At the lower level of Strawberry Square in Harrisburg with an entrance onto N. 3rd Street, the capital city’s lunch and early-dinner crowd gained a new hot spot this past March. Aptly named after the Spanish word for “strawberry,” Fresa Bistro on 3rd is the result of a partnership between veteran restaurateurs Juan Garcia (owner of El Sol Mexican Restaurant) and Nino Pupurra (owner of Jo Jo’s Pizza).
Top 3 Must-Order Salads
1. Custom Salad: Select a green, up to six toppings and a dressing – over 40 options from which to choose.
2. Thai Shrimp: Grilled jumbo shrimp, organic spring mix, cilantro, red onion, carrot, edamame, mandarin oranges, pineapple, cashews and Asian sesame vinaigrette.
3. South of the Border: Blackened chicken, iceberg lettuce, cilantro, corn, black beans, avocado, cheddar jack cheese, tortilla crisps, chipotle ranch dressing, sour cream and pico de gallo.
Top 3 Can’t-Miss Panini
1. Cubano: Slow-cooked pork, ham, kosher dill pickle, Gruyere cheese and yellow mustard on a Cuban roll.
2. French Dip: Roasted sirloin, grilled onion, provolone cheese, horseradish sauce and au jus on a French baguette.
3. Black-N-Bleu: Blackened chicken, roasted peppers, roasted onions and bleu cheese on ciabatta bread.
Top 3 Must-Try Sandwiches
1. California Chicken: Grilled chicken, applewood-smoked bacon, cilantro, red onion, avocado, lettuce, cheddar jack cheese and chipotle ranch dressing on ciabatta bread.
2. Smokehouse Burger: Sweet and smokey seasoned prime USDA char-grilled hamburger, applewood-smoked bacon, Roma tomato, baby spinach, melted cheddar jack cheese and hickory barbecue sauce on a brioche bun.
3. Turkey Provolone: Roasted turkey, provolone cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
Upbeat tunes and colorful paintings by local artist Rebecca Martin set the scene for the speedy service as well as the nutritious and delicious menu offerings at Fresa.
“The foundation for what we do is fresh, healthy and fast in a great atmosphere with a friendly staff,” says Restaurant Manager Callie Alvanitakis.
In little more than two months, Fresa has fast become a city- and state-employee favorite. With a 60-seat capacity and more than half of the restaurant’s business in take-out orders, the busy flurry of the lunch-hour rush is no problem for them, says Alvanitakis.
“We get people in and out really fast, and we also accept call-ahead orders,” she says.
In addition to daily specials and soups, both of which are posted on Fresa’s Facebook, they now offer catering options. Also, look out for new menu items this month.
Fresa Bistro on 3rd (15 N. 3rd St., Lower Level Strawberry Square, Harrisburg) is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (717) 216-8754 or visit fresabistro.com.