Freshwraps Offers Fresh New Choice for Cedar Rapids
Article by Cindy Hadish
Photography by Justin Fox
Everything you’ve heard about the new Freshwraps is true. The food is fresh, delicious and decidedly different.
Located at the site of the former Cork ‘n Fork, 2835 Mount Vernon Rd. SE, Freshwraps has already attracted a loyal following since opening July 10. Customers rave about the wraps and other menu items, including an interesting variety of salads.
“I went for lunch and dinner on the same day because it was that good,” one fan wrote in a review. “It was like the Pancheros tortilla and a normal wrap had a child. So good,” wrote another.
Those pressed, fresh-made wraps are key to the Freshwraps concept, said co-owner Nathan Allick. While other restaurants use pre-made and frozen tortilla-style wraps, Freshwraps has two dough presses, so the wraps are pressed to order, in-house.
The wraps themselves come in four flavors: plain, garden veggie, tomato basil and jalapeno ranch, while carb-conscious customers or those looking for a gluten-free option can choose a lettuce wrap.
Wrap sandwiches can be a “classic,” with a choice of meats, such as grilled chicken or roast beef, along with lettuce, tomato, mayo and choice of cheese; a Torpedo, with just meat and cheese – a favorite among younger diners – or a Freshwraps Supreme.
With the Freshwraps Supreme, customers again choose their flavor of wrap on choices such as the Club, with ham, turkey, bacon, apple jack cheese and veggies; the Hot Chick, featuring grilled chicken tossed in buffalo sauce with lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese and ranch dressing; and the BFML, with beef, ham, turkey, bacon, apple jack cheese, vegetables and a roasted red pepper sauce. Other choices also are available, most priced at $7.95 for a size that some might choose to share or split into two meals.
Salads are a meal unto themselves, served in a crispy edible bowl, fried in-house, in the same flavors as the wraps. Among the options are Classic Caesar salads, with Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, shredded Parmesan cheese, croutons and Caesar dressing; the Albacore, with Romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, white albacore tuna salad, egg, black olive, green pepper, onion, tomato and balsamic vinaigrette; and the Mediterranean Hummus, featuring Romaine lettuce, arugula, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, onion, tomatoes and a dollop of red pepper hummus and Freshwrap crisps.
The Freshwrap crisps also are offered as a side, served with red pepper hummus. Other sides include vegetables with dip, extra-large pickles, cookies and chips.
Our table tried the crisps with hummus and veggies with a dill dip; both of which served as healthy appetizers, perfect for dipping. We also shared a Chop Chop salad, which, for me, was a highlight of the meal. The grilled chicken and Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and a variety of vegetables, along with hot pepperoncini, tossed in herb seasonings with a tomato basil dressing, offered the perfect combination of flavors. The greens were fresh and provided an excellent complement to the thick chunks of chicken. Other salads are available, as well, ranging in price from $7.95 to $8.95, with portions large enough to serve as a full meal or more.
We also sampled a few different wraps. Allick noted that the chicken wraps have been the most popular so far. We tried the Buddha, with chicken, cashew, lettuce, carrot, cucumbers and a spicy peanut dressing. By the first bite – in this case, into a plain wrap – it was evident why the wraps are so popular. Thicker than a tortilla, but still tender, the wraps offer the ideal amount of “chewiness” and surround all-natural ingredients with no additives.
Another wrap, the Turkey Garden, with turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese and a variety of vegetables and dill spread is an homage to the former Cork ‘n Fork’s turkey garden sandwich, offering a mellow taste and complemented, in our case, with a flavorful garden veggie wrap.
The consensus favorite in our group was the Steakhouse wrap. Served on a tomato basil wrap, the Steakhouse features roast beef, arugula, green pepper, tomato, onions, mayo, a balsamic vinaigrette, and bleu cheese, which provided the perfect kick.
Freshwraps has completely revamped the former Cork n’ Fork, which sits behind Dairy Queen on Mount Vernon Road. A bright interior with modern seating and photos of Cedar Rapids sites, the setting is casual and family-friendly.
Fast service is another area where Freshwraps receives high marks. Allick and the other co-owners, which include his brother, Chris, along with Allyn Secor and Jayme Tegeler, have experience in the restaurant industry as owners of Emil’s Hideaway, 222 Glenbrook Dr. SE.
“I think it’s a little bit of everything,” Allick said of Freshwraps’ popularity, citing the need for a restaurant along Mount Vernon Road, along with unique menu items. “It’s a little different; something no one else is doing around here.”
Freshwraps is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Phone: (319) 364-3123. Find the full menu at: www.eatfreshwraps.com