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Bliss and Vinegar offers fast, fresh food to Forest Hills

[Review] The healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing on time opened just months ago and focuses on quality, fresh and healthy options.

/Gabi Brown

Underwriting support from:

/Gabi Brown

/Gabi Brown

It’s easy for people to get discouraged from healthy eating when so many of the quickest and cheapest options around us are nowhere near nutritional. It’s also hard at times for someone who sticks to a mostly-vegetable diet to find a restaurant that offers a variety of options. Bliss and Vinegar answers both of htese needs as it manages to offer fresh, healthy and fast meals at reasonable prices.

Bliss and Vinegar, which opened this spring, is the type of restaurant you’d expect to be situated on Forest Hills Avenue, between Sip Organic Juice Bar and the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse. It’s healthy and incredibly fresh, with plenty of vegetarian options, though I don’t think it would turn an omnivore off too much.

I passed the restaurant probably 15 times, each time wondering what it was, before finally looking it up online and deciding to give it a try. I went with my mother and 12-year-old sister to get a few different perspectives and palates in the mix.

When you walk into the bright and airy space there are two large menus on the side wall just before the counter. Between the colorful paintings of vegetables hanging on the back wall and the wall-hanging plants in the corner, along with calm neutral colors, the place offers a pleasant aesthetic to come in and sit down.

The prices are moderate and you get your food in disposable bowls with disposable flatware. It’s along the lines of going to a fast food place, or sub shop as far as ease and speed, except it’s pleasantly fresh and healthy. Your food is made while you’re ordering and done before you pay. I’d definitely say Bliss and Vinegar is tapping into a market that should have come to this area quite some time ago- that is, fast, easily available and good for you.

Given the name, I thought that- I don’t know- the staff might have been a bit happier to see me. My mom, sister and I took a little while looking at the large menu on the wall deciding on what we wanted, as you generally do the first time you visit a restaurant. That clearly annoyed them. We weren’t greeted as we walked in - which I’d understand if they were busy, but there wasn’t anyone ordering at the time. When we did finally order, both staff members’ glum faces made me feel like I was doing some sort of disservice to them by ordering my food. We didn’t even get a “have a good day” after paying.

All that said though, as much as atmosphere helps, the food is what matters and and the food was good. As someone who’s stayed away from meat for a number of years, it’s always nice finding a restaurant I can go to that has more than just your basic salads as vegetarian options. The menu offers pre-chosen salad and wrap recipes, salads you can customize yourself and hot bowls.

I tried the B&V Kale Caesar Salad. The small bowl was $4.99 and plenty big for a lunch. The dish consists of a kale blend, shaved parmesan, red onion, pita croutons and Creamy Caesar Vinaigrette. It was good, exactly what you’d expect from a kale Caesar Salad. In general when I make something with kale, I like to pair it with something sweeter to cut the bitterness, so Caesar wouldn’t be my first choice, but it was still enjoyable. The dressing was great and not too overpowering. I never really thought you could mess up a Caesar salad until I had a bad one, I mean, like, really bad, so that’s something I definitely take notice to and appreciate when it’s done right. The “crunchy pita croutons” were a nice addition as well.

My mom got the Vegan Bliss Wrap which consists of quinoa, Tuscan kale, romaine, broccoli, edemame, walnuts, dried cherries and Honey Dijon dressing. This came in a $7.49. She mentioned that the dressing and wrap in general was rather sweet, though she very much enjoyed it. The only thing she’d add, she said, would be red onion.

My 12-year-old sister got one of the customizable salads, which includes one lettuce, four toppings and a dressing. She had them make a simple romaine salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette and then added red onion and shrimp. She didn’t end up eating much of this. She also got one of their gluten free chocolate chip cookies which, after eating half of, put it down and said it tasted weird.

We decided to order the Chili Cheese Fries to share. The dish includes oven fries covered in their meatless, black bean and sweet potato chili and cheese. The fries were a much healthier option than regular fries, which I appreciated, and is nice unless you were expecting and excited to receive something deep fried and greasy. As far as the chili, all I could really taste was the black bean. I pushed it around with my fork, searching for the sweet potato, but failed to see any of it. This unique dish would definitely benefit from the added sweetness of a little more sweet potato in the recipe.

Though the less than enthused staff was slightly off putting, I’d definitely go back here, or stop by for pick up. With its convenient location, it may even be my new go to if I’m not in the mood to make something or in a hurry. 

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