Fresh 2 Order—a restaurant that serves Panini sandwiches, salads, soups and entrée long plates—defines itself with three words: Fine. Food. Fast. The goal is to serve good food for less than 10 bucks in less than 10 minutes. On all three counts, F2O delivers.
There is a F2O a couple of blocks from my office in Midtown, and Willie, Britt and I have been there a couple of times now. Each time, I have had a different lunch and each time I have come away impressed. This is not your regular lunchtime sandwich shop.
The first thing you notice when entering a F2O is the open kitchen, with a row of flames in front of the grill that I can’t tell whether they are functional or just there for a fashionable conflagration. When going there, we have mainly had the gourmet sandwiches, which are served Panini-style on whole wheat flat bread or Ciabatta bread (with chips or apple wedges; you can substitute a small green salad, Caesar salad or soup for an additional $1.49). Your choices are legion, but I have started working my way down the list first with the Bourbon Filet sandwich ($8.39) and then the Pork sandwich ($7.79). Each time I tried it with the creamy mushroom soup and each time I was very happy.
The Bourbon Filet is just that: sliced strips of filet mignon in a bourbon sauce, matched with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, baby greens, blue cheese crumbles and a horseradish aioli. I love this sandwich, but sometimes the folks at the prep table go a little overboard with the blue cheese, so it might be necessary to have them go light on the gorgonzola or Maytag or whatever style they are using.
The pork sandwich also features caramelized onions and contains lettuce, two kinds of cheese and a sweet potato aioli, all piled on shaved brown-sugar-roasted pork. This sandwich is a little dry for my liking, but a little mustard sets it right. Other items on the hot sandwich list include a grilled chicken BLT ($7.89), a smoky southwest chicken ($7.99) and a salmon sandwich ($8.39).
If you are more in the mood for a cold sandwich, there is an Asian chicken crunch sandwich, a F2O tuna salad and a Waldorf chicken salad sandwich.
Many of the hot sandwich ingredients are available on an entrée long (or ¾) plate, including the brown sugar pork ($12.99/$10.39), the bourbon filet steak, almond chicken skewers and chicken wild mushroom. A new item on the menu is a ginger/scallion tuna burger ($9.49) that I will have to try next time I’m there.
The menu also features your standard selection of salads (between $6 and $7 for a salad or a half salad and soup), and you can add various “protein toppings”—seasoned chicken, seafood and beef—to any salad for between $1.29 and $4.99.
And the capper to a weekday lunch experience is that the service is fast. Not McDonald’s fast, but pretty darned quick. The last time we went there, the power went out and the crew continued to turn out orders as if nothing happened.
There are five F2O restaurants in the Metro Atlanta Area, so if you happen to come across one and you feel the hunger pangs of lunchtime, I recommend you give F2O a try.
Fresh 2 Order
860 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, Ga. 30308
Post by and photos credited to Gregory Watkins.