Post Date: August 4, 2015
Author: Zachery Green
If you like burgers, tacos, turkey and bacon, there’s a vegetarian joint in University City that you’ll fall in love with. This place’s menu includes delights such as the Turkey Avocado Wrap, the BBQ Cheddar Black Bean Burger, and the Bacon, Burger and Sausage Pizza. Yes, you read that right. No, these dishes aren’t made with real meat, but the meat substitutes used in them taste just as good if not better than actual meat.
Frida’s opened on North and South Road in July 2012 and is named after owner and founder Natasha Kwan’s cat, Frida. Natasha became a vegetarian when she was nine years old, in part because her idol Michael Jackson was a vegetarian, and in part because she empathized with the animals she was surrounding by in her rural upbringing.
After several years of working in marketing and in the restaurant business, Natasha decided to open the restaurant when she noticed that there was a lack of vegetarian restaurants in the St. Louis region. Having eaten at countless vegetarian restaurants around the country, Natasha was dismayed by the fact that many of them relied heavily upon artificial flavorings, preservatives and low-quality cooking methods such as frying and microwaving. This motivated her to make the food at Frida’s as natural and healthy as possible. This means an emphasis on whole foods, a range of options for people who are on gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan diets, and no microwaves!
You might be wondering what the food at Frida’s is made of if not meat. It’s obvious that the black bean and walnut burgers are made from, well, black beans and walnuts. But what about the bacon, turkey and sausage? A very cynical person might believe that they are made from actual meat. That’s not the case. Frida’s bacon, turkey and sausage are made from soy products such as tempeh. The tastes of each variation of are derived from a combination of seasonings, herbs, and a very limited amount of artificial flavoring. If that isn’t amazing enough, the “meat” in Frida’s ultra-popular taco is made from sunflower seeds.
Of course, Frida’s offers more than imitations of meat-based foods. There is no shortage of salads, from the taco salad to the bodybuilder salad (which incorporates steak seitan and eggs). There is also the Mexican Quinoa Wrap, the Mushroom Reuben, the Herbed Italian Pizza and several other options. A special mention goes to the desserts: the avocado mousse topped with organic coconut and locally produced maple syrup, and the berry and cashew cream parfait topped with fig balsamic and Brazil nut shavings.
Frida’s is truly at home in U City, which is known for its hip, progressive culture and its diverse, vibrant restaurant scene. The restaurant fits right in at the intersection of Delmar and North and South among several other health- and fitness-oriented businesses. U City’s advantages coupled with Natasha’s ingenuity ensure that Frida’s will be around for a very long time.
Frida’s is a fantastic restaurant that no U City resident or visitor should miss out on. The food is both delicious and nutritious, and the staff are attentive and friendly. Whether you are vegetarian, pescetarian, vegan or a meatatarian, you will be welcomed with open arms. Some might worry that either the staff or the regulars will try evangelize the meat-free lifestyle. They needn’t. That’s not what Frida’s is about. It’s about outstanding, healthy cuisine. So come as you are, herbivore, carnivore or omnivore.
622 North and South Road
University City, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 727-6500