While downtown Sioux Falls is full of incredible options for dining out, it’s not overflowing with grab-and-go scenarios. So when the news broke that a quick dining concept was going into the former Pappy’s location in the DocuTap building on Phillips Avenue, the 605 office (located in Cherapa Place downtown) rejoiced.
Agua Fresh opened its second location (the other being in the Empire Mall) in July and offers items like salads, sandwiches, wraps, and fresh juices and smoothies. I headed over to check it out with 605’s Kyle Determan on a Friday afternoon.
The restaurant, which “pursues health and happiness,” is very modern and chic inside. Everyone I’ve talked to who has stopped in immediately talks about the genius “love” wall that begs patrons to take a photo with it for social media. Note to other businesses: this is one of the easiest ways to get free publicity—do this.
We met owner Sinan Taskin, who gave us a quick tour, which included an area where people can sit and play video games. He then helped us pick out (so many) items to try, and the staff’s enthusiasm for their menu was clear. As we asked Sinan which smoothie to taste, a team member yelled, “Yankee Candle. You want the Yankee Candle.”
And so we did. This fruit and veggie smoothie included peach, pineapple, mango, strawberry, banana, fresh carrot juice, and fresh green apple juice.
When I asked Kyle what her initial reaction was as she sipped it, she said, “It’s named after… a candle?”
After that, her next word was “tropical.”
Sinan told us that all of the drinks we would be trying were sugar free, minus the Berry Blast. The crush juice had strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry.
We soon realized it was a fun game to have one of us hold the menu and the other would guess what all was in the (healthy) beverages. It was harder than you would think.
As I started drinking the Green Delight, I said, “I don’t know if this is in my head or is real, but I feel like my body is reacting to actually drinking healthy drinks right now.”
Kyle and I then both looked at each other and admitted we’re terribly unhealthy humans on the regular and that we need a place like this to challenge our love for fried foods.
The Green Delight is an energizer juice and is one-fourth pineapple, a handful of spinach, one-half cucumber, and fresh mint. My second sip in, I squinted my face, expecting to hate something so good for me, and it was actually very tasty.
Food-wise, we started with the Greek Salad. I squealed when it came out in a plastic bowl with a top on it so you can shake the ingredients, just like they have on Keeping Up With the Kardashians (yes, judge me, I deserve it). The spring mix salad has smoked turkey, feta cheese, walnut, blueberry, and tomato.
It came with Italian dressing, which I thought might be weird, but it worked. The combo of flavors was very satisfying, and it was a super fresh to-go item I will be getting again.
“You know, I was a little nervous about berries with feta, but I like it,” said Kyle.
Dragon fruit, peach, mango, and strawberry.
› DR. OZ CHOICE
Almond milk, blueberry, protein blast, chia seeds, cinnamon, banana, and spinach.
FRUIT & VEGGIE SMOOTHIES
› SNEAKY SPINACH
Peanut butter, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, spinach, and fresh green apple juice.
› FATBOY SLIM
Fresh cucumber juice, pineapple, and mint.
› TROPICAL ISLAND
Peach, pineapple, mango, and strawberry.
› WAKE UP COCKTAIL
Four carrots, one orange, and one-inch ginger.
›HUMMUS VEGGIE WRAP
Hummus, balsamic vinaigrette, Arcadian greens, cucumber, shredded carrot, and jalapeño cheddar tortilla.
› THE AMERICAN
Ham, Swiss cheese, oregano, and mustard.
› TUNA SALAD
Spring mix salad, albacore tuna, pineapple chunks, and Italian dressing.
› ORGANIC ACAI BOWL
Acai powder, banana, berry mix, and almond milk.
Then a work of art came out in the form of the Dragon Bowl. The “super bowl” consisted of dragon fruit, vanilla yogurt, and a choice of three toppings. I chose banana, chia seeds, and kiwi. Again, this was uncharted territory for us.
“I literally think the closest thing I’ve had to this is [Bacardi] Dragon Berry,” said Kyle. “I love this.”
The bowl was huge, and I don’t know how anyone could finish one solo.
Agua Fresh is a solid choice for a light meal. It seems like it’s hard to find healthy to-go options in Sioux Falls in general, and this is a much-welcomed option. Also, Sinan and his staff are super friendly and are passionate about what they do, which makes it even better.
101 S. Phillips Ave., Sioux Falls // (605) 275-2482 // aguafreshfood.com.
I don’t mean to pull an Aladdin, but this is a whole new world for me. A berry taste… a wondrous place… for you and me. In all seriousness, there aren’t a lot of places where you can get fresh juices without sugar, so get in there.
Fresh is in the name, is within the products, and is in the restaurant aesthetic. There’s green plant life and modern furniture, and I really liked the giant dispensers where you can see the freshly mixed juices. This makes for a perfect spot to meet friends for lunch or for coffee during a work meeting.
Everything is under $10, which is easy on the wallet and is easy to grab and take back to the office. Again, this is a great meeting place that is not only easy on the eyes, but is budget friendly for sales meetings and/or interviews.
Rating Scale: Ambiance ++++ | Price $$$$$ | Taste ++++
It's the Facts
OPEN MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY FROM 11 A.M. – 10 P.M., AND FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY 11 A.M. – 2 A.M.
CHECK THE SMOKING MULE’S FACEBOOK FOR DAILY SPECIALS.
THE RESTAURANT IS NAMED AFTER TERRY’S NICKNAME IN HIGH SCHOOL, WHICH WAS “MULE.”