Lyfe Kitchen: A Unique Restaurant With An Honorable Foundation

photo 5 (3)This place drew me before I even took a bite of food because the restaurant is just SO. DARN. CUTE.photo 4 (6)

Check it out! Modern chic! Lyfe has a beautiful outdoor patio that would be perfect for a summer lunch, but miserable for a winter-time date. But as long as you sit indoors, Lyfe Kitchen will be a great option for meals all year-round. They even serve breakfast till 11AM!

Everything on the menu is under 600 calories. Says the website, “we created our Everything menu with the flexitarian in mind.”

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At the water station, they offer three types of water: ambient, chilled, and sparkling. Here is also where you’d pick up your own cutlery and napkins.

Not only is this chain of restaurants very health-conscious, but they are built on a great foundation. If you’re the type of person who cares about the story behind a restaurant, you’d love its wholesome, honest, and simple foundation. The restaurant walls offer inspirational quotes about success and happiness.

Lyfe uses mainly locally and sustainably sourced ingredients, mainly organic produce, whole grains, responsibly-raised meats, and fresh herbs and spices from their own garden!

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Check out the cute herb garden they have growing in the front of the restaurant!

The website lists the ingredients and nutrition information of every dish, and the restaurant layout is designed to bring people together, whether it be from sitting around the community dining table or on their recycled wicker chairs.

Additionally, to accommodate to people from different lifestyles, Lyfe has multiple different menus (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc.) to fit.

I visited first with my friend Natalie. We had a great time eating in silence, speaking occasionally to discuss the food.photo 1 (16)

We approached the front counter. “What’s good?” I asked. The man leaned in close and recommended the two dishes that we ended up ordering, which were, blissfully, not the most expensive things on the menu.

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Look at the shape of that spoon! Check out at that cute little pitcher of milk! I ordered a cup of coffee. They asked me, did I want cream, or 2%, or skim? (I said skim.)

Bam-bam-bam. Everything arrived just minutes after we sat down. This was when I noticed how great the service of this place truly is!

When our food was brought out, the waiter made sure the plates were set down properly and firmly and apologized for reaching across people. The employees came around multiple times to check up on us. They ended up messing up part of our order (regular fries instead of parmesan fries) but this minor detail was handled gracefully.

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The baked garlic parmesan sweet potato fries ($3) could be crispier; they went soggy quick! The portion size I received was frugal! However, the parmesan and herbs were prominently sprinkled atop, which is important to help the eater experience the food better. If you can see the flavor, you’ll be able to better taste it.
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This colorful vegetarian dish was far from bland, mixed with pea pods, bell peppers, crunchy broccoli, carrots, quinoa, and black rice, dressed lightly with a gingery, chile-infused sauce.

My friend Natalie ordered the Ancient Grain Bowl (~$12), with gardein ™ beefless tips. Gardein is a brand that offers meatless protein substitutes for beef, chicken, sausage, etc. Lyfe Kitchen knows how to make the diner fall in love before the first bite.

photo 2 (17)I ordered Art’s Unfried Chicken (~$12), which was crispy, despite being baked, not deep-fried. Though a bit on the tough side, this chicken was not lacking in moisture. It was served with a non-conventional vegetable medley. Don’t think mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery), think brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and dried cranberries!

The second time, I dined with a group of five guys very dear to my heart.

I had the Thai Curry Bowl with grilled chicken ($13?), which was definitely a different experience, since the veggie medley (peas, broccoli, bell peppers, and eggplant) was served over a bed of whole grain wheatberries drowned in creamy and slightly spicy curry sauce. As soon as I noticed the dish contained peas, my heart sank a bit. But the experience was definitely positive! Those wheatberries were chewy!

A common trend between my dishes was that everything was well cooked, and presented in large portion sizes, enough that I was pleasantly satiated at the end of the meal.

I also felt comfortable paying what I did, considering the high quality of the food. You can easily get away with shelling out no more than $15 on such a unique meal.

On college campuses, I’ve found that the treatment students receive at restaurants is both smaller in range and overall higher. Since most restaurant patrons will end up being college students, expect to be treated better in a restaurant like Lyfe Kitchen than at Bravo. However, the crowd at Lyfe has always also included families and friends looking for a well-cooked meal and couples on cute dates.photo 3 (12)

And what if you’re not in the mood for food? Lyfe seems like a cute place to go for coffee in between busy hours. You could also try a glass of Lyfe water, which is basically a lighter, healthier cousin of juice! These come in flavors such as “orange ginger chia” (OJ, mint, chia, lime, ginger) and “hibiscus beet” (tea colored with beet and mixed with ginger, apple, and lemon).

1603 Orrington Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 563-8242

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