Bakery/Cafe / Continental / New York / Restaurants/Bars

Local Leaf

Murray Hill has needed some healthy food options for a while and has found just that in Local Leaf.  No, it doesn’t really service the multitude of dudebros in the area, but all those 24-year-old Long Island gals?  They love it.  But you don’t have to be a young girl specializing in vocal fry to enjoy good healthy food.  I, for one, was a big fan of this place.

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The look is kinda Scandinavian minimalist.  I’m diggin it.

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Local Leaf is essentially Chipotle for healthy food:

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  1. First pick your style: burrito style with a giant swiss chard leaf as a wrapper instead of a tortilla, a platter of 4 bibb lettuce leaves as salad cups, or as a bowl over mixed greens
  2. Choose your grain: quinoa/millet/brown rice blend, herbed farro, or sticky white rice
  3. Pick a protein: beef, chicken, pork, or falafel
  4. Pack on the toppings (there are too many to name)
  5. Add a sauce

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My friend Alli is friends with the owners and warned me that the wraps were hard to eat.  Since I had been thinking about that particular menu item since they opened, I had to get it.  She was right, but I didn’t care.  Though it soon fell apart and had me eating it like a salad bowl, I was perfectly content.  I actually kind of like eating the wrap as a salad bowl over the actual salad bowl because I prefer the swiss chard to the mixed greens.

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In my wrap I had farro, beef (braised short rib, to be exact), sauteed mushrooms, broccoli salad, cucumber, scallions, and avocado.  For my sauce, I went with lemon parsley pesto.  Because I had more than the 3 included toppings, chose a more expensive protein, and added a premium topping (avocado), my meal was definitely on the pricier side – about $17 total.  Not what I would normally spend on a fast casual lunch, but I recognize I went a little nuts with the toppings.  Also, it was definitely worth it, as it kept me full all day.

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Local leaf also has a great juice bar that I have yet to try out.  I’m new to the whole juice thing so I avoid it (I never know what to get!), but if you’re into things like juices, smoothies, and acai bowls, they seem to have a really good selection.  Overall, it’s great for vegetarians and healthy people.  It’s also great for people who like meat and think they could never be healthy.  If it’s spiced well and keeps me satisfied for 8 hours, I’m on board.

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