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Unleash Your Sweet Tooth at Meet Fresh

Fresh off a visit to the very satisfying BBQ chicken nearby, I sauntered over to change the savory flavors lingering in my mouth. I loved them, sure, but sometimes the best thing you can do for the flavors you love is move on…

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, dessert! Wait, I hadn’t said that yet, but I guess I have now. I decided I needed some dessert, and I’d heard Meet Fresh is the place to be if you have a sweet tooth. I know people usually have one, but I’m pretty sure I have 10, possibly 15, so I sensed good times on the horizon.

(Meet Fresh)

From the moment you enter the door, you immediately feel the coupled sensations of warmth and sophistication. It’s a modern, even subtly futuristic, interior that’s brightly lit without being irritating or blinding. In fact, the overall atmosphere is the antonym of irritating, and a courteous energy seems to float through the air.

Their many, many options are listed on a backlit board along the wall, including various types of jellies, puddings, shaved ice and red bean dishes, snacks and beverages. They even offer hot almond soup, although this is discontinued until winter.

For those who don’t want to spend 40 minutes of their day looking at pictures of the probably delicious food, there’s a truncated menu of specials where you order. After all, you came here to munch, not stare at pictures of the munchies.

As noted in previous reviews, I’m a very dedicated journalist with limited stomach space and budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of pleasantly small and affordable options available.

I stared at the menu the entire time I was in line, and when I finally got to the counter I was still dumbfounded. It all looked so good, and I’m just expected to pick one or two and leave the rest behind? A terrible reality, frankly, but one I should be used to by now.

To assist in this emotionally taxing process, the nice lady at the counter let me know eating a shaved ice dish on my own was a fool’s errand, so she pointed me to the Q Mochi, one of their specials, and a combo plate including mung bean cakes and two mochi balls, one peanut-flavored and another coated in black sesame.

“Wait, that’s mostly mochi.” Well, dear reader, this reviewer thinks fillings are a game-changer worthy of discussion. Does he also just really like mochi? Sure, but his point stands regardless, so let him do his job.

(Meet Fresh)

I walked over to a booth to prepare for what was to come. As I sat down, I noticed an unusual yet welcome addition to the dining experience. Behind the chairs, several phone charging cords extended out of an outlet, with a note letting people know that they could charge their phones for free. I had 80 percent on mine, but I took advantage of this simply because I could. Here, choices are the theme in every sense.

That being said, once the plates hit my table, it seemed I had no choice at all but to get lost in my hand-selected heaven. My eyes were first drawn to the Q Mochi, which presented me with four white mini-rolls on one side, and four black ones on the other. All, however, were drizzled with the same slightly brown syrup and kissed by the same golden auburn flakes.

I started with the white mochi after much deliberation, and I was welcomed by a very pleasant bite that was neither too moist nor too dry, offering just enough resistance to the teeth to make it satisfying. It didn’t have any significant flavor, but this wasn’t a problem due to a simple fact: It’s the main event, yes, but it rises to the top with, well, the toppings.

They bring the dish to even loftier heights, introducing themselves like a fist of flavor pummeling my tongue. Perhaps it’s better described as a bear hug with a running start; it’s intense, but it offers nothing but love.

The author’s order (Ryan Najjar)

From there, I knew I had to discover the secrets of the black mochi. As it turned out, there wasn’t an awful lot of difference: same wonderful texture, same shape and mostly the same taste, except this time I detected hints of coffee in the mochi itself. This flavor profile also served to boost the flavor of the syrup, which turned out to be caramel, and the flakes, which are actually coconut.

After demolishing those I turned toward the mung bean cakes, which had the logo of the shop punched into the top. This detail gives them at least five Adorable Points.

As far the actual taste, I was quite impressed. I’m not usually attracted to any form of bean in a dessert context, but the soft, creamy paste that surrounds the mung bean is a perfect complement to it.

It’s not the sweetest thing on the menu, but if you’re looking for a snack with a mild yet pleasant flavor, this is the one for you.

Capping things off, I headed for the matcha balls, starting with the peanut one. It’s embraced by a fine peanut powder, covers a ball of peanut butter, and the mochi itself seems to be infused with subtle peanut flavoring as well (although that could have easily been the peanut powder). As a fan of peanut, I was a fan of this. If you’re not, you might have a better time elsewhere.

The sesame mochi was one I was expecting to be lukewarm on, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The black sesame powder covering the mochi provided a similar flavor profile to the peanut, but was distinct enough to stand out on its own. Furthermore, the black sesame jelly concealed within the ball has joined my list of favorite jellies, which is longer than you’d think.

Now, I could’ve stopped here, feeling content with my coverage, but I am not so easily satisfied. To finish off this excellent dessert, I thought, I’ll need to wash it down.

What came to the rescue? As in all my best dreams, a nice cup of iced green tea with lychee jelly scooped me up as we flew into the sunset.

I was planning on sipping it as I drove home, but halfway along my walk to the car the drink had suddenly disappeared, and I was left clutching an empty cup. Who could have done thioh wait, I see what happened here. I guess the refreshing clutch of the tea, combined with the passionate sweetness of the lychee jelly, was enough to have me demolish it without even realizing.