Students in the downtown area looking to get a quick and healthy lunch should try out FreshBooth, the newly opened restaurant by two Western students.
Located at 201 Queens Ave., The restaurant is a modern looking single room with solid white and green walls, only decorated by a few photographs hanging on one wall.
There are a few tables that can seat a total of 12 patrons, plus several bar seats facing the window looking outside. Otherwise, the place is pretty empty.
The radio plays loudly in the background, tuned to a station playing trendy music and advertisements. It could benefit from being turned down, but perhaps it is more for entertaining the people who are working there or waiting for their food.
The four staff at the counter were all very helpful and friendly as I struggled to decide what to order. Two managers showed up while I was eating and asked me for feedback and to let them know if I needed anything.
They were slower than expected to prepare my burrito, taking about 10 minutes. On my second visit to FreshBooth, my salad came very quickly, leading me to believe burritos just take extra time.
Everything comes in take out containers, presumably to encourage getting your meal to go.
They seemed to be turning orders pretty quickly, avoiding any real build up as a couple dozen people came in over the course of an hour or so.
Menu items include several different salads, wraps, burritos and bowls, all for around $10. Everything is customizable and has the option of adding protein for an extra $1-2.
Drink options were limited to Coke, Coke zero, juice, water, coffee and tea. The sign outside the restaurant advertises smoothies, but when I inquired about them on my second visit I was told smoothies wouldn’t start being available until a few days later.
What I ordered:
Rio Burrito with Spinach Pita: Rice, corn, beans, onion, tomato, cheddar cheese, lots of chicken, very light on the sweet onion sauce. Somewhat sweet overall and good medley of flavours. Pita bread is phenomenal. Pretty filling, but could be a bit more substantial.
Green Tea: Decent, nothing special. Came scorching hot to the point of being undrinkable even after 10 minutes.
Kale Caesar: Not very filling. Long pieces of tofu, tomato, romaine, kale, parmesan, crispy wontons and standard Caesar salad dressing. Unique take on a Caesar, but could benefit from a better dressing.
Price: 4/5: Everything is well priced for a light meal, but could be more filling. Given the healthy ingredients, things were fairly reasonable.
Atmosphere: 3.5/5: Very modern and simple design that fits with the healthy clean feel. Background music could be better. Feels very empty.
Service: 4/5: Really fast overall but the burritos take a while. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.
Food & Drink: 3.5/5: Excellent burrito and pretty good salad. Sizable variety of healthy menu options. Limited and fairly unhealthy drink selection, plus scorching hot tea that wasn’t great.
If you want to try it yourself:
201 Queens Avenue