Lunchbox fare is fresh, healthy

If you’re in the mood for deep-fried chicken and french fries, The Lunchbox Cafe is probably not the place to go for lunch.

If you’re in the mood for deep-fried chicken and french fries, The Lunchbox Cafe is probably not the place to go for lunch.

However, if your tastes tend more toward a Montreal smoked bison sandwich and a spinach salad, the restaurant at No. 19, 7471 Edgar Industrial Bend is a good option.

Open since March 31, The Lunchbox Cafe emphasizes fresh, healthy food, said Angela Mena, who operates the business with her husband Nicholas.

“We’re not like a burger and fry joint; we don’t even own a deep-fryer.”

Mena said the restaurant uses hormone- and antibiotic-free meats sourced locally by Red Deer’s Big Bend Market.

It also buys cheese from Sylvan Star Cheese at Sylvan Lake and will obtain produce from Red Deer’s Saturday public market when it begins operating in the spring, she added.

The Lunchbox Cafe’s focus is on the breakfast and lunchtime crowds, said Mena, with hours of operation 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. It also offers a catering service to businesses in need of group snacks and meals, and it prepares bag lunches on request.

The Menas first met while working together in a Red Deer restaurant: Nicholas as a cook and Angela as a server.

“It seemed only natural that we should have our own place,” said Angela Mena.

Their premises have been used for a restaurant in the past, but was vacant for some time when the couple took over.

So far, said Mena, feedback has been positive.

“One guy ordered a bison burger seven days in a row.”

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