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Fresh Fork offers healthy alternative to eating out
Fresh Fork 1.jpg
Carmina and Martin Matallanes have opened a new restaurant in Ceres this month to offer a healthier choice of dining. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Name of business: Fresh Fork.

Type of business: Fresh food restaurant.

Location: 3018 Service Road (southwest corner of Service and Mitchell), Ceres.

Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Contact info: (209) 566-8363

History of business:  Carmina and Martin Matallanes have opened a new restaurant in Ceres this month to offer a healthier choice of dining.

The couple moved from Southern California to Ceres three years ago and learned “there was nowhere to eat fast and healthy and we were just tired of it,” said Carmina.

“We’ve been in the fitness industry for quite a few years so we’re like we have to make something’s that fast and healthy, on the go for busy people,” she added.

The food prepared and served at Fresh Fork is “never frozen, never fried, never fake food,” said Martin. “We don’t have freezers. Everything’s fresh. We have the best ingredients.”

The concept is simple. Pick a size – bowl or plate, a choice of brown or white rice and choice of Angus beef, chicken or tofu. Steamed vegetables – such as cabbage and broccoli – are served. The salads are not made from iceberg lettuce but kale and slivers of carrot served with slices of orange. The food is served in a biodegradable container on a metal plate. The sturdy green fork is also biodegradable.

“The sauce is kind of what makes the whole plate,” said Martin.

The sauce is soy based and its recipe a secret.

The couple was contemplating opening up their first restaurant in Modesto or Turlock and decided to go in “the middle,” landing in Ceres at the southeast corner of Mitchell and Services roads. They figure the location will grow in popularity once the Walmart Supercenter and Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center begins construction across the street sometime this year.

“We jumped on it,” said Martin. “It’s a busy intersection as it is right now so I can only imagine what it’s going to look like in a few years.”

The Matallanes’s have owned the Camp Transformation Center gym in north Modesto for five years now which focuses on weight loss.

“We preach the 80-20 rule which is 80 percent’s nutrition and 20 is the workout,” said Martin, who is a full-time three-year Modesto Police officer. “We were only providing 20 percent so we’re like let’s go provide the 80 percent.”

The food was picked based on the diet the couple eats.

“We believe in a well-balanced diet,” said Carmina. Her husband added that “it’s delicious. I can only talk about it and tell you, you have to try it. It’s healthy food but it doesn’t feel like you’re eating healthy food.”

The couple thinks their new eatery will take off and has set the goal of five more restaurants within five years.

“That’s our minimum.”

Pricing is reasonable. Bowls for kids are $4.49 while larger bowls are $5.99 and plates with salad are $7.49.