Limited Options: Health Fare

Mack and I finally made it to the Art Gallery of Alberta on one of their Thursday free admission nights to check out the exhibition on Museums in the 21st Century, and right in the nick of time too – the temporary gallery located in Enterprise Square will be closing up shop on Sunday in order to transition to the new building (I’m super-excited for the new facility and of course, the new restaurant inside).

Afterwards, we crossed the street to have dinner at Health Fare, Mark Bakker’s response to unhealthy fast food choices.

Health Fare interior

I did think it would be busier than it was, with only one other party inside when we arrived, but I would assume lunch time is their rush hour. Residents and late-night office workers in the area could take some time to warm up to the restaurant, particularly during the busy holiday season.

The menu options weren’t terribly deep – soups, salads, sandwiches and rice bowls ran the gamut of our choices. Mack opted to upgrade his Health Fare club to a combo with a side of soup and a non-water drink for $13.64, while I ordered the roast beef & Swiss ($8.99) and a side of baked sweet potato skinny fries ($3.99).

Our food was brought to us shortly after we sat down. I liked the fries, and didn’t think the fact that they had been baked instead of deep-fried hurt their flavour at all. The garlic dip was a nice accompaniment, and the plate satisfied my craving for something salty. Mack liked his spicy tomato soup (one of four options available that night), even though the heat was more than he anticipated.

Sweet Potato Skinny Fries

Spicy Tomato Soup

As for our sandwiches – larger plates would have helped, for starters. Also, it turned out our sandwiches had been slightly warmed in a Panini press, and though I appreciated the crunchy texture this lent the multigrain bread, it was a bit jarring to bite into a warm bun only to be met with layers of still-chilled meat and vegetables. The caramelized onions were a nice touch on my roast beef and swiss, but other than that, it was just an okay sandwich. Mack liked his club for the most part as well (which contained, in addition to the usual tomato and lettuce, avocado), but found the bacon (billed as “crispy”) to be a little limp.

Roast Beef & Swiss (thinly shaved peppercorn-crusted beef, Swiss, arugula, caramelized onions, horseradish dressing)

Health Fare Club (crispy turkey bacon, sliced turkey, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, light mayo)

The last I heard, they have installed their system to allow patrons to order by text, but are still testing it out. Once it is available to the public, I’d like to come back to see how it works, and perhaps try out their savoury rice bowls. Still, I hope they add some more exciting items to the menu, or at least have some feature dishes in the future.

Health Fare
101A, 10279 Jasper Avenue
(780) 990-1231
Monday-Friday 6:30am-9pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

5 thoughts on “Limited Options: Health Fare

  1. That club does look like its about to fall off the plate. I can’t help but think they are working on the visual aspect of your stomach (ie, if the plate looks full you are eating more) and won’t want to go back for more. And yes, warm bread and chilled ingredients is a bummer indeed.

  2. I find the colour scheme, with the white walls, and lighting of the restaurant bring about a sterile… or “industrial” and cold look.
    I was wandering around that area and seriously considered wandering in, but decided it didn’t look very inviting and wandered to Sobey’s for dinner instead.

  3. hey sharon,

    i heard a review on cbc that also wasn’t very flattering for healthy fare. it included a fact that although they bill themselves as healthy, they didn’t have any ingredients that were bought locally. bummer. have to say tho- the meal i had (long time ago) at the south side resto was pretty good.

  4. Chris – I didn’t even consider about that aspect, about trying to make the plate seem more full – interesting thought!

    A – I actually like the decor, as I think it is quite clean and crisp, but I can see how it can be interpreted another way as well.

    Jill – I think restaurants can still be healthy even if they don’t source ingredients locally. But if they did, that would step Health Fare up a notch definitely. I do like their environmental policy though, with 100% biodegradable water bottles and their forthcoming “green catering” (using all biodegradable plates, cutlery, etc.).

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