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Fresh Fruit and Salads – Camden, NJ

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Good food? Yes. Creative restaurant name? Not so much.

Fresh Fruit and Salads – Camden, NJ
Meal: Lunch / Weekday / 12pm
Price: $15.25 (For Two – No Tip Necessary)
Website/Menu: Fresh Fruits and Salads

With LaRiveria recently closing and Market West Grill down for renovation, finding a good lunch spot on the business and college-heavy Camden waterfront can be tricky. In the last six months, a few newcomers have popped up, including Fresh Fruits and Salads. Facing stiff competition from Cafe Salad Work (previously reviewed) just down the street, would Fresh Fruit and Salads be worth its weight in romaine?

The interior of the restaurant is pretty small. There are about six glass-covered tables and chairs. Comfortable, but nothing really to comment on either way. There is a disproportionate amount of menus in the place – they are under the glass of each table, and plastered everywhere on the walls. It doesn’t bother me so much, but they should replace all that menu action with pictures or something else that gives a warmer feeling. A large window bends some light into the restaurant and gives you a view of the happenings of passers-by in Camden. Yippie.

The menu selection is pretty decent, but don’t expect anything other than, you guessed it, fruits or salads. The good news is that no regular menu item is going to cost you more than $7, and most are just $6.25. This is a nice break compared to Saladworks, which has many items pushing $8. If they don’t have exactly what you want, you can create your own salad with up to 8 items, which is 3 better than SaladWorks. You won’t find any soup or sandwiches, but the fruit salad is available in 3 sizes starting at just $3.35 for a small.

I tried the tuna special, which included what appeared to be chunk-light tuna, real bacon bits, egg, broccoli, and tomatoes on a bed of iceberg and romaine. Autumn tried a create-your-own with turkey and a host of other stuff. Portion sizes were in line with the competition, and included a choice of wheat or white bread. Dressings were only served on the side; I do not think they’ll mix it in for you. There was a good selection, but from past experience some of the italian dressings had a flavor that didn’t seem quite right compared to your garden-variety italian flavor. There were enough ‘light’ selections available to offer a healthier choice. The bread is a similar size to the competition, but was also very chewy and unremarkable if you’re really looking to nail the coffin in that low carb diet. Drinks were available bottled from the cooler only, but they had a good selection of water, teas, and sodas. We were impressed to see 24oz varieties offered, which was perfect for sharing. At $1.00-$1.75 each, we thought they were very fairly priced.

We both really liked the salad, especially the quantity of toppings. I thought I got a fair shake of tuna, and Autumn got plenty of turkey cubes. Unlike some places, the iceberg/romaine mix is indeed a mix and not 95% iceberg, adding a little more nutrition. It did indeed taste ‘fresh’, and I didn’t notice a single leaf that was brown or seemed withered. The service is generally very polite, with a very sincere sense of appreciation from a man we believe to be the owner. All things considered, you’ll get a nice size of salad and a roll of bread for less than most competitors which no noticeable lack of quality. Perhaps the money they’ve saved by keeping the interior no frills allowed them to shave a little bit off their prices. After all, are you going out to lunch to eat, or are you going out to lunch to marvel at the interior? We’re big on value here at Chewru, and Fresh Fruit and Salads gives you plenty of it. We’ll be back.

Pros:

– Inexpensive compared to others
– Lots of fresh menu items
– Polite service

Cons:

– No soups, sandwiches, etc..
– Limited seating

Guru’s Score: 4.2
Autumn’s Score: 3.8
Combined Score: 4.0 Chews

 ★★★★☆

Subjective rating: More cheese, please.

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