While I have found the stereotype of journalists requiring a lot of coffee is often true, one cannot live on coffee alone. Unfortunately, weekends tend to be a wasteland in terms of food downtown, which is where the newsroom is.
Things got brighter when Healthfare opened a new outpost few weeks ago, however. The restaurant is not only open weekends, it serves breakfast and healthy food to boot. A location opened on the southside of Edmonton a little while back, and the restaurant has now expanded downtown.
The interior is bright and minimal, with funky lights and definite “green” slant. And I don’t just mean the murals.
The restaurants feature low flush toilets, reclaimed wood tables, recycled plastic chairs and energy efficient lighting, paired with eco-friendly packaging. They even deliver using a hybrid vehicle. There is also prominent caloric information, displayed serving sizes and a computer station where you can get guidance on what to order, based on your body type and energy requirements.
Nutritional Information Station. A bit hokey, a bit helpful. Healthfare is also currently working on a system that will allow people to text in their orders. I like their technological stance. The restaurant was opened by an electrician, so this stuff doesn’t really surprise me.
The menu items were planned out with help from a registered dietitian, and feature breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are soups, sandwiches, salads and ricebowls, as well as egg sandwiches and granola. I have now visited Healthfare twice, to mixed results. First, I’ll admit it is a bit pricey. A sandwich runs $9 or so. A bowl of soup $5.
My first visit, I got a chicken peanut lime rice bowl, $8.99
Or so I thought.
What I actually got was the beef orange rice bowl. Sigh. Not off to a good start, guys. I didn’t have time to run back and get my actual order.
The veggies were a bit limp and overcooked, and the beef was a bit chewy, although flavourful. I had to really dig for the rice, too. It was buried at the bottom. I enjoy brown rice, however, and liked it in this dish. It’s nuttiness and nutrition wins me over. The meat can be replaced with tofu.
My next visit, was slightly better. I got a few items for myself and a coworker. We both got the sandwich and soup combo for about $12. I regretted not getting the avocado laden Healthfare Club after seeing my coworker’s, but was satisfied with the goat cheese veggie. Savoury goat cheese with some eggplant, peppers, onion and zucchini and a bed of green leaf lettuce. The bun was, well, it was a low calorie bun as far as I could tell. They have a different texture and I think are a bit dry and bland. I think this sandwich would be great grilled.
There seem to be four soups constantly available. Butternut squash, carrot ginger and spicy tomato were highlighted both visits, with the fourth being a wildcard. On this day: curried lentil.
The soup was flavourful and well seasoned, but I found the broth a bit thin. I just might be used to Mike’s thick lentil dishes, though. What most impressed me were the lids for the packaging. Walking back to the office usually turns things upside down in bags, and gives them opportunity to leak. Both the soups made it back totally dry and intact.
About a cup of soup in the smaller size for $2.99.
The food was good, but not knock-my-socks-off good. A solid choice for lunch. It is mostly nice to know there is another option available downtown, especially on Sunday. I look forward to trying the sweet potato fries and steel-cut oatmeal one day.
10279 Jasper Avenue
(also located on the southside of Edmonton, 10865 23 Avenue)
Monday – Friday 6:30am – 9pm
Saturday 9am – 7pm