622 North and South Road, University City, MO 63130
QISA (4, 4, 4, 4), $5-13, Vegetarian (Vegan-Friendly)
“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.“
- Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau would have approved of Frida’s, a vegan-friendly vegetarian restaurant in the University City suburb of St. Louis. Frida’s certainly has its modern feel with its clean lines, white walls, and black furniture, but it also has an elegantly friendly atmosphere that extends from it bright artwork on the walls to the flowers in salt shaker vases adorning each table. Somehow, the restaurant embodies simplicity without feeling desolately spartan or artificially arboreal.
How’s that for some fancy whole wheat words? I can’t help it. I’ve only been to Frida’s once, and already I’m a better person physically, ethically, and spiritually. Some of that moral high ground is bound to seep through into my writing.
I started my meal at Frida's with a lemon ginger soda that they make on site. This beverage is a powerful combination of fresh lemon and ginger juices, agave syrup, and soda water. If you like ginger, and granted ONLY if you like ginger, this is a wonderfully refreshing drink. The very attractive and slim waitress claimed that she drank one every day, which was enough to convince me to go home and buy myself a juicer. I haven’t actually bought it yet, but for that short moment, I had images of me drinking fresh lemon ginger soda every day and looking like a Mediterranean god.
My meal was the Frida burger, a half veggie, half soy burger that was just crumbly enough to remind you it was homemade yet not so crumbly that you ended up wearing it. The burger was served on a grilled bun with tomato, cucumber, lettuce slaw with tahini dressing, and a side of hummus. The sandwich was a savory mix of flavor and texture, and it made me feel at once sated and superior for having eaten it.
There is a lot to appreciate about Frida’s. The owners know that they want to create better food and a better world, but they are sensible about it. The FAQ on the Website explains that the restaurant is not vegan (although they have many vegan options), not organic (although they purchase a lot of organic foods), not certified Kosher (although they bring in a lot of Kosher foods), and not allergen-free. But the fact that they address these concerns tells me that they understand the needs of their customers, and they are willing to work with us as best as they can. Sometimes it is not necessary to have all the answers as long as you appreciate the questions.
I highly recommend Frida’s, and I definitely recommend you try them out as well. Come on in, grab a menu on a clipboard, seat yourself, and walk your way through the many, many options. But first, order the lemon ginger soda. If nothing else, it’s a great conversation starter with the cute waitress.