Posted on Aug 30, 2011 | 9 comments
There are handful of things I’d consider myself pretty amazing at. For example, parallel parking, closing drawers three-quarters of the way, and crunching numbers in excel… I am a self-proclaimed excel visionary, after all. I am also pretty darn good at finding an excuse to treat myself to a tasty lunch every Saturday… ok… and every Sunday too. Last Sunday, after my insane 8 mile run I had a totally valid no-justification-needed excuse for wanting to grab a bite out. I was craving something light and fresh but oober tasty. Working with just those three criteria I knew exactly where to head. Just Fresh in Dilworth.
Just Fresh is one of the restaurants I visit most in Charlotte, yet I’ve never mentioned it on the blog. I guess that’s life for ya. We tend to focus on what’s shiny and new in our lives and often overlook those tried and true good ole standbys.
What first drew me to Just Fresh, besides the fact that it’s a bakery and a cafe mashed into one, was their mission of providing convenient, fresh, nutritionally balanced options for people on the go.
Soul mates, perhaps?!
One of the things that’s really cool about Just Fresh is the big variety of options on the menu. They’ve got what you’d expect from a cafe–sandwiches, soups, salads, and an absurd amount of baked goodies–but they’ve also got a ton of heartier options like chicken and beef quesadillas, fajitas, and turkey burgers!
Just Fresh has five locations in Charlotte, but the Dilworth location is my favorite due to the ample patio seating.
Every time I’m at Just Fresh I opt for the 1/2 sandwich 1/2 salad combo. It’s less than $7 and you get a good sized salad, large half of a sandwich, PLUS a side of your choice. And you aren’t stuck with a giant piece of bread or boring potato chips or a red apple either. Who even eats red apples, anyway? Granny Smith, all the way baby. All the way. At Just Fresh you’ve got a big list of sides to choose from ranging from fresh fruit salad to cucumber dill pasta salad and coleslaw.
Another thing I adore about Just Fresh is that they post their nutritional data on their website. For only having 5 locations, that’s pretty awesome. Usually, when I go out to eat I don’t obsess about finding something healthy to eat. To be honest, it’s just too dang hard. And if I’m shelling out a pretty penny to dine at a restaurant the food on my plate had better be pretty darn delicious. Despite this, it’s really nice to have a go-to restaurant with healthy options for those times when I’m on the run or just feeling too lazy to cook.
My two favorite sandwiches at Just Fresh are the turkey franita and the oven roasted turkey breast. I’m a turkey gal, what can I say?
Seriously, tell me you wouldn’t love to have this for lunch today:
If you’re wondering what the heck a franita is, trust me you are not alone. I was skeptical at first thinking it might have something to do with eggs given that “Franita” sounds like she’d be Frittata’s prude older sister. Just me??
On my fourth visit to Just Fresh I decided to give Franita a shot, and thank I thank the heavens I did. The turkey franita comes with turkey, a creamy artichoke parmesan spread, tomato, and cucumber on a toasty french roll. This sandwich is ALL ABOUT the artichoke spread. It’s slightly tangy, oh so creamy, and full of flavor.
The WHOLE franita sandwich is only 370 calories, which scores it extra brownie points. Now I recommend you change those brownie points in for one of the delicious looking brownies in the dessert case. Stat.
The sandwich/salad combo comes with your choice of a half ceaser salad or half garden salad. I always opt for the garden salad with balsamic dressing:
For those days when I’m feeling CRAZY and craving something totally off the wall, I get the EXACT same combo but sub in the oven roasted turkey breast sandwich instead:
I’m a creature of habit. What else can I say?
As an aspiring bread connoisseur, this wheat bread holds a very special place in my heart. It has a hint of sweetness and is incredibly fluffy and soft but still has a slight chew to it. So good! I’m always surprised at how big this half sandwich is. What’s even more surprising is that a whole one of these guys only comes in at 410 calories.
Since I kicked major booty on my Sunday run, I decided it was time to finally try out one of the MANY goodies Just Fresh has in the dessert case.
A little toffee and chocolate chip cookie for the lady please
And by little, I mean ginormous, of course. The nutritionals for their baked goods are not provided on the website…. I’m guessing they aren’t as nutritionally well rounded as the rest of their menu.