Health-conscious fast food is a thing. It's exactly what b.good in Fairfield, CT is serving up. The food is fast, fresh, and made from scratch with real ingredients. It's also another adjective: delicious.
"It's when you want high quality, but don't have the time," said owners Steve and Molli Hourihan.
They learned about the Boston-based brand through a family member who introduced them to the owners Anthony Ackil and Jon Olinto. They immediately connected with the "real food fast" concept and became early investors in the company in 2006. Fast forward to 2014, when Anthony made an investor call to Steve to let him know of plans to open a location in Fairfield. Steve in the midst of reassessing his finance career decided to go for it and open the Fairfield location himself.
Steve trained at b.good's Glastonbury location for 6-months while Molli, a Harvard Business School graduate, tapped into the brand's identity and began formulating marketing plans. And together this husband and wife team took a leap of faith and opened b.good in their hometown of Fairfield in the summer of 2015.
So, while it's associated with a larger company, the Fairfield b.good is independently owned and very much a local business. Steve and Molli can develop their own unique menu items, promotions, and partnerships. Plus, unique to the Fairfield location, they decided to offer a variety of local craft beer and select wines.
Molli told us that they try to source as much as they can generally from within a 200-mile radius. Many menu items are inspired by what's seasonally available and rotate with the local harvests. For example, the Spring burger features grilled asparagus; and the Spring smoothie features mint and spinach.
One super cool thing I need to mention before getting to the details of our feast is the b.good app. Through the app, you can track your visits as part of a customer loyalty program, order food for pick up at your selected location, and receive gifts like for a free beverage or a free burger. But, even more exciting, you not only can redeem your gifts, you can also share with a friend, or donate it to a local charity! Each b.good location is partnered with a local charity. Fairfield teamed up with Food Rescue US, but you could donate to any of the other listed charities. I love this - b.good is helping to also do good.
Let's get to the menu. You'll find Kale + Grain Bowls, Burgers + Sandwiches, Seasonal Salads, Sides, Smoothies, and Shakes. Duly noted on the menu are items that are gluten-free and/or vegan. When it comes to buns, you just have to ask for the gluten free option. You can get the Kale + Grain Bowls with either quinoa (GF) or a super-grain mix. And, when it comes to the Burgers + Sandwiches you can get any of the combinations as a beef burger, veggie burger, turkey burger or with grilled chicken.
b.good does corporate and private event catering so to get us started we sampled two craft sandwiches from the catering menu. The Sweet BBQ Chicken Sandwich is a sweet, spicy and crunchy combination of grilled BBQ chicken, sharp cheddar, jalapeno slaw, and pickles with homemade BBQ sauce on rosemary focaccia.
The Picnic Sandwich lived up to its name with a light and crisp pairing of brie, Barlett pear, McIntosh apple, pomegranates, and marinated arugula on raisin-pecan bread. By the way, the raisin-pecan bread is fantastic all on its own.
We also tried the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with tamarind almonds, maple syrup, and cheddar cheese. I have to admit I was unsure of using cheddar here, but man, what a great idea. The sharpness of the cheddar really balanced the maple sweetness.
Then came the Harvest Kale Salad with marinated kale, brussels sprouts, manchego cheese, sunflower seeds, beets, roasted squash and garbanzos topped with a sherry vinaigrette. If anyone ever questions whether a salad is a meal, just serve them this. The sherry vinaigrette was tangy and light, pleasantly enhancing the rest of the salad ingredients.
As a palate cleanser, we tried the Three Green Seasonal Smoothie, a blend of spinach, mint, lime, pineapple, almond milk, honey and hemp seed. The light mint flavor made this smoothie incredibly refreshing.
Next, was what I call a parade of burgers. There was the seasonal burger, the Elizel, with parmesan, cheddar aioli, breadcrumbs, red onion, and asparagus. Heck yes for grilled asparagus on a burger! Try it.
There was the Cousin Oliver which is a standard burger combo of lettuce, tomato. onions and pickles. It was OK, nothing to write home about. On the other hand, the West Side with avocado, cilantro, salsa, chipotle puree, and lime was a big winner for me. It was just sloppy enough and had big flavor.
Last was the Adopted Luke featuring mushrooms, caramelized onions, smoked gouda, and BBQ sauce. Yeah, my mushroom aversion struck once again, but Renato said he enjoyed it.
And, what goes better with burgers than fries! You can order regular or sweet potato. All the fries are hand-cut every morning, blanched, rolled in rice flour and then oven-baked, not fried! These fries are the ultimate balance of sturdy, crisp outside and tender, soft inside.
Then it was on to two Kale + Grain Bowl selections. I must have been locked into the Southwest vibe that night because the Spicy Avocado and Lime Bowl hit the spot. It's got kale, organic quinoa, sauteed veggies, avocado, black bean and corn salsa, grape tomato, queso fresco, lime, cilantro, chipotle puree with a red pepper vinaigrette. Again, hearty and so flavorful.
The Apple + Bacon Bowl had chunks of slab bacon, kale, quinoa, apples, pomegranates, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and scallions dressed with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Great textures in this one. My one complaint is that the bacon was a bit overdone for my taste. It was a little too hard.
You know what, healthy food is filling! It might have just been a smoothie for dessert, but we were already heading into food coma territory. We could only take a few sips of this coconut, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, honey, and banana blended goodness before tapping out. However, we brought the leftover home. It made for a killer breakfast the next morning.
b.good in Fairfield definitely delivers on its real food, fast mission. Everything we tried was incredibly fresh and high quality. This husband and wife team gives that husband and wife team a thumbs up.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. The meal was free of charge. The opinions contained herein are my own and reflect my experience. Your own may differ.
2460 Post Road, Fairfield
Monday - Saturday 11 am to 9 pm
Sunday 11 am to 8 pm
Photos by Renato Ghio