Freshii for fast, healthy & fun

My sons and I try to spend as much time as possible exploring the city, especially in the summer. Lunch can be a problem, though. If I don’t want to spend obscene amounts of money, it seems like we end up eating the worst kinds of fast food. But recently I discovered a much better option at Freshii.

I have never experienced fresher food on the go. With wraps, salads and soups all made to order, it’s a perfect spot to pick up items for a picnic or bench lunch. While Freshii has some standard menu items, it also uses a “build your own” format so you can choose a soup bowl, noodle bowl or wrap and personalize it with your three favorite toppings. The focus is on ingredients low in fat but high in fiber and vitamins. Portion sizes are kept moderate, but so is the price.

Since Freshii recently unveiled a low-price kids’ menu, my sons and I took advantage of the Water Tower Place location to sample the offerings.

Starting with the basic teriyaki noodle bowl, my 11-year-old dressed it up with cilantro, tofu and even some red pepper flakes. I’d love to say I tried it, but he ate every bit. My other boys stuck with the standard chicken soup and quesadilla lunches and found them both delicious. These meals cost under $6. Though I’m not even a vegetarian, I decided to try the vegan wrap (in the spirit of healthy lunch). It was really delicious, filled with enough flavor and texture to make a satisfying lunch.

Freshii has also taken a stand to eliminate much of the paper and plastic waste associated with take-out food. Packaging is trimmed down, and you’ll have to remember to grab utensils and napkins if you need them, because they won’t automatically be thrown in with your order.

This article originally appeared in the June 2012 edition of Chicago Parent. You can find more of my restaurant reviews there. I have added photos  from Freshii’s website for this blog post.
Disclosure: My family was not charged for our meal at Freshii and I was paid by Chicago Parent to write the article. I sometimes receive complimentary services and gifts, but I choose to write only about places I believe will be good for my readers. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
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8 Comments

  1. We’ll have to give this a try. This is the direction that I’d like to see other “quick eats” places go, rather than trying to cobble together something that resembles a healthy meal at a regular fast-food place. Thanks for the heads-up on it.

    Reply
    • I agree. I just read a disconcerting article about the fast food chains that qualify for Kids Live Well and how atrociously “unhealthy” the entrees really are, especially in terms of cholesterol and sodium. I’ll keep seeking places out and posting when I find them. Thanks Joan.

      Reply
  2. that salad looks absolutely delish!

    Reply
  3. Thanks Alena for your Freshii insight – love to read about it!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome. I have been so lucky to sample amazing breakfasts, lunches and dinners as a writer.

      Reply
  4. This sounds wonderful! I wish we had one here. I think the closest we have to anything healthy is maybe Chipotle. but I’m not even sure really how healthy that is. Your 11yo sounds very adventurous, mine is not even close!

    Reply
    • From what I know of Chipotle, they seek local, sustainable ingredients so that’s a plus. I really believe (or want to believe) that more fast, casual chains will follow that lead. (Of course it only works if consumers support those choices.) Thanks for all your comments today. I’m feeling the blog love.

      Reply

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