I don’t know about other college students, but I am at a point in my life where I actually want to eat healthy food. The only problem with that is that it usually does not taste great and it can be expensive. This has been a continuous problem for me while in school and I know I am not the only one that feels that way. I have heard my peers complain about the same problem. If you want wholesome, affordable and delicious food, you can usually only find food that consists of two of those three qualities. There is no win-win-win solution — until now. Herban Quality Eats is the answer. It is an eatery that provides tasty, inexpensive and nutritious food.
This business was started by three young men: Kalefe Wright, Amir Fardshisheh and Chris Paul (Chris is actually a Drexel culinary arts graduate). It started when Fardshisheh came across the lack of healthy options beyond salads that were delicious, filling and not just vegetables.
“I wanted real food,” Fardshisheh explained to me during an interview. “Something that made me feel good and would allow me to live a long life from consuming it. There are not many authentically healthy options in Philadelphia and I wanted to change that.”
Fardshisheh, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, was looking for a partner. Wright, who’s also a Penn graduate and has a passion for food, became his partner. The pair found Paul when they were going through menu development and since then they have been a trio. Paul filled in the gaps; he was able to figure out how to mass produce all the food. They began to rent a kitchen from the Center for Culinary Enterprises and delivered from there. They did that for seven to eight months. Before and during that time, they were fundraising, which allowed them to open a physical location at 3601 Market — conveniently in Drexel’s backyard. The business rests on three pillars: nutritious food, natural ingredients and thoughtful preparation. This is what the founders think of when “healthy food” comes to mind.
After doing research on how the body processes food, why natural foods are so beneficial and how to make appetizing food without additives, they created a menu that was prepared for greatness. They have food for everyone: vegans, omnivores, gluten-free, pescatarians and paleo followers. Almost everything is made in house from ingredients that serve a purpose.
Here is how Herban Quality Eats works: you come in and are guided through by the workers. You choose a base, then a sauce, a protein and two sides. Some of the options change depending on what is in season. Nothing is frozen or prepared in a way that would defeat the purpose of eating well, such as deep frying. All their food is top quality in some way which means it may be organic, local, fresh, hormone-free, nutrient rich or any combination of these.
Macktab Workshops is something they are also working on. They want to share their food philosophy with the community because they saw that although people want to eat well, they do not know how. The workshop is Herban’s wellness program where they discuss what healthy eating really means. They have tried a few, some more successful than others, but they plan to really launch this program by mid-summer. At these workshops people will be able to interact and ask questions about food and how to cook nutritiously, and any other related topics. Plug into their social media to stay updated on this!
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and they cater as well. Pick-up is available all day and delivery is available from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fardshisheh, Paul and Wright are constantly working on expanding their business and getting better since they are the new eatery on the block. Also, rumor has it they will start serving breakfast soon. Go and give them a visit and keep an eye out about different events they have going on! This place has a 5/5 rating in my book. To start, check out their website at herbanqualityeats.com.