Before we moved to Southern California in 2009, we lived in Northern California for 4 years. While there, I discovered a restaurant chain called The Fresh Choice (and when I just tried to hyperlink it, I discovered that is the chain went out of business 😦 ). The restaurant’s center piece was a salad bar, and then you could load up on sides such as soups, breads, pizzas and pasta. It also featured different desserts and the whole all-you-can-eat experience. I used to love to go there, because it was healthy AND affordable. $8.99 got you the whole deal. Kids only paid $2.99. So we were there all the time.
I was still married at the time and Christopher was still a little boy, 3 and 4 years old. I remember going there with the family, or with my girlfriends, and having a good time. Because it’s extremely casual, it’s really a perfect place to take young kids. I have such good memories going there. It reminds me of happy summer days when things were just good.
Making The Move To SoCal
When we moved to Southern California, there were no Fresh Choice restaurants. It’s not like it killed me, but it was disappointing. I really did like that restaurant. Fast forward 4 years, my friend and I met up today for lunch and didn’t really know where we wanted to go. So we went to a shopping center, parked and considered our options. One of the options was the Souplantation. I had never been. I figured a restaurant that focuses its menu around soups really can’t be that exciting. I never even concerned myself with it. For some reason though, it sounded good today. My friend said that they had a big salad bar and on a sunny, good-weathered day as today, that just really sounded good and refreshing.
So we went to Souplantation. And as we entered the restaurant, it was like blinds were lifted from before my eyes and I realized that the Souplantation WAS The Fresh Choice! It was exactly the same – including the prices and all, it just had a different name down here! Well, this whole lunch outing had just become so much more special. I had a wonderful lunch with a friend (eating way too much for a lunch, of course) that brightened my whole day. Not only was it good because lunch with good friends is usually good, but also because I was reminded of even better times in my previous life.
The food – yes, it was still good. Loved the salad choices. There were so many. Tons of toppings and dressings. Hard to decide what the choose! The sides were ok (let’s just say don’t go there if you want to eat pizza). I could have done without the desserts. Don’t try the rice pudding or the sugar-free chocolate mousse. While it looks very inviting, it’s really very tasteless and the rice pudding just has a watery, weird consistency. And does not taste like rice pudding. But they do have some fresh fruit.
The Good Memories Approach
So apart from the desserts, the Souplantation is really a nice choice for a casual, relatively healthy and low-cost lunch option. I mean, go to any fast food place – you get food that’s just all bad for you for more or less the same price. To ME, it’s really a no brainer which one to pick if I have the choice. I’ll certainly be back. I love associating places with good memories, especially those you spend a good amount of time at, you leave money at, or you really want to enjoy. You should try it. Makes you happier instantly.