The first thing I saw when I walked into Lyfe Kitchen was the freestanding wall of herbs. Nope. Too healthy. Words like “organic” and “sustainable” popped into mind. But I was with three other girls who were dying to try it, and it was too late to turn around and hit up the $.99 pizza place down the block.
And it was great. I ordered the most vegetarian thing I’ve ever ordered in my entire life. The quinoa crunch wrap actually didn’t have any sort of wrap. I’m pretty sure they accidentally gave me the quinoa crunch bowl instead. Basically the same and now that I’ve eaten it, I really don’t care. It’s made with quinoa tabbouleh, arugula, cucumber, radishes, tomato, avocado, edamame hummus, chipotle vinaigrette, and hot sauce on the side. I added garlic lime tofu as my protein. I have no idea why I went tofu when there were chicken and fish options. That’s something I’ve never done before. But it was great tofu – not at all mushy.
I was terrified I would be getting rabbit food, but this was filling and packed with flavor. It reminds me a bit of Hu Kitchen, but way better in that it’s more realistic about the food people actually want to eat. It’s also brighter, which is nice because I’m not crazy about dim lighting when it’s not nighttime. Bright lighting to match the bright food. I’m thinking part of their menu success is that it was co-designed by Chef Art Smith. Smith is a Southerner who managed to health-ify his lifestyle and lose tons of weight – and you know us Southerners: we like flavorful food so Smith made it his mission to keep the flavor while cutting the fat.
The last thing I thought I’d find at a healthy Midtown grab-and-go spot is cocktails, yet there they were. There was a pink lemondade with vodka and mint…and chia seeds since they’re all about healthy. They’ve also got local craft beers and wine on tap. When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. I will now admit healthy lunch spots can actually be good.