When the fun and the feasting of the holidays are over, minds invariably turn to a fresh start to go with the fresh year. Whether jumping all-in to a January cleanse or just looking to cut back a little, Seattleites are lucky to have a wide range of healthy choices at their fingertips. Last year we added yet another, as the area’s first Freshii opened in Bellevue Square.
A leader in the health-casual restaurant trend, Freshii has grown in just over a decade from a single eatery in Toronto to more than 300 restaurants worldwide. The Bellevue Freshii is a colorful, bright, energizing space that engages diners of all ages. The ease and efficiency of the self-bussed counter service appeals to busy parents on the go, and kids love to check out the impressive living hedge wall.
Freshii’s signature dishes are their nutritious grain bowls (arguably the poster child of the new healthy eating revolution). The Oaxaca bowl is a particular standout, with a hearty base of brown rice, black beans and kale topped with the crunch of crispy wontons, a refreshing beet slaw and salsa fresca, drizzled with a zingy lime yogurt sauce. For those looking to up their protein intake, diners can “energize their meals” with falafel, tofu, chicken or steak, and substitute quinoa. There are a number of early morning options, from the excellent (and very portable) breakfast burritos to a refreshing and invigorating Smoothie bowl made from greens, fresh fruit, coconut and granola.
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
The kids’ menu ($4.99) offers some healthy takes on traditional kid favorites, incorporating plenty of whole grains, lean protein and fresh vegetables. The chicken noodle soup is always popular with younger diners, as is the protein-packed, teriyaki-flavored Kung Fu bowl. A wide selection of freshly pressed juices and smoothies range from the virtuous detox juice to the kid-approved strawberry banana low-fat froyo smoothie.
If the kids need an activity after lunch, head upstairs to the play area on the third floor, or take them to visit Bellevue Downtown Park right across the street.575 Bellevue Way NE #2039, Bellevue, freshii.com