It does not get any more “PA” than Lyfe Kitchen, a casual fast food restaurant that opened on October 12. Lyfe, which stands for Love Your Food Everyday, was created with the goal of providing healthy food to people on the go. Everything on the menu is under 600 calories and there’s no butter, cream or MSG to be found.
Even for someone who loves eating healthy organic food, Lyfe is not the one. It’s like Sprout if Sprout’s food didn’t taste good. There’s a point when food is too healthy to taste good, and that’s where Lyfe is. For example, my “roasted mushroom & goat cheese” flatbread let me down because it was basically just a few pieces of cheese on toasted pita bread. And I finished it in about three bites. My favorite dish, the “free range grilled chicken & roasted mushroom pasta,” was too ordinary to get me excited. It was a solid chicken penne pasta, but I can eat that at home whenever I want. I’m not going to go out and spend money for something that I could make myself.
This being said, I’d want to try out Lyfe’s breakfast menu before making the verdict. Their “goat cheese farmer’s market oven-baked frittata” sounds good, as does the turkey sausage “breakfast sandwich.” Also, Lyfe has a good location (167 Hamilton Ave, right next to Peninsula Creamery), outdoor seating and a cool modern interior.
Less McDonald’s, more Lyfes?:
According to the Chicago Tribune, Lyfe Kitchen, which will open up to 250 new locations within the next five years. Lyfe intrigues me because its founders, ex-McDonald’s executives Mike Donahue and Mike Roberts, are betting on the fact that Americans are seeking more nutritious meals when they go out to eat. And according to Joy Dubost in an article about Lyfe in the LA Times, healthful options top the list of what consumers are looking for in restaurant fare these days. Dubost, who is the director of nutrition for the National Restaurant Association said that the Washington D.C.-based group’s research shows that 73% of consumers say they now try to choose healthful items when they go out to eat.
I don’t doubt the validity of the National Restaurant Association’s research, rather I think that Americans are literally fat flakes. We may say that we want to make more of an effort to eat healthier, but when it comes to putting our money where our mouth wants to eat, I don’t think we’ll be flocking to places like Lyfe. Sure, Americans can say that they’ll try to eat more steamed vegetables, but when Friday night rolls around, I doubt that a trip to Lyfe will win out over ordering a pizza.