Thursday, June 21, 2012


Have you guys heard about this place?  It's the newest offering to Columbia from Miyo's Queen Michelle.  I just learned about it today from my mom.  As I was choking down a "juice" I bought from a raw food joint, at first the idea going to a "fresh" restaurant wasn't sitting well with me.  Don't misunderstand me.  I like healthy. I like fresh.  I like weird.  I like flavor.  But I don't like a bowl full of raw vegetables dried, pureed, dehydrated and otherwise manipulated into masquerading as chili or spaghetti or steak.

But, that all said, I accompanied my mom and dad to M Fresh for lunch.  So glad I did.  So glad my preconceived notions subsided (I think that juice was messing with me!).  The restaurant is right around the corner from M Cafe, one of my faves.  I mean, don't even get me going on the soy salad dressing and the sizzling flank steak.  M Fresh is small, and totally hip in true Miyo's style.  We chose to sit outside so we had a great vantage point for people-watching.  Thankfully, today's weather was un-June-like and very pleasant to be outside.

The newest in the Miyo's family of restaurants
 So, on with it!  M Fresh offers teas, juices, smoothies, salads, wraps and sandwiches Monday thru Friday.  Too bad they aren't there on Sundays (you know, they are surrounded by churches.  Everybody knows people are starving after church.) My dad ordered the "fantastic flounder" sandwich with tree ear mushroom salad. 

Okay, tree ears are weird.  Even if it's your favorite food, you have to admit that!
Dad was intrigued to see what gingered flounder and avocado would taste like together.  He reported that it was good and he was really enjoying it.  The salad took a little adjustment.  Tree ears look just like those bizarre, wet, floppy, translucent fungi that pop out of wood after a lot of rain.  My dad is a big mushroom fan, but the appearance of these took him a bit aback.  However, once he forked up a bite, he was very happy with the flavor.  

Now, mom opted for the Thai beef wrap.  I tasted hers and it was really awesome.  That may be what I order next time. 

That just looks pretty, doesn't it?
This is a huge wrap of wonderfully flavored steak with tons of spinach and other veggies all snuggled up in their tortilla sleeping bag.  Mom ordered the Asian slaw as her side.  (It's not listed on the menu as an available side, but you can get it.)

I chose the Sweet & Sour shrimp salad.  It was a beautiful salad and I polished off the whole thing!  It was described a sweet & sour glazed shrimp over salad with poached broccoli, cashews, pineapple, cucumber, tomato and pea pods.  

My big ol' shrimp salad
It was indeed all that, but these shrimp weren't glazed with anything.  They were boiled or poached shrimp.  That's fine, they tasted great, but there wasn't anything sweet or sour about them.  I ordered it with the soy-balsamic dressing, which is like the heavenly nectar of Miyo's and M Cafe that EVERYONE in Columbia wishes this lady would bottle and sell to us mere mortals.  The end verdict?  Great salad.  I was very happy with my choice.

Let's back up for a moment.  When we arrived, our friendly waitress very promptly took our drink orders and presented the menus.  As she went for our drinks, another pleasant young lady brought an appetizer plate to our table.  Gratis.  Very nice touch, M Fresh!  It consisted of cold green beans marinated in a bit of roasted garlic and brown sugar.  

Marinated green beans and delightful slaw as amuse-bouche
Also, a serving of the Asian slaw, which is a little spicy, studded with walnuts and simply fantastic.  Bringing a little plate like this to your customers while they wait is A HUGE, FANTASTIC DETAIL that restaurants as a whole should note.  However, one disappointment. 

Thanks to the green crazy juice and the 400 gallons of water I'd consumed this morning, I went inside to seek out the powder room.  As I passed through the dining room, I noticed this huge specials board on the wall.  I saw delicious words like "shrimp over arugula" and "pork tenderloin."  We'd already ordered and none of this had come up.  That's right, our waitress had forgotten to tell us there were specials.  Not that any of us were disappointed with our meals, but it's always important to at least know of the existence of specials and then to have them as an option.  I did learn later that our waitress has only been working in this restaurant for about 2 weeks, and the restaurant itself is relatively new. So, I'm going to let this slide.  My salad was awesome and I'll happily return to M Fresh. 

M Fresh on Urbanspoon

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