Lyfe Kitchen. Maybe you've heard of it. Maybe you haven't. Either way, I'm going to talk about it because it was one of the first healthy restaurants on my Chicago To Eat list. Self described as a "flexitarian" restaurant, catering to a variety of diets and allergy restrictions, you would have to be absolutely ridiculous if you couldn't find something to eat there.
Located on 413 N. Clark Street, Lyfe Kitchen fits perfectly in the health conscious River North area. And then, upon entering the doors, my eyes were met with an herb garden. It was approximately, well, immediately following that discovery I could tell this was no fling. I fell, and I fell hard.
The menu was quite extensive for a fast-casual restaurant and they knew just how to sweet talk me with all of their color coded labels identifying vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and seasonal items. And if that wasn't enough, they went on to satisfy almost every dietary neurosis by including calorie, sodium, and nut allergy information. WHAT? You heard me right.
Executive chefs Art Smith and Jeremy Bringardner have put together a vibrant, delicious and thoughtful menu "that promotes the well-being of our customers, our employees, and our community" according to the website.
I ordered the Quinoa Crunch Bowl (edamame hummus, quinoa tabbouleh, crunchy veggies, arugula, avocado and chipotle vinaigrette), as it is both gluten free and vegan. Do not let your eyes deceive you! Although it looks like a giant pile of arugula, let me tell you it was absolutely delicious!
But what kind of shoddy review would this be if I didn't address the Vibe? The atmosphere, if you will, was clean, earthy and modern with an industrial backdrop. An airy, wide open space with lots of wood details, chalkboard signage, and plenty of quotes regarding their philosophy on quality food and healthy eating.
Have we talked about how I judge bathrooms?
Major bathroom judger. If the bathroom isn't clean, not much else probably is. Well, this bathroom was spotless!
By the way, you best get you some of those sweet potato fries. Or don't. And settle for a mediocre life.
While on the way there, I had pulled up the menu online and said to my husband, "Welp. I already know what you're gonna get. The Pizzanini."
Let's just say, I can't have dairy so that pizzanini ain't mine. But - it CAN be made gluten free!
The boys that accompanied me do not have any allergy restrictions, nor do they adhere to a special diet and they loved the food as well.
The Lyfe Story, according to the website:
"Great food can do amazing things. It can make you feel better. It can support local farms. Promote sustainability. Reward environmentally sound businesses. Give back to the community. And, best of all, it will make you savor every single bite."
Well, I couldn't agree more. So, my crunch grade is as follows:
Allergy friendly: A+
Bathroom cleanliness: A
Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.