>> Tuesday, November 25, 2008

70-13 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 261-2881

Forest Hills has been in dire need of something other than Italian restaurants and Sushi. Forest Hills has been in dire need of some places that will attract the under 40 crowd. The recent additions of Ripe, Crepe N Tearia, YogoMonster, and Concrete Jungle might help do just that.

Looking at the menu, Ripe is pretty much a diner, but a healthy one. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but do it with brown rice a wraps instead of mashed potatoes and gravy. Ripe is often home to the post-workout crowd, hungry after burning calories at the nearby gyms. While I was here having lunch today, the place was home to a steady stream of people with "personal trainer" t-shirts.

I really wasn't expecting much. Usually restaurants that tout their healthiness are really just loudly proclaiming how tasteless and boring their food will be. But I was pleasantly surprised thus far. Ripe clearly does most of its business to go. This was evident by their use of paper soup bowls, styrofoam plates and plastic utensils.

I ordered a bowl of Lentil Soup, which was tasty but a bit this and definitely too salty. Maybe after a good sweat, you want it... or maybe it was canned. Either way, I'll skip this next time. Next up, a wrap. The Garden Wrap, chock full of zucchini, roasted pepper, eggplant, sun-dried tomato, onions and lettuce in a whole wheat wrap. This was very good, but heavy. I was expecting a tasteless vegetable morass that oozed onto the plate, but I can assure the vegetarians out there that this is something for them. Actually, there are plenty of choices for vegetarians and meatarians alike.

Finally, I washed it down with a Tropical Storm Smoothie, a blend of strawberry, peach, banana, yogurt, and skim milk. Twelve ounces for about three bucks. Not bad and delicious. Ripe has a fairly large juice and smoothie menu.

This was just one meal, and I'll write an update after I get a chance to go back, but the reviews on Yelp, with some exceptions, have been positive.

My soup, wrap, drink, tax and tip (there's table service), was $15.71.



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