Bear’s New Venture MIXes Things Up!

UPDATE: MIX Fresh Kitchen has closed. More information available from The Coast.

Visited On: March 18, 2011
Gluten Free Menu: No; full menu coming soon will have gluten-free items indicated on it
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude: 1/2
Variety of Gluten-Free Options: 1/2
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating:
Price Range: $10-$20 per person (plus drinks, tax, and tip)

I’ve never visited any of famed chef Bear’s restaurants, so when he opened MIX Fresh Kitchen last November, Mike and I were eager to try it. Reviews described it as budget-friendly upscale comfort food, and MIX certainly delivers on that (although it took me two visits to appreciate this unique approach). On our first visit, Mike was impressed by the curry maple glazed chicken ($13), but I was unimpressed by the 10 oz. New York striploin ($25; one of only two items over $20 on the menu). My steak first arrived with gluten-filled gravy, and then was returned lukewarm and flavourless. I figured, however, that it wasn’t fair to do a review on their soft opening, so we returned last week to give it a fair shot.

The Friday before last, Mike and I were chatting about plans for the evening. We wanted to go somewhere that we could have a drink or two and some nice food, but that was under $20 each. I suggested MIX and we were on!

Mike tweeted MIX and asked about gluten-free options. They didn’t get a chance to tweet back with the full list until after our meal, but their response was: “All sandwiches, burgers, pastas, and mains. Most apps as well.” This was followed by: “Too many items to list on twttr. Wide enough list of gluten free ops that I’m sure you will be good! Will be on menu list soon.” That’s a pretty impressive list!!!

I was fine with their delay as I had already decided what I was going to have: their chili spiced fries appetizer ($5), which are just to die for and are gluten-free (or so I was told on my first visit). I also had a MIX Cosmo, made with white cranberry juice instead of regular cranberry juice. (I really enjoyed it!) Mike ordered a beer and the MIX burger, served with homemade fries as well ($14).

While we waited for our food, we sipped our drinks, chatted, people-watched, and enjoyed the excellent view of the harbour. Our meals didn’t take long to arrive. Both were beautifully presented and mine came with ketchup instead of the garlic aioli just as I had requested. (We aren’t sure why, but their ketchup tastes fantastic. Maybe it’s just me.)

Mike’s burger was enormous, with a hand-made patty, gourmet bun, and “a metric buttload of stuff on top.” (Trust me, that’s a good thing!) His fries were in a little dish on their own and were interestingly seasoned and tasted slightly sweet. Mine were served on a neat wavy plate and had plenty of flavour with just a bit of a kick. Normally chili spice turns me off, but I really enjoyed the combination of flavours. Mike and I traded fries back and forth and had fun trying to dissect what was in each one.

Each day Bear creates a new flavour of crème brulée, which is Mike’s favorite dessert. Plus, it’s almost always gluten-free. That day’s flavour was chai and looked delicious! Mike insisted that he was stuffed from his burger so we skipped dessert and headed out. I’m not terribly upset, though, because MIX won me over this time. We’ll definitely be back soon!

MIX Fresh Kitchen
5171 Salter Street (Halifax)
902-429-9571
Web Site: http://www.mixfreshkitchen.ca/

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  1. MIX Fresh Kitchen Closes! « Gluten For Punishment

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