Fresh Farms flops, features underwhelming food, atmosphere

BY ELIZABETH MCMAHON ’13
Senior Staff Writer

From my perspective…
— Elizabeth McMahon

Fresh Farms Café is the newest addition to the shops at College Row. My anticipation for the opening was likely what ruined the experience for me.

Perhaps I’m being overly critical or I need to make a few more visits to Fresh Farms, but my current opinion is that it is nothing special.

Coupled with the delay in the opening was the lack of announcement when the restaurant did open. I really expected some sort of advertisement or announcement on campus, but instead I just heard a few rumors and wandered by and saw people inside. Perhaps F&M students are not its target audience, but it would have been nice to hear about the opening officially.

Ever since it opened the place has been packed with people. Although this is very good for business, it is a bit annoying for customers when there is almost always no place to sit, especially after spending a lot of time in a long line and then waiting for food. The crowding prevented me from having a nice sit-down lunch, and I was instead forced to settle for coffee and pastries in the afternoon.

Fresh Farms has a variety of food options, such as various breakfast items including breakfast sandwiches and paninis, various lunch items including many sandwich and panini options, coffee, pastries, and smoothies, and burgers.

There was really nothing special about it. It was definitely good, but it wasn’t the best meal I have ever had. I have only been there once, though, so I am interested to try something else from the menu, which could change my opinion about the food quality.

I think I wanted the café to be better than it was. I was prepared to be overwhelmed by the place, but instead the quality of food was just average.

I will certainly make a return trip, but it would not necessarily be my number one place to go.

A few experiences of my friends at Fresh Farms are worth sharing. One had breakfast at Fresh Farms with her boyfriend, who was quite surprised when his egg sandwich still had the plastic wrapper on the cheese slice.

Another friend was there watching the chefs in the back cook when he saw one of the chefs drop his spatula on the floor and then just pick it up and continue using it.

Although these could very well be two isolated incidents, Fresh Farms definitely still needs to work out some problems. Hopefully as the staff acclimates, problems such as these will stop happening and service will be quicker as well.

However, the customer service was very good and the staff was extremely polite and always very apologetic for the wait.

Fresh Farms honestly reminded me of ZeBi. The food options seem pretty similar to the Dining Hall, along with the coffee and pastries offered. The restaurant definitely has more of a variety than ZeBi’s does, but the quality seems fairly comparable.

Overall, I think it was my expectations about Fresh Farms that led to my disappointment. I would certainly recommend trying it, although I doubt it will be a new favorite for anyone. The staff seems to still be working out some of the kinks, which will hopefully improve service over time.

Questions? Email Elizabeth at emcmahon@fandm.edu.

[fblike layout=”standard” show_faces=”true” action=”recommend” font=”arial” colorscheme=”light”]
print