Foodbenders is a take-out lunch place in Bloorcourt that doesn't sacrifice nutrition or flavour for grab-and-go convenience. The shop sells salads and sandwiches to go, as well as sauces and jarred products.
Foodbenders strives to offer a progressive food option that is healthy and that supports local farmers and sustainable farming practices worldwide.
The menu is mostly vegetarian and made from scratch using primarily organic ingredients and natural sweeteners, while nixing typical (yet troublesome) fast food ingredients like trans fats, sodium, and preservatives.
I'm told they also use super foods as much as possible. These foods are high in antioxidants, vitamins, protein, and essential fatty acids, such as goji berries, pomegranate, and yes, broccoli.
Lunchtime visitors can choose from various salads loaded with leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and seeds and sandwiches of both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian variety.
My arugula and shaved roots salad is filled with long curly strands of raw carrots, beets, and rutabaga. As far as salads go, this one is simply fun to eat--the veggie equivalent of a big bowl of spaghetti--with a satisfying crunchiness.
White flecks of hemp hearts adorn the peppery arugula, and a sprinkle of feta adds a bit of tangy saltiness. The blueberry vinaigrette delivers some fruity sweetness to top it all off.
My salad was fresh and flavourful, but probably not substantive enough for a meal, particularly if you have an appetite like I do. Good thing I also pick up the popular agave espresso BBQ chicken sandwich as part of a combo deal.
I bite through the soft Turkish flatbread to enjoy layers of crispy kale, sharp cheddar, buttery avocado, and moist shredded chicken.
The smoky heat of the barbecue sauce, with subtle coffee notes, is balanced by the fresh kale and avocado for a mild spiciness overall. Personally, I could've gone for a bit more zing in my BBQ sandwich, but I finished my meal feeling nourished and energized.
Foodbenders also sells grocery items like jarred foods, sauces, and spreads, featuring many ingredients picked fresh from the owner's backyard.
I pick up a jar of the superfruit chia preserve, filled with blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and pomegranate ($6).
My morning bagel with jam now tastes extra sweet knowing all the antioxidants I'm consuming.