aren’t very filling. Don’t order too much; your meal is designed to fill you up!

Would I go here again?

Are you kidding? These people definitely know how to create and prepare a well-balanced meal and their menu is so well designed—appealing to the eye and offering decadent options—that I could go back several times before I’d tire of trying their tempting options. You won’t be sorry you ate here!

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5 Responses

  1. Marisa,

    prix fixe $21
    drink: any fruit smoothie or vegetable juice
    start: avocado white bean dosas, spring rolls or
    half loaf of corn bread
    eat: green destiny, mega life, super protein salad, buddha,
    energy or green goddess
    sweet: a cashew, chocolate chunk or double chocolate cookie

    Are you in?

  2. Ooh, I eyed that part of the menu before I went to the restaurant (the trip that’s described in this review). Thanks 😀 If you’re up for it, email me and maybe sometime in late July or August? 🙂

    • I have to disagree with your friend’s tip about the salads. The MegaLife salad I had was huge and very filling… as I recall I couldn’t finish it all.

      Isn’t their food the bomb?! I love it!!!

      • I have to say, what timing: I went to Fresh for the second time today and their salads are huge! Especially the beach salad with brown rice, I doubt I could have eaten all of that.

        I am loving this place too! I tried the thai burger today; sooo good! I was a very satisfied customer. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have a confession to make…~5mths after dining at Fresh (ahem…FOUR TIMES!) on vacation from Australia, I regularly have dreams about dining there again. Sadly (but thankfully) I am left only with rapidly expanding my repertoire in the kitchen via the cookbooks, both of which we bought (we’ll be back for the third). How is that plan for your Australian restaurant going? He he he 😉

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