Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Remember when I said I wanted to try something new? I'm glad it was slightly warmer today because I decided to head over to Freshii, a new place that opened about a week ago in the Fashion District.

Freshii advertises itself as a natural and environmentally conscious place. If you go to their site, you can read about their mission. They even claim that they will wash bowls you bring from home and fill it with your meal to help the environment. Nice idea, but I usually decide what I want while walking outside so that won't really be an option for me. (And I don't keep anything but Just Salad bowls at work.)

To order, pick up a clipboard by the door and check off what you want (or write in the name of a pre-designed combination). Since it hasn't been open that long, there were lots of people who weren't quite sure what to do and ended up on line without a clipboard. They had to order at the front of the line, which slowed things down a little bit.

When ordering you have the option of getting 1/2, regular or 1 1/2 dressing mixed in (or to get it on the side). Just don't forget that the dressing option is there!

I got one of the pre-designed bowls. I thought picking a bestseller and proven combination for my first visit was a safer choice. That way, if it sucked, I would know it wasn't because I can't mix ingredients in my head. I went for the warrior chicken bowl, which contains brown rice, cajun chicken, sweet corn, red onions, black beans, cilantro, diced tomatoes, carrots and low-fat ranch dressing (I got 1/2 instead of the regular amount). It came in a regular take-out container (I had heard that salads came in bags, so I was wondering if rice bowls did too, since that could be difficult to eat).

The box wasn't actually this full; it was about an inch below the top of the box. But it was pretty densely packed full of rice and other ingredients. Just look at it - doesn't it scream "healthy"?

My verdict on the warrior chicken bowl falls somewhere between "OK" and "good." I liked that it felt like I was eating a healthy meal, yet it wasn't a bowl of lettuce (and yes, I know that's not really a healthy meal). It didn't have a really strong flavor though. The cajun chicken wasn't spicy. The dressing only added a hint of flavor, but that's probably because I got 1/2 instead of regular. The cilantro and onions were plentiful, which I liked, because I love cilantro and onions. I wonder what it would taste like if I got something other than ranch dressing and whether that would make a difference.

Overall, I feel pretty neutral on this place. I like that they have healthy options for lunch, and hope that there are more places with healthy and tasty options on the horizon. But I guess I was hoping that this would be my replacement for Rocket Wrapps (sigh, we miss Rocket Wrapps) with healthy but flavorful bowls piled high with chicken and vegetables. It doesn't quite get there. That said, I would go back. I need something healthy in my rotation (not that I really have a rotation) and it's not that far from the office. What should I get next time?

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