I was looking for a quick but healthy bite when I walked into Freshii. Set in downtown Westport next to Starbucks at 1 Main St and also accessible from Parker Harding Plaza. the new healthy fast food cafe opened late September with light, modern, clean decor of green seats and wood tables and a list of organic ingredients on the wall resembling the periodic table of the elements.
The food matched the setting, with simple but well-balanced and flavorful salads, bowls and wraps including the "superbiotic" with spinach, romaine, chick peas, cucumbers, sundried tomatoes, corn, artichoke hearts, red peppers, red onion and cucumber dill dressing and the "ninja" with edamame, soy nuts, cilantro and asian sesame dressing.
Catering to almost every dietary restriction and food preference, their rice, quinoa and noodle bowls offer vegan, nut- and gluten free choices such as the "warrior" with brown rice, corn, red onions, cajun spice and ranch dressing.
Reasonably priced at under $10, most entrees are vegetarian with an option to add extra chicken, tofu, steak or shrimp. The soups are flavorful and well-portioned including the spicy lemongrass which includes rice noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and cilantro. Served to go in a quart container, it makes a perfectly satisfying meal especially as the weather gets colder. The burritos were hearty and spicy with a “baja” version that included quinoa, avocado, red onions, cilantro, cabbage, and salsa.
Freshii also serves up a healthy spin on breakfast classics like steak, egg and cheese, as well as a creamy slow cooked organic oatmeal in apple cinnamon or blueberry crumble. The smoothies and pressed juices were freshly made including the “green energy” with apple, cucumber, lemon, carrot, romaine, spinach and kale.
But with all the interesting menu options, the most unique thing were the Puck's natural sodas, served nowhere else in Connecticut. The lemonade was a home run with my kids, and the mandarin orange and ginger ale were refreshing without being too sweet.
Founded by CEO and top entrepreneur Matthew Corrin, the health-oriented restaurant chain is currently in 35 cities and eight countries around the world, and opened its first shop in Toronto in 2005. Aiming to serve “high-quality, healthy food in a casual and convenient way to help people live their best life,” owner Jonathan Blob explained that he chose Westport as his flagship shop and hopes to open 5 to 10 more locations over the next several years in Fairfield and Westchester.
A Greenwich resident and former hedge fund manager who invested in and analyzed the food service market, Blob thought that Westport needed a place like Freshii because the people here are active, health conscious and interested in knowing about what they are eating. “Everything is made fresh, right in front of you – and I believe people eat with their eyes and like to see all of the healthy options available,” he explained. Approved for outdoor seating to accommodate up to 20-25 seats along Post Road East, it should be an instant hit with those in a morning rush, the lunch and early dinner crowd, as well as those looking to eat more greens without spending too much green.
For more information, visit www.freshii.com/us/locations/connecticut/westport
8 am - 8 pm Monday through Saturday
9 am - 7 pm Sunday
Open breakfast, lunch and dinner; intend to add delivery and catering in the near future, which may extend dinner hours
About the author:
Catherine Siroka is known as the “gluten free mom” and is the publisher and editor of Macaroni Kid, a local parenting and events website and newsletter. She is also writing a children’s book for those living with food sensitivities. When she’s not running after her two young boys, she welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit her website at www.westport.macaronikid.com.