THE EATBEAT: Sprouts Cafe’s healthy menu complements new fitness centerThe first thing that caught my eye when I approached the counter of Sprouts Cafe in the new Choice Fitness Center was a sandwich. It was on thick, fresh-looking slices of brown bread and full of lettuce, greens and ham. There was no doubt about my choice.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
The first thing that caught my eye when I approached the counter of Sprouts Cafe in the new Choice Fitness Center was a sandwich.
It was on thick, fresh-looking slices of brown bread and full of lettuce, greens and ham. There was no doubt about my choice. With it, I had a cup of noodle soup made on the premises — not brought in and heated. And it was a cut above most restaurant soup.
Sprouts is located near the main entry of the fitness center, an inviting area with chairs and tables and open fireplace. There is a feeling of being outdoors with windows that stretch from floor to ceiling. (The cafe will be holding a grand opening in January.)
Rachel Stewart, the chef and manager, is an enthusiastic spokesperson. She loves the challenge to present food that tastes good, is nutritious and will team up well with the benefits of exercise. She will be working with dietitians from Altru Health System.
I found my lunch choices so good that I want to go back. Sprouts’ menu ranges from breakfast items to desserts, vegetable juice, salads, sandwiches, smoothies and soup.
Among the nutritious smoothies is one called the “Purple Monster,” which contains spinach you cannot taste, as well as blueberries and bananas. It costs $4.50.
Black bean brownies with reduced sugar and sodium are another item that draws attention.
Stewart, who does the cooking in the new kitchen, used to be a bread baker at Dakota Harvest on North Third Street in downtown Grand Forks. She exudes enthusiasm about the future of Sprouts and expansion of the menu.
Since Sprouts is part of the fitness center, Stewart knows customers often will be seeking gluten-free and vegan-style foods. Her challenge is to make them tasty. She wants to offer food with low sugar for people with diabetes.
Stewart grew up in a family of 10 children, and she learned early in life that if she could help cook, she could get out of work outside.
Sprouts seems like more for a quick lunch place. The plastic and paper lend themselves more for casual lunching than for dining. It’s hard at first to figure out the features of the food, but regular customers quickly get acquainted with their choices.
Sprouts Cafe, Choice Health & Fitness
4401 S. 11th St., Grand Forks
Owners: Chris Rood, Kavita Rami.
Manager and chef: Rachel Stewart.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday
Report Card: Healthful foods are featured and are appropriate for the new Choice Fitness Center. Surroundings with fireplace and comfortable chairs are inviting. Prices are moderate. Customers serve themselves at counter.
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.