The Healthy Giraffe group hit the road this month to eat at a restaurant called Freshii with a mantra, “Eat. Energize.” They were founded in 2005 and have expanded at a rapid rate since. There are four locations in the Tampa Bay area and we had our gathering at the Palm Harbor location.
Lucky for us the owners, Greg and Jamie, were working during our visit. I’m not mentioning this as a negative about other staff members, but as a compliment to their hospitality and positive energy. I arrived 20 minutes prior to our meeting time to get an idea of how busy they were and if I could begin securing tables in close proximity as they do not take reservations or hold tables.
We were fortunate as they had a long table in the center of the restaurant that was empty other than two ladies eating their lunch. The plan was to boot them out and secure what I was thinking would be the only table we would need. I’m kidding on booting them out, but I thought they would be finishing their meal prior to our meeting time and it worked out just that way.
We had our table, everyone arrived, and that brought us to ordering time. Greg and Jamie provided several suggestions as we were navigating the menu. The menu consisted of:
A few nice elements included the customer’s ability to:
- choose from options Freshii put together
- create your own – salad, wrap, bowl, burrito, soup, etc.
- order at the counter or complete your order on a card and hand to the server
I only had two modifications so I chose to order at the counter and add two ingredients. I selected the Buddha’s Satay Bowl which consisted of rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, crispy wontons, green onions, and spicy peanut sauce. I added mushrooms and avocado. I enjoyed the entree and thought the spicy peanut sauce was fantastic.
Everyone seemed to enjoy their meals and as in all of our events, we had a lot of laughs. My brother and sister-in-law were in town from Erie, PA so it was nice to have them interact with the regular group. What we found was some of the things this group does seems a bit extreme to others.
Let me explain a few examples:
- Michael’s experience and rush of mountain biking and how the spectacular and painful crashes are just part of the sport. Breaking bones, riding home, then go to get the bones checked out…
- Betty’s current streak of 420+ days of running a minimum of three miles per day. That is “minimum.” Of course she is training for a half-marathon right now so she explained how the three mile runs seem like nothing…
- Amy is targeting to complete over 25 races this year….25!!! I think I remember at one point early in the year when she had more races under her belt than there were weeks in the year (a few series races…)
- Jenn and Chris will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary next year and want to celebrate it by completing their first 140.6 Ironman race. They are attempting to coax several others to join including me….I’m a sprint guy….how is this going to work? Ha!
- Me – there is nothing extreme I am doing so we can skip me…
This was a memorable Giraffe Road Trip with all of my immediate family with me including Morgan, sister Jamie, brother Brian and sister-in-law Linda. We ate, laughed, shared some great stories and took a brilliant picture. What more could you want for a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon?
– Add Health to Your Life