5060 Jackson Rd, suite A | Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 887-6655 | Freshforage.com
Monday-Saturday 11am-8pm | Closed Sunday
The Short Course
To avoid wait: Avoid peak lunch hours during the week
Noise level: Low.
Bathroom amenities: Changing table.
High chairs? Yes.
Got milk? Yes, dairy milk, as well as non-dairy options.
Kids’ menu? Yes.
Anything healthy for kids? Yes.
Food allergy concerns? Fresh Forage prides itself in being allergen friendly.
We were quite excited when we popped into this bright, large space on Jackson Road on a quiet, early fall Saturday afternoon. Fresh Forage fast casual healthy menu mirrors how we often eat with our kids at home; focusing more on protein, vegetable, grain, and fruit options to choose from as opposed to full entrees. There are so many options at Fresh Forage that any child or adult is bound to find those that please individual tastes. It’s clear that, here, freshness and local sourcing are founding principles.
Fresh food, customized
When we arrived our kids were introduced to their first ‘order-by-tablet’ experience. Choosing lunch and playing on an iPad!? It was a hit, but it also took 10 minutes to complete our order. Rookie mistake here. Study-up a bit in advance and you can streamline this step. You can also order with the friendly staff if you are not so technologically inclined.
Our 3-year old went with a basic kids bowl ($6.99) starting with rice, a side of fresh cucumbers and sweet corn. The 5-year old opted for the Grilled Chicken Mac and Cheese ($6.99). Readers of this column will appreciate that while he enjoyed the Campanelle (trumpets) pasta and the homemade cheese sauce it didn’t quite stack-up to Casey’s in his mind!
The fun preparation of veggies (spiralized carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini) that accompanied our Green Bowl and Argentina Steak Bowl also meant the kids were excited to pick and choose from our bowls as well! Jackpot. The Green Bowl ($11.99), a blend of mixed and microgreens with avocado, zucchini, broccoli, cucumbers, roasted mushrooms and toasted pepitas, is one hearty salad. We highly recommend it with the wild sumac vinaigrette – a unique tangy and sweet mix. We added a fried egg ($1.50) to our Green Bowl because, well, everything is better with a fried egg.
The Argentina Steak Bowl ($11.99) highlighted chili-lime grass-fed steak that our 5-year old revealed to be pick-worthy. Combined with a bright pico de gallo, avocado, fresh peppers and miniature cubed sweet potatoes this bowl delighted and filled us all. We added shredded cheese ($1) and homemade kale chips ($1). Get. The. Kale. Chips.
Try one of Fresh Forage’s eight signature bowls or craft your own with endless options of hearty proteins, staples, and bright veggies. All bowls are served without any accompanying sauce, but don’t fret if you, like us, enjoy saucing things up. Next to the front counter you’ll find a delightful mini-fridge chocked full of Fresh Forage’s collection of house-made, flavor-packed sauces (roasted garlic aioli, chipotle aioli, green goddess, wild sumac vinaigrette, and Korean sesame sweet heat). We loved them all and found them to each be a great accompaniment for the bowls.
Our 5- and 3-year olds were fired up to try out the smoothies ($5.99) at Fresh Forage, even researching in advance with excitement building toward the Blueberry Power! Overall this smoothie was tasty, however the walnuts gave it a consistency not quite right for their little palates. We found a similar response to the Golden Pina Colada, where the turmeric outshined the pineapple a bit. There are several tasty creations here, but we highly recommend customizing for kids, as we plan to do at a future visit!
Parents, get the thai chili limeade ($2.99)! It has a bit of a kick but we found it unique and deeply refreshing. They also serve nitro coffee ($4.99), kombucha ($3.99), and organic apple cider ($2.99) on tap.
There are so many options at Fresh Forage that you are sure to find something that you like. We can attest to the freshness and their commitment to locally sourced ingredients creates some fun conversations around the lunch or dinner table. We also found it highly admirable that every single item served there, from the food, to the silverware, to the bowls, can be composted. Dining with your family at Fresh Forage will leave you feeling content that you did something good for your bodies, for the local food community, and for the environment. A delicious triple win!