At Last, Healthy Fast Food! Introducing Amanda's ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Saturday, August 2, 2008

At Last, Healthy Fast Food! Introducing Amanda's

I want to introduce you to Amanda, the new kid on the block. More specifically, the new kid on my block. I have the good fortune to work directly upstairs from downtown Berkeley's newest (and quite possibly first) healthy fast food restaurant, Amanda's Feel Good Fresh Food.

Amanda's Sign

Amanda West, owner and creator of Amanda's RestaurantSeveral years ago, after reading Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and watching Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me, Amanda West decided that America needs healthy fast food restaurants. It's a great idea and one that has occurred to me many times (usually when I am hungry and happen to be in an airport, at a mall or on a roadtrip). You've probably had the same idea, too. The thing that sets Amanda apart from me and you is that she actually got off her ass and opened a healthy fast food restaurant!

The options for quick, good-tasting, healthy food have heretofore been extremeley limited in downtown Berkeley (trust me, I have looked!) so I am thrilled that Amanda's Feel Good Fresh Food has opened literally downstairs from my office.

My co-workers and I have been watching the construction progress over the past few months and were eager to try it out. So on Thursday we made a rushed run downstairs to grab some lunch.

The results were good! Here are some photos of our food (full menu and prices are available on their site):

Grilled Chicken with Amanda’s Sauce, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Pickles, and Onions on a Fluffy Organic Whole Wheat Bun ($4.50). I ordered this along with the Oven Baked Fries ($1.50) and a really nice Just Squeezed Lemon-Lime Soda ($1.75) that was tangy and very lightly sweetened. I was happy with all my choices.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Summer Seasonal Salad of Organic Peaches, Blue Cheese, Belgian Endive & Almonds with a White Balsamic Vinaigrette ($6.95). This was my co-worker Andrea's order. She had also tried their cheeseburger previously and reported that it was really good.


Naturally-Raised Beef Burger with Olive Oil Roasted Red Onions and Organic American Cheese ($5.00) and a Housemade Veggie Burger with Mushrooms and Walnuts and Organic American Cheese ($4.50). My co-workers Marc and Nick were kind (and silly) enough to pose for this photo with their burgers. Both reported general yumminess on both the beef and housemade veggie burger fronts.

Digging In  to Veggie and Beef Burgers

Baked Sweet Potato Fries ($1.75). My co-worker Nick ordered these with his veggie burger. We all agreed that they were the weakest thing we tried. Could have used more seasoning.

Sweet Potato Fries

The main selling points of Amanda's (besides the location) for me are:

100% compostable - everything they sell can be put in one of Berkeley's wonderful green bins that get fed into the city's composting program. They use recycled paper and their "plastic" is made from corn. Amanda's seems to take the environment seriously - this page of their site details what they do to reuse, reduce and recycle.

Compostable Containers Explained

Naturally-raised meats - although organic would be my preference, we are talking about fast food here... According to Amanda's excellent web site, "All of our meat-beef, chicken, and ham-is 100% natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free, and almost entirely grass fed on family farms."

Fresh produce - they use fresh produce (as opposed to frozen or reconstituted) and try to use organic whenever possible.

Affordable prices - although I am certainly willing to shell out for good food, many Americans for whom fast food is a mainstay of their diets are not so the prices do matter a great deal. Amanda's offers very reasonable prices.

Low fat & health-conscious - their sodas are sweetened with agave and stevia, their french fries and sweet potato fries are baked not fried, and their salads offer low fat dressings. Detailed nutritional information for all their offerings is available on their website.

Amanda's is located at:
2122 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA
Feel Good Fast Food Blog is at:
Amanda's Feel Good Fresh Food on Urbanspoon


Fred said...

Yay. What a great review -- beautiful pictures. :) I think I'm going to head up there today!

Jenn said...

Hi, I just tagged you with one of those annoying chain letter blog things, feel free to ignore but if you are interested details on my blog :)

That amanda's place looks awesome by the way - wish we had it here!

Gianna said...

Places like this are so exciting! On the other side of the country, just blocks away from my Manhattan apartment, a 100% vegan/organic fast food restaurant opened up a few months ago. 10 years ago this place would not have stood a chance. I think it's really important to support restaurants that respect their patrons enough to offer them fresh, healthy food. If only Amanda's would deliver to the West Village...the pics are making me hungry :)