FRESH An Urban Eatery is a new fast casual restaurant located a stone’s throw from the capitol building at 1706 3rd Street. With only 6-7 inside tables (and a few on the outside patio), the eatery is certainly small, but it’s that coziness, along with rustic ascents and a bright green wall color, that give FRESH, well … a fresh look.
As of now, FRESH is keeping things very simple with a small breakfast and lunch menu. You definitely get the vibe that management is tinkering with things at this point and not trying to reinvent the wheel, which is a smart decision.
And this from FRESH’s Facebook page:
“Right now our hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (Monday-Friday) for the rest of this month. At the first of the month, we will change our hours from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. (Monday-Friday) as breakfast hasn’t been very productive, and we are turning away a lot of business in the afternoon. People from the neighborhood have suggested that they would like fresh foods on an evening not just lunch!”
I recently stopped in for lunch and was not only impressed with the interior but also FRESH’s re-paved parking lot. That parking lot was in rough shape a few months ago, and it’s nice to see ownership did something about it.
As you enter the eatery, turn left and head towards the register. Grab a hand-held menu or crank your head upwards to view a chalkboard version of it. You’ll be given a number after the order is placed, and within a few minutes, food arrives at the table. The lunch menu includes items like a $7.99 salad bar (stationed alongside a side wall), or cobb, chicken Caesar, and chef salads (all $8.25). A 6-inch, one topping personal pizza is $5.99 and includes a base of red sauce, pesto, or olive oil. Additional toppings are $1. There’s also a variety of sandwiches (served on sourdough or multigrain bread), including roasted chicken, ham, roast beef, turkey, pimento, chicken salad, and Mediterranean tuna. All sandwiches are $7.99 and include a side of chips or potato salad. To round out the menu, there are daily specials of a different soup, sandwich, and pizza. Along the counter, you’ll see a selection of tea, lemonade, and water in beautiful clear containers.
I found all of our food to be simple, fresh, and unpretentious. In short, just a real solid lunch that didn’t hurt the pocketbook or expand my waistline. My chicken salad sandwich on multigrain bread consisted of a nice, lightly dressed blend of white and dark chicken meat with slivers of almonds, along with a subtle smear of guacamole, and crisp toppings of lettuce, tomato, and sliced red onions. The accompanying potato salad was fairly pedestrian, but at least it wasn’t weighed down with heavy ingredients.
The pizza had a crisp, albeit somewhat bland crust, that was elevated by gobs of stringy mozzarella and a delicious red sauce. Will FRESH’s pizza give some of our top versions in town a run for their money? No. But that’s not to say it wasn’t satisfying. It was … and most importantly, it wasn’t weighed down with a bunch of ingredients that would have made a lunchtime pizza somewhat unappealing.
Our turkey sandwich was also a hit, although my daughter only allowed me one bite before she wolfed it down. Thick cut, juicy breast meat was the star of this sandwich–one that I would not hesitate to order again.
It’s early, but all signs point to not only a positive start for FRESH, but also an encouraging future. Service was prompt, friendly, and attentive, and after chatting with owner Phillip Naylor for a minute, it’s quite evident he’s passionate and caring about his new business.
Keep an eye out for dinner service…and I was even told a dynamite steak might be hitting the menu.