Fresh food and menu at Freshens

Freshens has moved to the UConn Recreation Center with a new menu that includes grain bowls and toasted wraps among the well-known shakes the chain usually serves.  Photo by Julie Spillane for The Daily Campus.

Freshens has moved to the UConn Recreation Center with a new menu that includes grain bowls and toasted wraps among the well-known shakes the chain usually serves. Photo by Julie Spillane for The Daily Campus.

The days of grabbing a smoothie from Freshens while stopping by the Student Union are over. But not to worry, the new Rec Center is now home to the restaurant, with an expanded menu featuring its beloved smoothies as well as a host of new food options. You can now enjoy health-focused options such as salads, rice bowls, flatbreads and wraps, and can still pay with points as part of your meal plan or with any regular form of payment. 

The location is convenient for a post-work meal or pick-me-up, but may prove to be a farther walk for students who may want to grab a bite to eat in between classes and have to trek from the Union. 

The rice bowls come to $7.29, with ingredients like white rice or brown rice and quinoa blend, chicken, cheese and variations of vegetables and sauces. The “Power Protein Grain Bowl” might become a favorite for students trying to bulk up, with 39 grams of protein. “Spicy Korean” includes an egg and Asian slaw and the “Florence Grain Bowl” features a basil balsamic vinaigrette. You can even create your own bowl for $6.89, and an additional $1.80 for chicken and $0.89 for queso. 

Another option you could order are salads, which go for $8.29 and are served in a “fresh baked crispy crepe.” There are typical salad combinations such as “Chicken Caesar” and “Chicken Avocado Cobb,” but for a fresher take, order the “Strawberry & Kale,” which also features apples, pecans, dried cranberries and a strawberry vinaigrette. Create your own for $7.89, and add chicken for an additional $1.80. 

“Personally, I like that they have so many options,” Kaylee Grace, third-semester physics and women, gender and sexuality studies double major, said. “But also, the only way to make any of the food vegetarian is to completely remove the protein and [leave] just the vegetables, which is not really what you want when you're exercising.” 

A toasted wrap might appeal to you, and you can grab one for $6.99. There are similar options to the salads and rice bowls, like “Chicken Avocado” and “Mexicano,” but “Spinach Pesto” and “Super Green” (which is like a twist on Caesar salad, but with kale) seem like different, yummy options. 

“I had the chicken avocado toasted wrap and would definitely have it again,” Lisette Donewald, third-semester exploratory student, said. “However, I think the chain should switch to actually using avocados rather than avocado lime dressing, especially if they are going to market the wrap as being a chicken avocado wrap.”  

The grilled flatbreads and artisan melts seem like good options for when you want a warm, comforting meal, and are $6.99 and $7.29, respectively. Flatbread options include classics like “Kale Caesar,” “Pesto Chicken” and “BBQ Bacon Chicken” and southwestern-inspired flavors like “Santa Fe” and Chipotle Chicken Club.” “Classic” melts include “Mom’s Grilled Cheese” and “Grilled Cheese and Bacon,” both served with “creamy tomato dipper,” and the “Chef Created” melts include “Chicken Bacon Ranch,” “Chicken Caprese” and “Buffalo Chicken.” All the melts are served on sourdough. 

And of course, there are the smoothies you know and love, which are made with “100 percent clean ingredients.” The “Classic Blends” sell for $4.49, $5.49 and $6.69, depending on what size you get, and the “Wellness Blends,” which include more sophisticated health ingredients, sell for $4.99, $5.49 and $6.69. 

“I’ll probably still only get smoothies, but it’s cool that they have more options,” Maggie Hausman, third-semester pre-teaching major, said. 


Hollianne Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.