Meet Duke's newest restaurant, Thrive.

At the start of this semester, Central Campus welcomed Thrive as the newest restaurant at Devil's Bistro. It offers a “fast casual fresh, healthy concept,” according to its Duke Dining webpage. The Chronicle sent me to test out some of their signature dishes and see if it lives up to its description.

Thrive has a selection of breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, soups and bowls. The menu features popular superfoods like salmon, quinoa and avocado. Alongside my friend, first-year Sarah Watkins, I ordered the wild salmon bowl with a can of Tribucha kombucha. And as the Chronicle’s resident avocado expert, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to order the chicken avocado BLT sandwich and avocado toast as well.

First, we tried the wild salmon bowl, which came with jasmine white rice, edamame, carrot shreds, cucumber, red peppers and ginger sauce. At $12, it is the most expensive of the pre-constructed bowls. Although the menu stated that avocado was included,  I did not see any in the bowl; nevertheless, the bowl was colorful and enticing.

The salmon was a tad overcooked and the rice was bland, but the ginger sauce saved the dish, and the vegetables tasted fresh.

“The vegetables were still raw so they give the bowl a crunch [that] I like,” Watkins said.

Final verdict: healthy and filling, but not the most flavorful dish. I did appreciate getting a good serving of fish for the money.

Next, we sampled the $9 chicken avocado BLT, which came with grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a whole wheat bun. Thrive also added melted baby swiss cheese to this classic sandwich.

After taking one large bite, Sarah and I didn't know what to make of the sandwich, other than that we wanted another bite. It was a little sweeter than I expected a BLT to be, maybe because of the cheese. We both liked the avocado on the sandwich. The dish came with a side of house chips, which were well-salted and had a great crunch.

Final verdict: the stars of the sandwich were the toppings—cheese, avocado, the BLT—while the chicken and bun served as a fine supporting cast members.

Finally, we tasted the $6 avocado toast, featuring olive oil, capers, chia seeds and pepitas on multi-grain bread. I was pleased that we got a thick piece of bread, but I was initially not excited to see all the oil and seeds on the toast.

As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by the oil and the seeds, which added crunch without detracting from the avocado flavor. The toast itself was neither too crunchy nor too soggy.  

Sarah ate her half of the toast in no time. “It’s delicate, without heavy flavors,” she said. “It looks and tastes healthy.”

Final verdict: simple yet rich, the dish allowed the avocado flavor shine while the extra toppings supplemented it nicely. I would have preferred not quite as many seeds, but overall it was my favorite dish.

Final verdict for Thrive: it is definitely not cheap, but you get your money’s worth with the friendly service, generous portions, healthy ingredients, and the mix of flavors.