Healthy Hotspot: Gasta Good ’n’ Healthy
I was really excited to hear about a new healthy food cafe ‘Gasta Good n Healthy’ that opened up in my hometown of Limerick City in recent months. There is a growing health food market in Ireland and while many of the larger cities such as Dublin and Galway have seen the opening of health focused cafes and restaurants in recent years, Limerick seems to have lagged behind on this front. The opening of Gasta has changed all that and has given those interested in health and nutrition a new place to grab a quick and healthy breakfast, lunch or snack.
‘Gasta’ in Irish means fast or quick and is run by a local Limerick man, Jeffery Treacy. Its menu operates under ten key healthy principles and serves a variety of hot and cold options each related to one or more of these principles.
Their menu is loosely based upon the ‘Paleo’ diet, which basically involves foods that our ancestors would have eaten such as fruits, nuts, berries and meats although not all menu options consist of these. Gluten-free, Vegan and Dairy free diets are also catered for in some of their food items.
Like many others I had been following the progress of their opening eagerly online over the past few months. Social media has played an integral part in their successful opening, with their Facebook page receiving over 2,000 followers before they had even opened. Living in Toronto unfortunately meant I had to wait a few months before I could check the place out for myself.
On my recent trip home for my cousin’s wedding, I finally got the opportunity to visit it with my mum. It was just after lunch time on the day we went and there was still a small lunch queue of people remaining. They offered a variety of options such as prepackaged sandwiches, wraps, salads, sushi and juices and the bright menu on the wall included a selection of cooked to order hot food options such as ‘Moroccan Meat Balls’, ‘BBQ Chicken Tenders’ ‘Fit Burger’ and ‘Fit Fish Fingers’. I decided to order the Thai Fish Cakes which were served with a side salad and sweet potato chips (fries for my Canadian friends. ) My mum went for a slice of almond and orange cake and a coffee. The salmon fish cakes and side salad were delicious, nutritious and filling. However, the side of sweet potato chips weren’t really to my liking, as I felt there was a slight overload of sweet potato with them being in the fish cakes too. Despite this, I really enjoyed my meal and my mum loved her almond and orange slice which was moist and flavourful and unbeknownst to her also gluten-free and Paleo friendly.
With all the tempting menu options, I also got some coconut macaroons to taste later that evening. These bite size coconut treats did not disappoint and were delicious, moist and with a hint of sweetness.
Overall I was very impressed with the place and will definitely be back again on my next visit home. It is great to see there is a growing interest in health, nutrition and wellbeing and while some may believe it’s a fad, I truly believe it is the way of the future. People are beginning to realize the significance of nutrition in leading a healthy lifestyle and that food can still taste good and be healthy.
Healthy Hotspot Rating
- Staff friendliness & knowledge: 5/5 – Staff were smiling, helpful, friendly and informative.
- Decor/Ambiance: 5/5 – Casual seating and simple artwork provided a relaxed and welcoming setting
- Accessibility: 5/5 – Right in the centre of Limerick City with easy access from all parts of Limerick.
- Nutrition: 4.5/5 – Good variety of fresh, healthy, nutritious, food that caters for a few different dietary lifestyles
- Price/Value: 4.5/5– Although I’ve heard a few people suggest the prices are high I found them to be pretty reasonable. I feel if food is of good quality, healthy and locally sourced, I am willing to pay that small bit more than typically fast food fare.
Website address: https://www.facebook.com/gastafood
Location: 6 Thomas Street, Limerick, Ireland
If you are looking for similar style health focused cafes in the Toronto area why not check out these ‘Healthy Hotspots’: Evolution Food Co whose review you can read here or the IQ Food Co who you can check out here