Fresh on Bloor (Toronto)

Fresh is one of the original vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Toronto. While there are numerous choices in 2018, five years ago yielded few businesses (other than ethnic restaurants) who were willing to go meatless.

Remembering their veggie burger was too mushy for my taste, the squash tacos ($11) seemed like a better choice and I was awarded with delicious grilled tortillas STUFFED with hot deep fried squash nuggets (absolutely delicious), tomato, onion, and a host of other vegetables. A cool creamy jalapeno and lime sauce was generously drizzled over everything, the pepper adding a bold bite to the tacos.

In retrospect, had I known there were so many vegetables in the tacos, I wouldn’t have needed to add a side of the superfood salad ($5.25). Of course, my body and immune system probably enjoyed the extra heaping of greens; the lettuce salad packed with microgreens, cabbage, edamame, herbs, cucumbers, and pistachios. The turmeric mint tahini dressing tossed into the salad made everything tasty - although I couldn’t see it, I could taste it.

Asking our waitress how large the tacos were, she noted they were small and mimicked a circle about the size of a hand. What arrived was at least 50% larger, which rendered the plate of dragon fries ($9) to share unnecessary. Thankfully, they weren’t good, the miso gravy too thick so it tasted like bean flavoured Cheese Whiz and left a sticky consistency on the tongue. Aside from the sauce, the predominant flavour was the tangy hot banana chilies, we would have been better off the plain spuds.

Since my first visit to Fresh years ago, the chain has also expanded and they are busy – having a small queue at the door even during a weeknight. It’s becoming popular to go meatless.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 326 Bloor Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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