Spice up your Lyfe

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Spice up your Lyfe

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There’s only one question to consider when deciding whether or not to eat at Lyfe Kitchen: how much money am I willing to spend on good food?
The food at Lyfe Kitchen is consistently high quality and delicious, but comes with a hefty price tag.
Three entrées, two drinks and an appetizer rang, in at $60, a high price for what looks and feels like a casual dining experience.
The process of ordering is similar to that of Noodle and Co. and Panera, in that you order at the register, choose a table and wait until a server brings out the food.
The staff was friendly, helpful and more than willing to go out of their way if the food was in any way dissatisfing.
Lyfe Kitchen promises a filling and healthy meal at under 600 calories, consisting of locally sourced ingredients that can be adapted to any dietary needs or preferences the diner might have.
Their dishes are all low in saturated fat, sodium, and high in fiber. The chefs who created the menu banned butter, cream, and corn syrup.
Because of these restrictions, the food at Lyfe Kitchen is resourceful and creative. Rather than serving the normal fried tortilla chips that you’re bound to find at any Mexican restaurant, their tortilla chips are baked and served with guacamole and salsa made from local avocados and tomatoes. However, I noticed two faults with their version of this common appetizer, the first is the brittleness of the chips, which could not support a scoop of guac. The second is that the serving size is small, providing you with only five chips with an order of guac.
Continuing with the healthy theme, Lyfe Kitchen offers flatbreads in place of pizzas and makes them with exclusively whole wheat crusts. The roasted mushroom and goat cheese flatbread has a fantastic mixture of flavors and textures and the pomegranate-balsamic drizzle is to die for.
The only fault I could find with it was that the whole wheat crust tasted like something between cardboard and stale bread.
The food at Lyfe Kitchen provides a broad range of varieties of food, spanning from Mexican to Italian to Thai, which was manifested in the Thai curry bowl. The curry was spicy and there was a nice ratio of vegetables and grain. On the negative side, the basil overpowered most of the other flavors so the entire dish tasted like basil rather than curry.
Although in general their ethnic dishes weren’t the most authentic, they were all creative and tasty.
The “unfried” chicken continued the healthy motif and was served with brussel sprouts and squash with dried cranberries topped with a Dijon vinaigrette. The chicken was in fact breaded and baked and could be substituted for a vegan meat substitute. The brussel sprouts and squash were well cooked and paired nicely with the Dijon vinaigrette, although the dried cranberries seemed out of place with the rest of the dish.
The decor of Lyfe Kitchen is somewhat reminiscent of a 1970’s home with couches used as dining chairs and a color scheme of orange and chrome.
There is a decent selection of music that sounds like something out of Lollapalooza, playing a bit too loud. The open dining space is nice to look at, but creates an echo through the room that makes conversation difficult.
Lyfe Kitchen achieves their goal of producing high quality food, but this food comes at a high price. If you’re looking for a good meal that can adapt to any of your dietary needs or preference and are willing to pay a little more than your typical casual restaurant, Lyfe Kitchen is the place for you.
Lyfe Kitchen is located at 1603 Orrington Ave in Evanston. It’s weekday hours are 7:00 AM- 9:00 PM, and their weekend hours are 8:00 AM- 9:00 PM.

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