By Addison Ratchford
The lime green storefront on the corner of South Addison and West Cary is difficult to miss, and you certainly are missing out if you haven’t checked out Fresca on Addison.
This casual, artsy café debuted in 2010 when Jenna Sneed and her father Jimmy Sneed, a nationally-acclaimed chef, realized that “Jimmy’s obsession with great product and flavor and Jenna’s with farm fresh/animal free food” could merge as one. As the restaurant’s founders describe on Fresca’s website, their goal is to create vegetarian food “so awesome you won’t miss the meat,” focusing on “local — organic — fresh — healthy — and damn tasty” food.
The decor is minimalist and colorful, further accentuating the hipster vibe (in case you didn’t get it from the massive “Chicks Dig Vegetarians” banner outside or the tatted workers preparing the food). The menu is written on a chalkboard to the right of the entrance, which occasionally changes as the seasons do. I already know what I’ll order (my usual Vegan Chicken Salad, a flavorful chicken salad alternative bundled in a pita and topped with arugula), so I step up to the counter to inspect the sides of the day. I decide on the mustard potato salad, without a doubt the best potato salad I’ve ever had. Yelp user Natalie K. agrees: “My friend and I agreed that the vegan potato salad was some of the best we’d ever had anywhere, even better than non-vegan versions.”
Next, the two friends that joined me order: fellow Match writer Rebecca Robins (‘18) orders the Vegan Chicken Salad as well, and Lila Donahue (‘18) decides on the White Bean Burger with avocado, red onion, romaine, and curry mayo. All were served in a warm, nutty pita, freshly baked in Fresca’s in-house stone pizza oven.
Although all their dishes are vegetarian and nearly all can be made vegan, Fresca appeals to vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. My grandfather John Neurohr, an avid meat-eater, decided to surprise me at lunch, along with my mom Julie Ratchford and grandmother Brenda Neurohr. Although my grandfather often rejects the idea of any meal outside of his “meat and potatoes” comfort zone, he ordered the Vegan Black Bean Burger with slaw, and thought it was “delicious.” He did add that, “being a meat and potatoes guy, I would only eat it occasionally,” but “one thing that helped psychologically was I felt it was very healthy.” Lisa G., another Yelp reviewer, agrees: “I am not vegan or vegetarian, but I love Fresca!”
As for affordability, prices range from $2-$9.95 for desserts, appetizers, and entrees (reasonable individually, but can get costly with the addition of drinks and desserts). Robins thinks this is “lots of food for a small amount [of money]”, whereas Donahue commented that hers “was $10, that’s a lot of money.”
Some of my other favorite dishes at Fresca include the Potato & Onion pizza ($11.95 with vegan cheese), the Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk ($3 for a cup), and, my all time favorite, the Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich ($9.95 with one side). All of the dessert offerings I have tried are spectacular as well, especially the peanut butter cupcakes and enormous chocolate chunk cookies.
A true hidden gem, Fresca on Addison is the ideal place to stop by for a nourishing, quick lunch or dinner, whether you eat meat or not.
Featured image courtesy of frescaonaddison.com.