It seems like food in bowls is all the rage these days at restaurants – rice bowls, sushi bowls, acai berry bowls.
How about a bowl full of healthy ingredients with a local twist?
Locally owned Farm Fresh Bowls makes exactly that. The restaurant has opened at Campus Pointe, the shopping center at Shaw and Chestnut avenues near Fresno State. It joins a slew of recent openings there, including Tofas Mediterranean Grill, Pieology, Hino Oishi and Collect Coffee Bar.
It’s owned by two cousins from Visalia farming families, including one with a degree in nutrition.
Farm Fresh Bowls is the second location of the little red healthy drive-thru that started in Visalia. The Fresno one doesn’t have a drive-thru, but it does have a walk-up window – more on that in a moment.
At the Fresno restaurant, at the western-most edge of the shopping center, you’ll find all kinds of food in bowls. Many of them use local ingredients like Top O’ the Morn milk from Tulare and local fruit – including dino egg pluots– from Kingsburg Orchards.
We get some really cool-looking fruit you don’t see in the grocery store.
Kristen Vaz, Farm Fresh Bowls
There are breakfast bowls with oatmeal – gluten free and not – that come with all sorts of toppings, and other bowls with scrambled eggs and bacon.
Several types of acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) bowls are on the menu. If you’re a regular reader, you remember my column about the dark purple berry and Rio Açai Bowls opening in Iron Bird Lofts downtown.
Sometimes acai bowls can be high in sugar, so Farm Fresh Bowls makes its a little differently. They blend acai juice with Greek yogurt and local frozen fruit to make the base of the bowl. The five types of bowls on the menu range from ones topped with fruit and housemade granola and drizzled with local honey, to a spinach acai bowl, and another packed with peanut butter and nuts for protein.
If that sounds too fruity for you, there are hot seasonal bowls available too, including a brisket barbacoa served over rice and a deconstructed spring roll bowl with garlic chicken, Thai chiles, cilantro and rice noodles.
You’ll also find salads and housemade granola for sale.
There are even what they call “homespun” sodas. Instead of regular soda, Farm Fresh Bowls flavors theirs with a simple syrup they make from fruit and sugar. Customers then add sparkling water from a dispenser that also lets customers refill cups of regular water.
The two women who created Farm Fresh Bowls couldn’t be more perfect for the job. The pair are cousins come from farming families in Visalia.
Jacqueline Baxley is a “wonderful cook,” whose family runs a dairy, says her cousin.
Kristen Vaz has a degree in nutrition and business and later went to culinary school. Her family grows tomatoes, walnuts, lemons and more.
And that walk-up window? They’re not using it yet, but plan to start selling $5 breakfast burritos for students walking by on their way to class.
Farm Fresh Bowls is open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Details: Find them online, on Instagram at @FarmFreshBowlsFresno or by calling (559) 326-7141.
To reader Laurie, who was wondering what’s under construction in Clovis between the CVS and the Surf Thru Express Car Wash at Sunnyside and Herndon avenues, I have an answer.
It will be a Del Taco.
The restaurant plans to be open by the end of the year.
Because the world could always use more pizza, Papa Murphy’s is looking to expand in the Fresno area.
Actually, they’re doing it because they think there’s enough people here who will buy their take-and-bake pizza that we can support more locations.
The company is looking to add 15 Papa Murphy’s from Merced to Porterville, says Gary Payne, vice president of franchise sales. That includes three in Fresno, and others in medium-sized cities in Tulare and Kings counties.
Of course, this may take a while. The company has to find franchise owners and then locations. The 15 stores are expected to open by 2020 or 2021, he says.
But some may come sooner than that.
“There’s a couple of active discussions that are pretty far along,” Payne says. “They look pretty promising.”