Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Nalley Fresh for all I know is pretty local to Maryland and is in on the locally sourced, more healthy "Panera Bread" style cafe places where you can get a salad, soup or a wrap. While they aren't a bakery, you get that same vibe. Several locations have popped up between the inner harbor and East/Northern Baltimore County but the one in Columbia which recently opened was the first one I had the ability to visit and give a try.

Now the place was kind of dark and I didn't care for the lay out, like the soda fountain was in the middle of the seating area and the line for picking out your options on a choose your own meal just seemed to be an odd spot but it isn't anything major. The line wasn't moving very fast but that may be because the customers might all be unfamiliar with the menu board and options. I opted to purchase my wrap online and it was ready before the prescribed time.

So for my first Nalley Fresh experience, I ordered a Salmon wrap with Romaine lettuce, Purple Slaw, Brown Rice, Black Beans, 'sweet' corn, cheddar, tortilla strips and spicy ranch dressing. The Salmon took the wrap price up by 3 bucks but hey, go hard or go home. The wrap wasn't as big as I thought that it might be but it wasn't a baby, but I did expect just a tad bit more.

The Salmon tasted fine and the ingredients all were definitely fresh, however the tortilla strips I feel like got sogged up too quickly and didn't give me the crunch that I was expecting. The Spicy Ranch dressing has a good heat but also didn't have enough 'Ranchness'. I did feel like t was slightly flat and maybe some pepper or even a hint of vinegar or something slightly more acidic would have helped the overall flavor profile. The corn also didn't add the sweetness it was supposed to bring, but I attribute that to season and the fact that it was indeed very fresh.

Overall, I think it was a bit above average. I like the options and the choices you can make to ensure your food doesn't get too stale when eating there. Having a rotating selection of proteins is cool and also helps with the mission of fresh, local eating. The wrap I had wasn't perfect and I'm not sure if it is the best of their offerings but I see no reason to not go back and try something else from their menu.

Rating: 3/5

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