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Fresh/Juice for Life - bad experience

I hadn't been to Fresh in a while and my diet's actually changed a lot so I had to order a bit more carefully.

Anyway, I ordered a salad and asked for the peanuts to be omitted. They said they couldn't do that. I decided there was not much else for me to eat so I got it anyway and would just not eat the peanuts. My mom ordered a salad with the tofu steaks addition When our tiny, expensive salads came, mine had peanuts thrown on top and hers had no tofu.

I asked why they couldn't just not put them on when they seem to have just NOT put on tofu steaks. These arbitrary rules are even worse when it's in a place that precisely caters to specific diets. Why would they mention tofu or tempeh on their menu if they're just not going to put it on?

This restaurant has the monopoly in the area but really I can just get some cheap sushi down the street or go to the market. I have been to so many of these kinds of restaurants in New York and it's a shame I can't find an equivalent here (LIVE is fine but even pricier)....

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  1. I agree that they should be able to omit something like peanuts upon request. I don't believe they have their salads pre-made, so I'm not sure why that would be a problem.
    Especially considering the number of people with peanut allergies these days.
    However, I have had mostly good experiences at Fresh. Sometimes their food is great. Sometimes it's decent. I've never had a terrible meal there.
    I don't think it's fair to say they have a monopoly in the area. They've built up a business and customers based on a history of good food that serves a certain niche and people choose to come back. It's a good option when you're with a group of people that want to eat something light or you are dining with vegans.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pescatarian

      I don't really think they have a monopoly either, considering that there is a pretty decent salad bar at Whole Foods just a bit further...

      however, it is ridiculous how they could omit tofu from your mom's salad even though they "couldnt" omit the peanuts.

    2. Which location did you go to? I've hear the spadina/queen is quite bad, but I've enjoyed my experience at the others.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cupcakez

        Fresh on Spadina at Queen is terrible - my rice bowl tasted dehydrated. This was last summer, mind you, but I still sometimes get smoothies at the West Queen West location - though prices are sky-high.

        I'm in favour of Live, Fressen, and juice bars like Chasers in Mimico where you can get fresh fruit of your choice blended up for $4 (no tax) for 16 oz.

      2. Sorry, I went to the one at Bloor & Spadina. I think I meant monopoly in terms of timing; when they first opened I remember people hadn't even heard of tempeh let alone raw foods.

        Anyway, I don't feel like over paying for someon's culinary whims, the service there is kind of slow. It's not fine dining and I can get a ton of food for that money elsewhere.

        1. One more clarification, I meant when Juice for Life originally opened at Bloor & Bathurst, they had good timing, hence the monopoly. But now yes, it's much better. Too bad nothing is closer to where I work! Sunny's in Noah's is good I guess.

          1. Everytime I've been to Fresh on Queen the staff was rude, slow and the food was cold.

            We continued to go there because my sister is a vegan and we enjoyed the fact that we could go out for dinner and she would have a great menu selection.

            Now we just don't even bother.... It's too bad.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MissDarling

              I spoke to some of my vegetarian/vegan friends about this and most of them said it is just too expensive for them anyway. It is really too bad, I agree.

              I have worked in restuarants and don't agree with that kind of attitude, it just puts people off that kind of food in general. My meat-eating boyfriend thinks it's a snobby place but he used to like it...

              1. re: MissDarling

                We ate at the Queen location recently when we met a friend of my wife's who, I guess, likes to eat "healthy". I'm certainly not a hard-core carnivore, but I've had some bad experiences at vegetarian places and Fresh personified all of them. Mainly I found that the food I ordered (some soba noodle bowl) was just a whole lot of the same. It tasted okay at first, then by around the halfway point I just didn't want any more. Both my dish and my wife's were oversalted, and the flavourings were too overwhelming; just because there's no meat you don't need to dump the whole spice jar in, honest.

                The service was not rude but it was extremely slow and indifferent, and they had trouble keeping orders and requests from different tables separate. Then... our server vanished. I went thirsty for a long time waiting for a chance to order a second beer; by the time the server meandered back by our end of the patio we were pretty much done eating and just got the bill instead. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot by missing out on a whole round of drinks and the associated tips. I wouldn't go back.

              2. This is one of those places that I wanted to like so badly, and has disappointed me every single time. I end up going once a year [having forgotten how awful it was the last time, and usually dragged there by a veggie friend]. The service and food are just terrible- I agree with previous posters' assessment of glacially paced, ridiculously attitude-laden service, and mediocre food for the price. Too bad, because the menu holds such promise- there's just no follow through on anything else.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Smorgasbord

                  I do so agree with everything you said! I can add one other negative - the NOISE LEVELS ARE DEAFENING!!!!
                  Seriously, at 2 p.m. on a Sunday, (Bloor/Spadina location) it was nightclub decible level, all those vegans shrieking at each other and the sound bouncing off the hard surfaces. A very unpleasant experience for somebody with a hangover just wanting a quiet healthy meal!

                2. That is nuts that they won't cater to nut allergies!

                  I only go to Fresh for brunch on the weekend--and I love their pancakes, tofu scramble and sweet potato fries. Their soups are often very tasty too and the friend I usually go with likes the burrito. We have also enjoyed the dosa. But the few times I've tried the rice bowels, I haven't been that impressed (they've seemed like all rice and little anything else) and I have little experience with the salads alone.