I’m kind of reluctant to post this review.. You may or may not know, but I’m a long time fan of LJS. Yes, I know it’s greasy and to most people pretty gross, but since an early age, it’s been a comfort food for me. As I’ve gotten older and become more aware of what I put in my body and the effects of my diet, I have often wished that LJS would add some “healthy” items to their menu. Some grilled fish and steamed vegetables would be great, and no other fast food restaurants offer such things.. at least not here in Indiana.
I was glad to see that they had actually done it with their “Freshside Grille” menu, but something kept me from ordering it until recently. I think this is perhaps the biggest hurdle in introducing “healthy” items to an existing fast food menu – people know your menu for those not so good for you items, and that’s going to be their motivation for going to that restaurant. ie: I only thought of LJS when I wanted greasy fish.
I finally got around to trying it, and went with the gilled tilapia. It was disappointing. The fish really didn’t taste a lot like fish. it was covered in some weird seasoning that was entirely what I’d expect from fast food. I don’t know why they put so much on – it seemed like it was once a decent fillet of fish. The fish was served on a bed of rice with little flecks of carrot in it. It wasn’t bad, I suppose. Additionally, there were two sides, a vegetable medley, and a piece of corn on the cob. I opted for slaw instead of the corn. The LJS corn is quite tasty, however it’s a little messy, both by the nature of corn on the cob as well as the pseudo butter they drench it in. I was hopeful about the vegetable medley, but it was even worse than the fish. It appeared to have been cooked in a copious amount of some kind of oil, and the carrots, squash and green beans in it really tasted nothing like they were supposed to. I must say that it didn’t taste bad, but it was as if any natural flavor in the food had been removed and replaced with fast food chemicals. Boo. Lastly, there was a bread stick. It was a weird one indeed, tasting more like a donut than any breadstick I’ve ever had. I really couldn’t speculate as to how it was prepared; the flavor said deep fried, but the appearance said baked. It, like everything else in this meal, was covered in some kind of oil.
I was going to try the other two Freshside selections, but I just plain don’t want to. It’s certainly edible food, but mediocre in that it really isn’t fresh at all, and also because, at least to me, it just isn’t as good as the fried foods they sell.
LJS Freshside Grille – grilled tilapia 4/10 stars