As the temperatures heat up outside, heavy, stodgy food is not really what appeals. People tend to gravitate toward lighter fare that will keep them cool and energized.

Just over a year ago, executive chef Steven Shienfield and his partners at Marketstreet Group became aware of a vacant space in Galleria Plaza on West Bay Road. They immediately saw the potential to add to their portfolio of island-wide restaurants, but were initially unsure of what theme the new establishment should embody. In the end, they came up with the idea for Fresh Kitchen & Coffee, a café centered around the idea of healthy eating.

There is ample in-house seating available, or you can order take-out if you are in a hurry.

Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the week and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekends, Fresh is a place with mass appeal, thanks to its flexible hours and central location. Surrounded by expansive windows on three of its four sides, the inside feels bright and welcoming. Likewise, the décor is modern, light, and minimalistic, invoking a feel of spaciousness. Staying true to the theme of keeping things natural, much of the furniture is constructed from wood.

The atmosphere is relaxed and casual. The cozy bench seating that lines much of the perimeter of the eatery provides the perfect place to relax, work away on your laptop, or even host a small business meeting over some coffee. There is a wide range of coffee options available, thanks to a partnership with local coffee roasters and suppliers Paradise Coffee.

“If you’re going to have coffee, it has to be good,” says Shienfield, attesting to the quality of Paradise Coffee, which roasts an exclusive blend for Fresh.

You can start and finish your day at Fresh with the all-day breakfast menu, which ranges from the familiar to the ornate. The Texas burrito and bacon, egg and cheese bagel will satisfy the traditionalists among us, while the verdant açai green bowl might be more appealing to those looking for an enriching, vegetarian option.

The healthiest selection of foods comes from the expansive bowl and salad options, most of which are vegetarian but can have chicken, steak, or tuna added to them, if requested. From the Mediterranean bowl to the Buddha bowl, fiesta salad and ultimate Caesar, the list is long and varied. Even the pickiest of eaters would be hard pressed to find a bowl or salad that doesn’t tickle their fancy.

A variety of freshly made sandwiches and wraps is also available, with veggie options in the falafel wrap, grilled vegetable sandwich, and the jerk veggie wrap. If vegetarian doesn’t suit you, then tantalizing menu items such as the jerk chicken sandwich, fresh BLT, and sesame ahi tuna wrap will surely satisfy your palate.

Complimenting the array of dishes is a refreshing selection of smoothies and juices, all of which are made with fresh fruits and natural cane sugar; none of that high fructose corn syrup nonsense.

Although Fresh provides an abundance of in-house seating, they also cater to customers needing to take-out their food. You can pick up grab ‘n’ go meals and refreshments from the counter, making Fresh the perfect place for those looking to grab a quick meal during a busy lunch break.

Fresh’s commitment to providing fresh, healthy food in as sustainable a way possible is admirable – they even use biodegradable food containers and cutlery.

So, if you feel you are stuck for healthy food options for breakfast and lunch, or simply want a good cup of coffee, Fresh is probably just the place for you.

Check out Fresh on Facebook at Fresh Kitchen & Coffee. You can also email [email protected] or call 640-0008. Fresh is located in Galleria Plaza on West Bay Road.

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