Juice and Stuff

On a street with a lot of dining options, Goodness provides a healthy addition to the neighborhood

J.D. Fitzgerald

Eating lunch out on the Campbell Avenue corridor doesn't have to be a diet-ruining guilt trip anymore, with the addition of Goodness Juice Bar and Fresh Food on the northeast corner of Campbell and Water Street in the former Umi Star space.

The menu is focused on sandwiches, salads, wraps and bowls—with all-day breakfast falling into these categories as well—and there are plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Goodness' interior is a bit industrial, but fresh looking, with piles of fruit and veggies, and the constant hum of the juicer in the background. There are a half-dozen or so house-recipe fresh-pressed juices available ($5.50 to $6 for 16 oz., $8 for 24 oz.; add wheatgrass shots for $3 single/$5 double)—we tried the "big melons," with watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, lime, mint, rosemary and Himalayan salt; as well as "the cure," with pineapple, carrot, celery, cucumber, ginger and turmeric. Just be aware that if you don't specify that you want ice, they don't include ice, and the juices come out at room-temperature.

Both breakfast and lunch were tasty, but the portions seem a bit undersized for the price. Breakfast for two was nearly $40, which included a juice for each of us, a shared fruit bowl ($4) (none of the breakfast or lunch wraps or sandwiches come with sides), a breakfast burrito ($8) and a breakfast sandwich ($8). The whole-wheat burrito, stuffed with scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, cheese, avocado and salsa (it also comes with quinoa inside, but I opted to hold the quinoa), was tasty, though it could have used a little heavier hand on the salsa and avocado to brighten it up a bit. The breakfast sandwich was also delicious, with sunny-side up eggs, turkey sausage, tomato, sunflower sprouts, avocado and gorgonzola on whole wheat bread. Substituting gluten-free bread on any sandwich is an additional $2.

On the lunch side of things, about half the sandwiches on the menu are served hot, and can be made as either a sandwich or a whole wheat wrap. We tried the bistro filet and gorgonzola sandwich ($9); as well as the roasted chicken and brie sandwich ($8), with a kale Caesar salad ($8) to share, and two of the house-branded bottled lemonades ($3.5 for 16 oz./$4.5 for 24 oz.), which come in a variety of flavors, including agave, hibiscus, ginger cucumber and strawberry mint.

Though both sandwiches were good, they were again relatively small (about the size of a homemade sandwich), and the roasted chicken and brie was definitely the more flavorful of the two. It had thin strips of moist white meat topped with fabulously tangy green apple chutney and lots of gooey brie—great balance of flavor and texture. The bistro filet sandwich had heirloom tomato slices, sunflower sprouts, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and a blue cheese spread, but the steak pieces were cooked well-done (no option was given) and it was quite dry. It could have used a bit more blue cheese spread and fewer onions.

The kale Caesar salad was OK, but not particularly impressive—it was mostly chopped kale leaves mixed with a bit of romaine, and topped with very few halved cherry tomatoes and sliced fennel, along with a few slivers of shaved Parmesan and whole wheat croutons. The garlic Caesar dressing was tasty, but it didn't taste like Caesar dressing—it was missing that classic tang. Again, for $8, it was a small portion, especially without any meat/protein. You can add turkey to any salad for $2; chicken or tofu for $3; steak for $4; and salmon for $7.

On both visits, I found the service to be friendly, but depending on what you order, the food may take a while to be ready. The pick-up system seems to be a bit rusty still—your juice is ready first, without a number (unless you only ordered juice), and your food is called out by number, or occasionally by order. On our first visit, the cashier gave the same number to both our order and another order—we sorted it out, but it needs a bit of polish. So, if you're willing to part with a little more cash than you normally would for a quick breakfast or lunch, and are looking for tasty, healthy options, Goodness is definitely a great addition to the area.

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