I’ve been Evolutionized

Hello everyone!

Today was one of those random days.  It was crappy weather outside, got up a little on the late side and wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I decided to hop in the car and make the 150 mile (one way) trip up to Bellevue, WA and visit the new Evolution Fresh store which just opened up not too long ago. I’m still trying to figure out if this store is actually IN Bellevue Square Mall or just around the corner to it. It’s been probably 8 years or so since I was last in the area.

Upon entering, I was delighted to see that it was well very well lit and all the fixtures and counters were lighter in color, which just lent to a warm, clean atmosphere.  There is only seating in here for about 16 people, but right outside their entrance is a shared hallway for Starbucks and if I remember correctly PF Changs.  There is a huge fireplace and several leather couches to sit in.  Inside the main entrance to your left was the juice/smoothie counter and straight ahead was the food counter should you decide to grab a bite while you were there. I really liked the use of technology inside the store too.  Behind the juice counter was a 6-panel video screen which actually served as the juice menu board.  After a certain period of time, a “screen saver” kicks in and displays pictures and information about the ingredients in their juices/smoothies. To recall the menu again, there is a button on the counter that a customer merely pushes and viola! The dry ingredients for their juices/smoothies are right behind the counter, and for the actual juice part, there were I think 4 taps mounted on the wall below the menu screens. The juices are dispensed here into measuring cups like Starbucks uses for their iced teas. If you’ve ordered a blended smoothie, they use the same blenders as Starbucks as well. It was pretty cool watching them put everything together, but it seemed like there was a lot of extra steps taken (literally) to get all the ingredients together just before blending. Actually, the more I think of it, it was kind of whacky. Turn around to measure juice, step to the way left for dry ingredients and then all the way to the right to blend. hmmm. I chose the Smooth Strawbana, which was a combination of apple juice, strawberries and bananas. It was delicious! Next time, I’ll have to try the Smooth Pineapple, which is pineapple juice, mangos, bananas and nonfat Greek yogurt.

Back behind the food counter, the menu boards are HUGE. There is a lot of options, so it took me a little bit to figure out what I wanted. They offer something for all three meals throughout the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I opted for a hot simmer signature bowl of lentils, wild rice and kale.  The hot simmer comes from adding their signature stock to a signature bowl, turning it into a soup more or less. It turned out to be a good combination but it wasn’t as hot as I would have liked.  For such a small place, they have a pretty diverse menu and offer a little something for everyone from scrambles to bowls, to salads, sandwiches, wraps and snacks.

All in all, I had a very enjoyable visit and it was well worth the 150 miles to go and check it out.

Pros:

  • The entire staff was polite and courteous.
  • It was very clean.
  • Great use of technology within the store.
  • Diverse menu with items clearly marked as free of wheat ingredients or vegan/vegetarian.
  • They don’t use a heat process on any of their juices, it’s all cold “pressure” processed to maintain natural freshness and taste.
  • Your loaded Starbucks Card works here. I have an Evolution Fresh card, I don’t know if it works inside of Starbucks.
  • Even though this place is connected to a Starbucks on the other side of the wall, they DO offer Pike Place Roast as a pour over offering.
  • They deliver! it’s a small delivery area, but they do offer that service on a pretty slick modded out bicycle.

Cons:

  • Not much in the way of seating.
  • Price – my 16oz smoothie was $7 and the Signature Bowl was $9 + another $1.75 for the Signature Stock. My visit was just shy of $18.00. Yikes! Add that to the $6 in parking and $70 in gas and it was a pretty expensive road trip for me. (but worth every penny!)

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