This business recently changed from La Collina to a very inspiring looking bakery and restaurant operation. Walking in the door you are presented with a cornucopia of interesting sights and smells. The decoration is quite beautiful and then the disappointment begins.
It seems you have to line up and order your food at the counter - sight unseen (witha tip jar prominenlt placed in front of you). After paying for it, the clerk hands you a playing card and then looks to the next customer. Each time I go - I ask her - "and what exactly am I supposed to do with this?" Apparently you are supposed to know that the food and drink is collected down at the bar - in 2 different places. Silly me it is just so darn obvious and has all the joy of a military commissary.
On our first visit, she forgot to give us a cake that we had ordered and paid for. Of course, there was no bill provided so it became a matter of our word against hers. Not fun. This visit - the lasagna came eventually, but it was cold in spots so clearly had been nuked to warm it up.
During our first visit some months ago the place was busy but today it was quite quiet and I just do not enjoy eating there with the poor service and confusing way they do things. Don't get me wrong - the bakery material looks great but they have decided to run the restaurant differently despite millions of others having developed a way of doing things. That is their right - but they really should tell customers that once you have paid - your food will be made available at the bar and you show your card to pick it up. Frankly it still doesn't make sense - why can't they bring it out and figure out an easier way to give you drinks?
Too bad - so sad.
I don't find the food at fresh to be fresh at all. It seems to me to be all from containers as opposed to being sourced from the great cornucopia of FRESH product available on our wonderful Island.
Eggs from a container. I them pour them out myself since the grill they use to cook the breakfast it our on the floor. The eggs and the hasbrowns all taste like the same grease they use on the grill, which in my mind makes them both taste a little funky.
They few times I dinned there for breakfast as a garnish they use one of those chemically enhance manderine oranges, from a can. You know, the ones that glow neon orange. That to me is the opposite of fresh.
The service there I guess was OK. When I dinned there for dinner me and my girlfriend ordered a caesar salad. It came with what looked like spring mix, not your traditional romaine. When we asked the server she said it was a romiane lettuce mixture. Regardless, I am sure that the lettuce came out of a plastic tub, similar to what you buy in the grocery store.
I have not tried the baked good so maybe that is what keeps them afloat. I have heard they run a catering company as well so maybe they are successfull with that.
All I know is that fresh charges a fairly high price for recipes that are anything but fresh in my book.
Ambiance - wanna be hip 90's cafe - enough said
With a name like "Fresh" one could assume that the food they produce would be just that; fresh. However my experiences eating there have shown me that their food is anything but 'fresh'.
I have ordered their breakfast sandwich several times now and after how I saw it was made, I will no longer be ordering it ever again. It consists of an "omelet" on a previously frozen croissant. The last time I ordered it I watched as their cook opened up the fridge and pulled out a lifeless looking, previously made and cooked egg omelet and put it on the grill to ‘warm’ up. I mean seriously, you can’t take the 45 seconds to crack an egg, drop in some ham and whisk it up? When my sandwich was done re-warming, it was served with what looked like steamed, soggy hash browns that came from a steam tray. Good knows how long they had been sitting in there. And it’s not like it was overly busy and they didn’t have time to make it from scratch (my order was the only one the cook had to make the whole time I was there). I was not impressed.
I’ve had lunch there a few times and their spaghetti and meatballs is about the only thing I enjoy off the menu that they have not changed since they opened. I’m not too sure why a place called “Fresh” is not taking advantage of all the local and seasonal foods Victoria has to offer. Fresh seems very content at just being complacent and not putting much effort into their food or menu. Sounds exactly like their previous proprietor of that location; La Colina Bakery, as was its downfall.
Service is nothing to write home about and most time’s I’ve gone in there the staff outnumbers the customers…yet service and food is still slow?? I dislike that their Debit machine asks for a Tip as well as there is a Tip Jar on the counter. What am I tipping for exactly? For you to do your job? For me to get a re-heated breakfast sandwich? I don’t think so guys.
Fresh appears to be more focused on using their kitchen facilities to make food and transport it around town for catering and I believe school lunches than on making quality food for their Café/Bistro. Re-heating, previously frozen and shortcuts seems to be the order of the day at Fresh.
The atmosphere is what I would consider ‘wanna be trendy bistro from the 90’s”. Fresh has not done much, if anything, to separate themselves from the dozens and dozens of Café/Bistros in town. They invested a lot of money in several flat screen TVs, but are still showing the same images and menu items since they day they opened! Again, not putting much effort into their establishment. It seemed like they started out with a good idea, then just got lazy and took the same shortcuts as La Colina did. Needless to say it appears that they have just settled on being nothing special at all, nor wanting to stand out as a quality Café/Bistro.
It’s sad when I prefer to go to a nearby Recreation Center to get far better sandwiches and soups than a “Café/Bistro” has!
Fresh is about the closest restaurant to our house so we decided to give it a try on a Tuesday night, luckily it wasn't a special occasion - we just didn't feel like cooking after a busy day.
Hubby went for the spaghetti and "meatball" after checking that this wasn't a type on the menu - yes, it came with a baseball sized meatball, mediocre tomatoe sauce and ordinary pasta - nothing special but it filled the hole and hubby ate it all up and pronounced it ordinary.
I ordered the "roasted" lamb which came with roasted veggies. The waitress informed me that they served the lamb medium rare and asked it I was ok with that. I assured her I was. Expecting some sort of lamb shoulder or leg, I was a bit surprised to be presented with three lamb chops that had grill marks. I don't think the lamb had been near an oven to be roasted. The chops sat atop some roasted potatoes, carrots, and parsnips and the whole lot was covered with a rather lumpy brown gravy that looked like it was loaded with cornstarch. When I cut into the first chop it was raw. Now I like rare meat and will eat a juicy steak without hesitation but this was RAW! When I showed the waitress, she agreed and sent it back to the kitchen to be put back on the "BBQ". I didn't get a chance to ask about the 'roasting' bit. While hubby chowed down on his spaghetti, I waited for about 10 minutes for the lamb to be cooked. It finally arrived slightly burned on the outside but cooked on the inside. All in all for $19 it was a huge disappointment and we decided we will never go back but be content to wait for this place to fail and a new, hopefully better restaurant to occupy the space that is within walking distance of our front door. I'd avoid this place at all costs.