Monday, March 12

Orean the Health Express

The thing that's confusing me most about this place is whether to call it Orean's Health Express, Orean's the Health Express, or Orean the Health Express. The restaurant's name, not its serving of healthy fast food, is the most confusing thing about the restaurant. But since I cannot quite clarify which is the correct name, I will talk about something I can vouch for: the healthy fast food.

Concepts of health and fast food are usually akin to oil and water, never mixing. However, Orean's has mastered speed, healthy-goodness, and taste. This vegetarian restaurant even proudly touts an "American Heart Association Approved" sticker on the front. It utilizes a wide variety of ingredients to make each dish flavorful, exciting to eat, and healthy. For instance, the Orean Salad Burger has garden vegetables, sunflower seeds, black beans, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and organic clover sprouts.

I made two trips to Orean's; on my first trip there, I decided to order the African quesadilla at the window and sit down to enjoy the meal. I'm accustomed to quesadillas with cheese and grease seeping out of the tortillas and soaking onto the plates, so I was genuinely surprised to find that the quesadilla wasn't at all greasy. In fact, the tortillas looked kind of dry. I felt disappointed and thought perhaps I should've ordered something to drink to help eat it, but my first bite told me that it was flavorful and definitely not dry. The variety of ingredients including sunflower and pumpkin seeds, beans, and cornmeal gave it an amazing blend of colors and an amazing tangy taste. The only bad thing about this dish is that I found it smaller than expected.

Because the prices were moderately cheap (it was $2.79 for the quesadilla!), I made a second trip there the same day. This time, I used their drive thru to buy the African burrito and Strawberry Super Shake ($4.69 for the burrito
and $2.85 for the shake). I found the African burrito to be large and well worth the money; in addition, this boldly flavorful dish boasted more ingredients and was tastier than the quesadilla. The freshness of the vegetables was hard to escape notice and it was so juicy that I had to use a paper bag to prevent the juices from falling onto my lap. The strawberry shake was quite thick and creamy, but I detected a taste of soy powder that was perhaps too strong. Other than that complaint, the shake was overall pretty good.

I would greatly recommend this restaurant to anyone, even to non-vegetarians. The fresh food is so good that people who love meat will not complain. The time it takes the food to be prepared is not long and I found that using the drive thru actually decreases waiting time. Just as I thought the restaurant couldn't get any better, I found out that it sells a healthy whole wheat vegan pancake and waffle mix at the restaurant--it has no cholesterol, dairy, or eggs! Excellent!

Orean... the Health Express
817 N. Lake Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91104
(626) 794-0861
Mon - Sun 9:30AM to 9:00PM

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Blogger Jae Ly (pronounced Lee) said...

I absolutely love Orean, the first Vegetarian drive-thru. Their shakes are very good, especially the granola rum one. I agree - I love their Africian burrito. The air french fries are great comfort food. I wasn't too crazy about the teriyaki "chicken"/tofu burrito.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Lyndsay said...

I second the deliciousness of the quesadilla. It was actually more filling than I had expected. The corn tortilla itself was amazing-- very thick and dotted with pumpkin seeds. I also tried a carob super shake which was more like a wendy's frostie consistency than a milk shake. Despite that, it was very good.

9:31 PM  

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