Pizzadillawich. Art’s Unfried Chicken. Baked Garlic Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries. These are a few of the mouthwatering dishes residents can feast upon at LYFE Kitchen in Preston Center.
LYFE, short for Love Your Food Everyday, is a fast-casual restaurant committed to providing affordable, health-conscious food. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu includes gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.
LYFE is also LEED certified and uses low-voltage lighting as well as recycled materials for countertops.
Chief communications officer and co-founder Mike Donahue views it more as a health revolution.
“Our goal is really to help change the way America eats,” said Donahue, a former McDonald’s executive. “We consider ourselves more of a lifestyle brand.”
Donahue, alongside anotherformer McDonald’s executive, Mike Roberts, came up with the concept for LYFE in February 2010. The idea was to create the Whole Foods Market of the restaurant industry. They paired up with a team of chefs including Oprah’s former personal chef Art Smith, noted vegan chef Tal Ronnen, and Jeremy Bringardner, recent winner of the Food Network’s “Chopped.”
“LYFE Kitchen just kind of fell right on my lap and I jumped on board,” said Bringardner, LYFE’s executive chef. “It was the first chance for me to put both of my loves together.”
Chefs use locally sourced ingredients, replace creams and butter with “good” fats like avocado and coconut milk, and get creative with fresh herbs and spices.
“My goal is to create food that you feel good about eating and gives you a clean, energizing feeling after,” Bringardner said. “To have a restaurant that’s full of options and doesn’t sacrifice taste, that’s really my mission.”
That goes for dessert, too. Bringardner created a chocolaty, creamy dessert that replaces eggs and cream with the “good” fats of coconut milk. Pomegranate and chia seeds are combined to create a tart sauce.
“I wanted to create a dessert that actually gives you some health benefit and, of course, still has taste with a responsible portion. That’s the Chocolate Budino,” Bringardner said.
When asked what sets LYFE apart from other restaurants in the area with similar goals, Donahue said simply the taste, the transparency of the menu and the team’s belief in indulgence.
“People have a love-hate relationship with their food. We want to change it to just a love,” Donahue said.
The restaurant is located at 8315 Westchester Drive.