Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Evolution Fresh

Evolution Fresh is a subsidy of Starbucks, originally started by the same guy who founded Naked Juice.  Their main product is juices (fruit, veggie, combo, or even things like coconut water), sold bottled in stores, but they also have two shops in the Seattle area, and now one in San Francisco.  The focus is all on very healthy, fresh food.  In addition to the juices (on tap of course), the shops also offer smoothies, some healthy bowls you can create using kale, buckwheat noodles, quinoa, or lentils as the base, pre-made sandwiches (using multigrain bread or collard green wrappers) and a few sweets.  And of course, Starbucks coffee and Tazo teas.  Everything is very clearly labelled gluten-free, vegan, etc.

I attended the opening event in San Francisco, and tried out a few items.  The service was all very friendly and excited, as it was opening day.  For the most part, this just isn't the sort of food that I crave or would go out for, so I'm not sure when I'd go back.  Their juices and smoothies were really quite good, so if I was ever in the mood for one, I'd definitely think of Evolution Fresh.  I think it will do well, located right on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, and when I was there, it was completely filled with yoga pants wearing women, eager for a healthy snack.

Smoothie Granola Bowl.  $7.95.
They have a large variety of smoothies, which you can get as a classic smoothie, or turn into a granola bowl with granola and sliced banana.  I was originally just getting a smoothie, but changed my mind when I saw one of these come out, as it looked far more exciting.

For the smoothie, I picked the Smooth Blue, made with pineapple juice, mangoes, blueberries, and pineapple.  It was sweet, it was tart, it was super flavorful.  Icy, with some big chunks of blueberries, pineapple, and mango remaining.  I'm pretty sure that was intentional.  I really liked the smoothie.

Mixed into it was some granola, that got soggy fairly fast.  I didn't like that part, and had expected it to just come topped with the granola, like the açaí bowls I tried at Blue Hawaii.  There was also a bunch of ripe sliced banana.

This was very similar to an açaí bowl, but I liked it more.  However, I would have most likely just preferred a smoothie, and will unlikely get one of these again.

$7.95 seemed pretty pricy for the size, even if it was made with quality ingredients.
Mel Bar.  $2.
From the "small bites" section of the menu, supposed to be a healthy treat, made with almond butter, nuts, seeds, dried cranberries, crisp puffed millet, and rolled in coconut flakes.

I had a hard time identifying what exactly was in here.  There were bits of crunchy nuts, chopped up so tiny that I couldn't tell what type they were.  There were some tart dried cranberries, and I think some pepitas.  And obviously the coconut flakes on the outside.

I couldn't really tell how I felt about this.  It was a little sweet, but not really a dessert.  I believe it was a raw product.  There was a time when I went through a health foods kick, and I think that back then I would have really enjoyed it.  If you are a looking for a healthy treat, this could be it, but it isn't something that really has a place in my life right now.

$2 was a surprisingly good price, particularly compared to the other pricing.
Turkey and Caramelized Onion Sandwich.  $7.95.
They also have a fridge full of grab and go items, including sandwiches.  "Caramelized onions" jumped out at me, so I tried it.  It was turkey breast, with gruyere, baby spinach, dijon mustard, and of course, the caramelized onions, on seeded multigrain bread.

It wasn't very good.  It didn't taste all that fresh, which I guess is expected as it was pre-made.  The bread was kinda dry.  There wasn't much turkey.  I didn't taste any dijon.  The caramelized onions were flavorful, but besides them, it had nothing going for it.

Would not get again.

[ No photos ]
  • Organic V: Carrot, apple, celery, lemon, beet, spinach, lime, parsley, ginger.  Tasting notes; I didn't like this, but I don't tend to like vegetable juices.  It was kinda thick and just ... vegetably.
  • Pineapple Coconut Water: One of the better coconut waters I have tasted, very refreshing, but with a pretty strong pineapple flavor.
  • Belgium Chocolate Granola Bar: Nice dark chocolate, good crunch, pretty tasty.
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