Some of you might be asking why we’re not featuring healthy food in the blog.
Uhmn that’s because I don’t eat vegetables. Well, the truth is, it’s just so easy to pick an unhealthy choice. There are just so many! Also, if eaten in moderation, steaks are not too bad for the health right? Haha! We do order salads once in a blue moon sometimes in steak houses and other casual restaurants we go to but there’s no restaurant committed to the healthy lifestyle in Riyadh that’s easily accessible and convenient. Unless you subscribe to the likes of Diet World, Diet Watchers, etc. Good thing, Freshii came to our lives. However, Freshii is not a full-fledged restaurant. It’s a hole in the wall food store that serves healthy salads, wraps, rice bowls, and burrito.
Freshii is one of the food stores in Arcadia Plaza, it’s where the newest Tamimi Market is, in the corner of Prince Turki Road and Mecca Road. It’s a stone throw away from King Faisal Specialist Hospital. Freshii is tucked between Dunkin Donuts and Whites Pharmacy. Because they’re totally related you know. Have some donuts and a salad and some makeup brushes. Haha! Don’t get me wrong. I like the diversity of stores in this area. I like that there’s Maestro and McDonalds and Shakes too. Totally healthy! Haha! Anyway, Freshii is like the breath of fresh air among these lineup of fast food. In between burgers, pizza, and milkshakes, there’s an Asian vegetable soup and a quinoa bowl! Beat that. Haha! Even their interiors look so refreshing! See this:
I am one of those persons you’ll least likely to find inside Freshii but because I’m lacking something new for the day, I went in and tried one of their salads and one of their rice bowls. I even tried one of the juices. The yikes-inducing Carrot Zinger. Just by reading the name, I was already gagging. I hate carrot juice (that’s probably why my eye sight is so poor haha!) and this juice has carrot, apple, and ginger. The guy behind the cashier highly recommended it so I gave it a go. Well, I wasn’t disappointed, It still has that “vegetable” taste to it but the apple saved this drink for me. More ice and it could have been the most refreshing healthy juice I’ve ever drank in my entire life. Hahaha! Okay, in my life in Riyadh. The second suggestion is their Mighty Detox which has pineapple, apple, cucumber, celery, and ginger. The first two fruits I like but the celery. Oh my goodness. I need to pass. Haha! But try it and let me know.
I chose their Metaboost Salad comprising of filed greens, spinach, kale, mangoes, carrots, edamame, almonds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. The bowl is filled to the brim with these ingredients and it’s the most veggies I’ve eaten in one day! At first, being it so green, I thought I wouldn’t like it. Turns out it’s actually tasty. The greens are crunchy! I especially like the addition of the ripe mangoes because it gives this salad a sweet twist. The balsamic vinaigrette is not overpowering. It’s the right mix of everything. I like this so much that I ordered it again a few weeks after. However, the mangoes were unripe and hard. I didn’t like it. Goes to show it’s only the mango that makes or breaks this salad for me.
They have other kinds of salad which you can turn into wrap. There’s the tangy Buffalo with aged cheddar and blue cheese, the Cobb with corn, bacon, avocado and honey dijon dressing, the Fiesta which has black beans, pico de gallo, and cilantro lime vinaigrette, the Ninja which has crispy wantons and Asian sesame dressing, and the Market which has lots of greens, beet slaw, and dried cranberries. You can also customize it with proteins (because you can’t say no to meat, admit it!). Add tuna, falafel, chicken, steak, or shrimp!
Reina, who is fast becoming a fan of this food store, tried the Market which has crunchy, leafy veggies (kale, lettuce and spinach) with a zest of apple and beetroot slices tossed together with dijon mustard goodness. Every bite made her vitamin-hungry body feel good.
As for the Bowls, I tried their Teriyaki Twist which has brown rice, brocolli, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, green onion, sesame, crispy wontons, and teriyaki sauce. I added some shrimps. The bowl presentation looks so nice! It reminded me of the Korean bibimbap with its ingredients separated on top of the rice. Again, this rice bowl takes a bit of getting used to if you’re like me (basically your average unhealthy eater). I find everything “raw”. Like I’m not eating something cooked. Uhmn which some of the ingredients are. However. I like the teriyaki sauce on this bowl. It made it more palatable and flavorful. Everything has a nice crunch to it layered with the bouncy shrimps. Reina says that her Teriyaki Twist with chicken was a bit of a let down because it was bland. Maybe another tablespoon of teriyaki sauce would do the trick next time.
Other options are Buddha’s Satay with rice noodles and peanut sauce, the Warrior which has brown rice and ranch dressing, and the Pangoa which has brown rice and fiery barbecue sauce, the Meditteranean which has quinoa, olives, feta cheese, and red pepper sauce. Reina tried the Pangoa and she said that every bite was a hearty one! It satisfied her flavor-wise and it didn’t remind her that it was healthy food (even though it actually is). Maybe I should try this next time.
Freshii also has soups. Choose among Asian Vegetable, Southwestern and Spicy Lemongrass. I want to try their Burrito next because their names (Baja, Bangkok, Smokehouse, Tex Mex, and Thai Lemongrass) seem interesting enough to be ordered. They have a ref filled with diet sodas and hummus chips too!
If you want to take a break from steaks, burgers, pizzas, pastas and desserts then I suggest you try Freshii. It’s not only fresh and refreshing, it’s tasty and healthy too. With this food stall, there’s no reason to not eat healthy (unless you count the distance to your place, haha!). Unfortunately they don’t deliver and they don’t have eating areas for families and females. They’re basically a takeaway food shop for most of us.
a. Arcadia Plaza, Prince Turki Road
b. Hafsah Bint Omar Street, Ar-Rawdah
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia