Wednesday, November 12, 2014
when she tried Lyfe Kitchen for the first time, and already Brandy has become obsessed with the health and sustainable focused fast casual restaurant. "I've never been opposed to healthy food, I'm only opposed to terrible food, and if healthy food is also tasty food, then all the better," as Brandy put it.
Her current obsession lead Brandy to visit Lyfe Kitchen's River North location once more in order to try all of the fall and winter specials for herself. The fall/winter specials all seemed to have one thing in common: heat. Lots of spicy ingredients went into these dishes, presumably to keep Chicagoans from freezing their toes off in the on coming polar vortexes, which Brandy didn't mind in the least. "I like spice if it's used well," she said, "I object to heat for heat's sake, but certain dishes can certainly benefit from a good hit of the hot stuff."
First up were two of the seasonal beverages, the Spiced Apple Chia and the Pumpkin Pie Latte. A big bonus for the latte was that it had butternut squash puree in it, which gave it a rich, smooth texture most pumpkin spice drinks don't have, but sadly Brandy found the flavor a little weak. The Spiced Apple Chia, which can be served warm or cold, was an absolute hit for Brandy, as the flavor was much more potent than she expected. "I thought it would be along the lines of the Lyfe waters, which are more subdued and refreshing, but this is like a fortified apple cider! Delicious!"
Two seasonal soups are currently on the menu: a Squash Lemongrass and a Chicken and Kale. Brandy though the squash soup had a nice citrus undertone to it, but wasn't quite as rich as she wanted it to be, and the mint it had been dressed with a bit confusing to the palette. The chicken and kale soup, on the other hand, was a delightful surprise with it's hearty chunks of meat and veggies and just a little bit of warmth from some chili oil. "It's like a chicken noodle soup, but the noodles have been replaced with greenery!" Brandy exclaimed in delight.
Lastly was the Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Bowl, which was hearty, and as the name implied, quite spicy, as the base of it had been concocted from jalapenos. The chicken had a pleasant grilled flavor to it, while the beans were nicely firm and stood up well to the sauce. The over all feeling of the bowl was in the vein of a chili, which made Brandy wish she had some sort of sturdy roll or bread to dip into the dish.
These dishes will be available throughout the fall and winter, changing over to the spring specials somewhere between March and April. Lyfe kitchen is also due to change over their beer selections, which they hope to do every three months or so to keep returning customers like Brandy on their toes.