Localicious: TBar Pairs Fusion Cuisine and Refreshing Drinks for Cool Results

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I was in the mood for something quick and light, so I headed over to Tea Bar and Fusion Café, aka “TBar.” It was lunchtime and the place was hopping. The outdoor patio looked full, so I hoped to find a seat inside after ordering at the counter.

TBar (formerly “Teaz Me”) specializes in a variety of specialty hot and cold teas. Sounds simple, but there are many possibilities! I had to decide whether I wanted them to “Freeze Me,” “Ice Me,” “Sparkle Me” or “Steam Me.” With about seven different options under each of those headings, it took me a few minutes to choose. The day was warm, so I decided on a sugar-free Mystic Mandarin sparkling tea infusion ($2.85) with tapioca pearls added (50 cents).

The “Feed Me” section of the menu offers Fusion Wraps ($6.95) with a choice of topping, wrapper, type of rice, and dressing. Fusion Bowls ($8.95) include choice of topping, grain or salad, and dressing. All wraps & bowls include avocado, cucumber, julienne carrots, and, depending on your selection, daikon sprouts or organic baby greens.

I requested a Fusion Bowl with sweet chili chicken, organic salad, and low-fat miso dressing on the side. My friendly cashier sent me on my way with a number, and I was able to find a bar seat near the window. Within three minutes, my food arrived, and it looked amazing.

All photos by Ron Putnam of Ron Putnam Photography

My heaping plateful of greens was deliciously fresh, and the julienne carrots, cucumbers and sprouts were crisp. The sliced avocado was perfectly ripe. My bowl of scrumptiousness was topped off with bites of tender grilled chicken marinated in chili sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I’d ordered the miso dressing because it was the low-fat option, and it was wonderful, filled with chopped fresh ginger … it complemented the chicken perfectly.

The citrusy flavor of my tea went well with the salad and was very refreshing. An extra-wide straw accommodated the black tapioca pearls I’d requested – they sink to the bottom of the glass and swell, adding texture and fun.

Three women seated next to me were enjoying frosted tea lattes and blended tea sorbets, which looked delicious. On a previous trip, I had enjoyed a Ginger Pear sparkling tea and a tofu wrap, both of which were equally tasty. The wraps are large enough to share, so I ate half and saved the rest for later.

TBar has additional fusion specialties, such as teriyaki chicken and pineapple skewers, miso soup (seasonal), and a warm edamame bowl, each under $5. They also offer a kids’ bowl for $5.95, and “Yummus Hummus” with fresh-baked naan bread ($5.65). If your sweet tooth needs satisfaction, order a mini carrot cake, chocolate sin cake, fresh-baked cookies or chocolate-dipped biscotti.

The food is fast, yet healthy and tasty. It’s a great place for a lunch or dinner with kids, a book club meeting, or a quick meal.

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250 Vallombrosa Ave., Chico • (530) 895-8100 • www.tbarchico.com

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Localicious is a new monthly column celebrating food in the North State. If you would like to suggest a food-related business or organization, email us at localicious@northstateparent.com

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Desiree Gonzalez
About Desiree Gonzalez

Desiree Gonzalez is an author and a mother of two in Chico.

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