I have been lucky to be able to attend a number of different events lately and I want to take some time to go over two of them in today’s post. Of course they revolve around food and they were both delicious!
I had lunch with Susie last Wednesday at Fresha Place, newly opened in The Loop. We met with Paul, the owner, and spent some time talking about how Fresha Place came to be and the direction he is heading with this family-owned business.
Fresha Place specializes in fresh, healthy lunch options (they are only open M-F 11am-4pm) that are under $10 and 550 calories. Many of their ingredients are locally sourced, with an increase as the weather improves and farmer’s markets pop up everywhere in the city. All of the sauces are homemade and I could definitely taste the difference.
There are four different categories of foods to choose from: wraps, salads, quinoa bowls, or flatbreads. For future reference, the flatbreads come with a side salad which isn’t listed on the menu but will be when they undergo their final reprinting.
I chose the Baja Chicken quinoa bowl and I liked a lot of things about it. First off, the portion size was generous which makes me feel better about the price. Also, even though it was a quinoa bowl, there was a bed of greens at the bottom which made it the best of both worlds. This comes with your choice of dressing, but I am really a no dressing kind of person and thought it was flavorful on its own.
I did get a basil pesto dressing on the side just so I could eat some because you can’t keep me away from pesto.
Susie got the Sweet and Spicy Salad which she also really enjoyed and said the dressing was great.
Lunch wouldn’t be complete without sampling one of their flatbreads and the Island BBQ was where it’s at. Seriously, this was great and I’m not even a huge fan of pineapple on pizza.
Fresha Place is definitely somewhere I would go again for lunch. My only suggestions would be to add a little diversity to the menu since I felt like some of the options were the same just in a different configuration. Paul mentioned some suggestions he had received such as the addition of BBQ pulled pork or chicken and I wholeheartedly agree with those options. If you’re looking for a new healthy option in The Loop, check them out!
Now we are on to the most exciting event I have been to in awhile: The Daiya Foods’ Cheezecake Launch Party!
I was approached to attend this event and looked forward to it for weeks. Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts EVER and the fact that this is dairy-free (also GF) means that it was probably created just for me. I was even more excited when I discovered that there were FOUR flavors to try.
Before I get into reviewing these, I want to emphasize that I’m not saying that these are great for a vegan, GF dessert. I am comparing these to any other regular dessert because I think they more than stack up.
Before gorging on cheesecake, Susie and I got our pictures drawn. Good job capturing those cheeks.
If I still drank then I would have loved all the thoughtful alcohol pairings. No, let’s get serious. I would have loved any alcohol no matter what it was paired with, but if I was a normal person I would have appreciated the effort.
I was surprised that I didn’t hate this one and it was my first indication of great things to come. The consistency was spot on and the sorghum crust was also hard to differentiate from regular cheesecake crust.
Next we went for the regular New York style which blew me away. It literally lasted like a regular, decadent dessert and I went back for an embarrassing number of samples. Since it was plain, they offered a variety of toppings such as fruits, coconut, and sprinkles.
For our third sample we tried the chocolate which was just ok to me, but that’s because I’m not a huge fan of soft overly-chocolate foods (think ice cream). It tasted like a chocolate mousse although it was slightly more dense, so if you enjoy that then grab some along with some red wine.
We saved the best for last. I freaked out a little when I saw they had a key lime flavor. It could have been because I was starving, but I was most excited for this flavor. It did not disappoint. If you like key lime pie and you like cheesecake, then you must buy this immediately. The flavor is definitely intense, so I needed to balance it out with some more New York style before going back for seconds.
On our way out we were given coupons for a free cheesecake, so I stopped into Whole Foods and bought one immediately. I ended up paying $0.15 for it since the coupon apparently doesn’t count towards tax, but I think $0.15 is more than worth it for these!
I was mainly concerned about the dairy aspect, but for those of you with other restrictions, Daiya cheesecakes are also gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan!
- What do you look for when dining out for lunch?
- Do you like cheesecake?
- Which flavor would you pick?