Gia Pronto and Sweetgreen: you have some company. For those seeking a healthy, quick lunch look no further than Pure Fare‘s food truck, the grey/green/white-mobile on 40th and Locust. Pure Fare is a self-proclaimed “fast casual” concept with one store in Rittenhouse Square as well as its truck across from Saxby’s and the Penn Dental School.
The truck offers a solid selection of salads, sandwiches, and a couple of snacks. (They’ve also been experimenting with installing a fro yo machine to dispense their signature vegan soft serve.) Although the sandwiches and salads are not made fresh-to-order, it’s apparent that they’ve been made with quality, all natural ingredients earlier that day in the Pure Fare kitchen. Since I live a block away from the truck, I have slowly been working my way through the entire menu since the truck’s opening this past fall.
My favorite thing on the menu is most definitely the mayo-free Tuna Salad Sandwich (290 cals, 26 g protein, 9 g fiber). Pure Fare recently made all sandwiches gluten-free,and the Tuna Salad Sandwich is actually served on quinoa bread—I had never tried quinoa bread before, and I must say that I was instantly hooked. Another winning sandwich is the Grilled Chicken (359 cals, 36 g protein, 7 g fiber), which comes topped with an addictive ginger-edamame spread, shredded cabbage, and carrots.
Salads are likewise quite delicious. My two favorites are the Mexican Chicken Salad (416 cals, 23 g protein, 12 g fiber), which boasts avocado, corn, jicama, black beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, and the Fall Chopped Salad (319 cals, 21 g protein, 8 g fiber), which mixes cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, turkey, and honey mustard dressing. (However, they should probably phase this latter salad out considering it’s almost April).
When I can, I like to stop by the Pure Fare shop downtown for tasty soups, stellar fro yo, and other meal-sized specials not sold at the truck. The Cauliflower Rice dish (304 cals, 28 g protein, 11 g fiber) is amazing: it includes cauliflower—shredded to the consistency of rice before being cooked in garlic, curry paste, cilantro, and organic coconut milk—topped with baked chicken, bell peppers, and snap peas. I always grab a free sample of their vegan fro yo; earlier this week, I had to make the tough decision between chocolate coconut and peanut butter. I chose chocolate. No regrets.
On top of their nutritious offerings, Pure Fare features a free interactive web-based platform called “My Fare,” on which you can log in and track the foods you eat. My Fare’s database contains over 30,000 foods in addition to the Pure Fare menu items, and it is designed to help its users meet their weight loss/gain/maintenance goals.
All in all, Pure Fare is an innovative, delicious, and well-executed concept. I love their food, and my one wish is for the truck to establish more regular hours. The truck’s hours, which are apparently 11:30-3:00 (ish) Monday through Friday, are not entirely dependable; the store (119 s 21st St, between Walnut and Sansom) has more regular hours—open Monday-Thursday 7:00 am-8:00 pm and Friday-Sunday 8:00 am through 5:00 pm.