A Freshii Approach

Freshii salad
Freshii - Grand Open 2/14 on Urbanspoon
Have you heard about a restaurant that goes the extra mile by not only having biodegradable servingware, but they take going eco-friendly to the extent of low carbon emissions and recycling wherever possible? Better yet is the food - fresh and healthy ingredients.

That restaurant is Freshii. A new franchise which opened its first Sacramento area locations in Folsom and downtown.  Freshii originated in Canada in 2005 and since then has been growing like gang-busters. And why shouldn't it? They are serving real, fresh, food.

Some of Freshii's 70 fresh ingredients

What do I mean by real food? The concept is simple. Fresh, healthy, custom made dishes using whole ingredients like brown rice, chicken breasts, fresh vegetables. You choose what ingredients you want in a bowl, wrap, soup, or salad. You can also order pre-set combos. You won't find frozen, canned, adulterated food at Freshii.

Here is the clipboard you receive when you first walk in. You write your name and choose the ingredients that you want. Most vegetables are unlimited, while premium ingredients, like the proteins, cheeses, and certain fruits, have per ingredient costs. You can choose your dressing/sauce by calorie level and whether you want half, whole, double serving sizes. What's really awesome is that if you go to their website and enter in the ingredients, it will calculate the nutritional values for you. So you see the calorie, carbs, fiber, and fat content right away. Give it a try here.

Freshii Warrior Chicken Bowl
I chose to do a pre-set selection called the Warrior Chicken Bowl. It had Cajun chicken, corn, black beans, onions, cilantro, and some other things mixed with brown rice.  Poor Girl Kimberly ordered the Bliss Bowl with goat cheese, avocado, tomatoes, and more mixed with brown rice and with a balsamic dressing. You can choose to do noodle bowls instead of rice.

Here is a video where the company founder explains the process.

If you like soups, they have three broths: vegetable, chicken, or spicy lemongrass. When you select the vegetables you want in your soup, they quickly parboil them and then add them to the prepared broth. That way you don't have overcooked veggies in a soup that's been sitting around.  Each soup is freshly made for each person.

Freshii yogurt
Freshii is open for breakfast with oatmeal, muesli, and breakfast wraps. They also have frozen yogurt and toppings.

The stores themselves are eco-friendly. They have low carbon footprints because they do not use dishwashers, grills, or ovens. They clean with natural, biodegradable cleaners. They recycle as much as possible. If you are really into being green yourself, you can even bring in your own bowl which they will wash and then use to serve your food in.

You see above that my bowl was actually served in a to-go box. They don't mess around with unnecessary plates that will immediately go into the trash and then you want a to-go box for your leftovers. Instead, you eat out of the box and if you can't finish it, you seal it up and off you go. All of there servingware is biodegradable. The silverware is made from potato and corn starches. These implements have been around for years and I've always wondered why restaurants won't use them. The answer usually is "they are too expensive". Well Freshii proves you can use them and not inflate the prices of the food.

Kimberly and I are excited that there is such a healthy, fast alternative out there now. It is possible to eat that way while dining out. Since we live downtown, we can't wait for the second location.

The downtown location opens at 3rd and Q on Monday, April 11th. Since it is owned by Yogurtagogo's Eric Heffel, it will have a self serve yogurt section with six flavors. It will also be getting a beer and wine license. Heffel plans on having music and other events on nights and weekends.