Throughout the Eat Fit series of articles, the focus has been on dining establishments where you sit down and have a meal, as opposed to quick-service eateries. There’s good reason for this: fast food restaurants are synonymous with unhealthy eating, with high sugar, high grease, and processed ingredients. This instalment of Eat Fit, however, presents a fast food restaurant that caters to healthy eating and living.
Cultures is a nationwide chain of quick service eateries that offer a low-calorie and great-tasting alternative to typical food court fare in shopping malls and downtown office towers. The setup is a cross between a deli and a fast food vendor. When you order a sandwich, it is made in front of you, and you get to choose what vegetables and sauces you’d like in the sandwich. All the ingredients, as well as the salads, are ready to serve and visible to the customer.
Cultures’ menu is based on what the company calls “The Four ‘S’s”: salad, sandwich, soup, and smoothies. The eatery also makes quiches and baked goods. Cultures’ downloadable menu offers a wide range of selections for lunch, snack, or just a quick drink. It’s worth noting that the menu also comes with the important nutritional information you’d find on food products at a grocery store, listing the amount calories, cholesterol, fibre, and protein present in each menu item.
Being a health-conscious restaurant, an abundance of vegetables is present in most of Cultures’ food selections. The restaurant boasts over twenty different types of salads, and an assortment of sandwiches, from paninis, wraps, pitas, spreads, to club sandwiches, offered with meat or vegetarian ingredients. Smoothies are also a popular choice for mall shoppers who drop in to buy a quick drink. My only gripe is that Cultures serve cold sandwiches, not my personal preference.
In terms of price, $7.43 (tax included) will get you a sandwich, a beverage, and two salads or a soup.
Cultures has multiple locations in Toronto, including the Eaton Centre, College Park, Standard Life Centre and Sunlife Centre. For more information, a complete list of locations and a downloadable Cultures' menu, visit the official website.
All pictures courtesy of MTY Tiki Ming Enterprises Inc.