Foodie Diaries: Fresh Fare

Watching tennis this weekend, and looking for some food on the lighter side? Based on our extensive personal experience, here are a few places that fit the bill. 

In our first issue of the Foodie Diaries, we looked at three newcomers in the food court. This time, we’re pointing out three places on the healthier side (noting that “healthier” ultimately depends on the personal choices you make at the ordering counter).

After that disclaimer and without further ado, here’s our look at Fusian, Kala Greek Grill and Subway.

With five years experience the Western & Southern Open, Fusian is the Cincinnati-based go-to sushi stop on the tournament grounds.

With a mix of traditional Japanese and western ingredient options, Fusian looks to make sushi accessible for people who might be trying sushi for the first time. Scared of tuna? There’s grilled chicken instead. Want a kick? They’ve got jalapeño. 

Fusian started in Cincinnati but has branched out in the area to nine locations with a 10th one opening this fall. 

If you haven’t been to a Fusian, the setup is similar to a Chipotle or Subway, except that you end up with your own customized sushi roll instead of a burrito. You order your way down the line, picking a wrap, proteins, vegetables, sauces and toppings with helpful staff at every station. 

Fusian’s ingredients are locally sourced when possible (though wild salmon can be hard to come by in the Ohio countryside), and fresh food preparation is done every morning at the tournament site. Sushi, more than most foods, benefits from starting out with high-grade ingredients, and that shows in the final product at Fusian. 

During our visit, we had a tuna and shrimp tempura roll with all the vegetables (avocado, carrot, jalapeno and cucumber), topped with sriracha, sweet soy sauces and sesame seeds. That made for one monster-sized, excellent sushi roll. 

Kala Greek Grill has been famous for classic and chicken gyros during its three-year run at the Western & Southern Open. This year, the Greek salad was introduced to the tournament menu, and the folks behind the scenes can hardly keep up with the demand. 

During our visit, we tried a traditional (i.e. - lamb and beef) gyro and Greek salad. Kala Greek Grill does all their food prep work on site, including mixing up their special house tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki can make or break a gyro, but rest assured Kala Greek Grill succeeds here. The meat is excellent too. I’d recommend getting the gyro fully loaded with onions and tomatoes too, and it’d also be a good idea to grab a napkin or two in case you are worried about eating a slightly messy food item in front of overly polite company. 

The Greek salad has greens, tomatoes, onions, feta and kalamata olives with a house Greek dressing that includes more feta cheese. This is a good-sized, filling salad with more interesting toppings than just a rouge crouton or two. No regrets here. 

Though (probably?) less healthy but no less exciting are the loaded Greek fries. The French fries have been flavored with Greek spices then topped with tzatziki and feta cheese. 

The good folks at Kala Greek Grill can even teach you how to pronounce “gyro” correctly thanks to their tournament T-shirts. For the record, it’s “yee-roh” not “gy-ro.”

Kala Greek Grill currently does not have a brick-and-mortar store, so you’re most likely to see these Greek food specialists at events around the area. Another big stop on their summer schedule every year is the Bunbury Music Festival, a three-day June event in Cincinnati.

Come on, you know what this is. 

Subway is the world’s largest restaurant chain with more than 44 thousand locations in 112 countries. If you haven’t seen one before, well, that’s on you. 

Except for the extended bread options and some meats like grilled chicken breast, almost the entire Subway food lineup is available for selection. At $6.50 for a six-inch sub sandwich, it is one of the most affordable offerings in the food court. 

With salads also available, Subway stands as a good way of helping you meet your daily vegetable requirement without breaking the bank.