This past summer, my friend Jess and I traveled up to Syracuse, NY, to visit our friend Katie, who we met here at Binghamton last year. Upon arriving, we were super hungry from our six-hour drive; Katie suggested that we go to a local salad joint called Core (it's technically called CoreLife Eatery, but everyone refers to it as Core). Being a salad fanatic, I was obviously down for this; to me, nothing is more exciting to me than a salad place I haven't tried yet.
When I walked in the door of the Clay, NY CoreLife location, I was immediately welcomed by the restaurant's rustic atmosphere. Core's mission to serve clean, healthy food without any additives was evident and was advertised throughout the restaurant. Everything about it just screamed fresh and farm-to-table.
What They Have
Core offers three main types of entrees: greens, grain bowls, and bone broths. If you're in the mood for a salad, you can either choose from one of the pre-created options or choose to create your own salad.Core offers six "green bowl creations", which include the Mediterranean, the Sriracha Ginger Roasted Tofu, the Kale Chicken Caesar, the Chicken Cobb, the Spicy Ginger Steak, and the Steak, Bacon, and Bleu Cheese salad. If you're in the mood to create your own salad, Core offers over 30 add-ins and a variety of dressings, which are all gluten-free.
Core's grain bowls are pretty similar to their salads, except for the fact that these bowls are centered around grains instead of greens. Just as with the salads, you can either create your own grain bowl or go with one of the options that the restaurant has posted on its board.
The options offered include the Greens and Ancient Grains Bowl, the Sriracha Ginger Tofu and Ancient Grains, the Southwest Grilled Chicken and Wild Rice Blend, the Spicy Chicken and Ancient Grains, the Thai Chicken and Rice Noodles, and the Ginger Steak and Rice Noodles bowl. If you choose to create your own grain bowl, you have plenty of grain bases to choose from, including brown or wild rice, quinoa, or rice noodles (you can also substitute your grains for greens).
Core also offers the opportunity to create your own bone broth. Additionally, they offer Tomato and Basil, Broccoli Cheddar, Shiitake Mushroom and Roasted Tomato, Grilled Chicken Tortilla, Chicken and Rice Noodle, and Spicy Ginger Steak and Rice Noodle bone broth bowls. If you choose to create your own bone broth, you have the option to choose two grain or green bases, up to four add-ins, and a bone broth (vegetarian broth is also available).
What I Tried
Although there were plenty of options to choose from, I decided to go with a pre-created salad: the Steak, Bacon, and Bleu Cheese. I chose romaine and spinach as my two green bases, and got all of the add-ins that the salad usually comes with, which included grilled steak, bacon, cranberries, walnuts, tomatoes and gorgonzola, all topped with a cranberry vinaigrette.
I could taste the freshness of the ingredients upon my first bite. The greens were crisp and the add-ins were flavorful. Typically, I'm not a huge steak person, but Core's steak tasted great; it was lean and tasty. The cranberries added tanginess to the mix, and the cranberry vinaigrette on top enhanced the fruity flavor of the salad, which contrasted well with the steak and gorgonzola. I knew, right away, that I was going to be a huge Core fan.
I didn't try any, but Core prides itself on its variety of fruit juices, green teas, and lemonades. They are all made without any added sweeteners whatsoever, and they have a big selection, too
What's To Come
My friend Katie, who introduced me to CoreLife in the first place, informed me several weeks ago that a Core location would soon be opening in Vestal, in the University Plaza shopping center, which is located just several minutes from campus. It's true: CoreLife is set to open up shop here in early December. I'm so excited to have this option so close to campus as I'm really into healthy eating.
I'm sure that the Binghamton University student population will be thrilled to try out Core once it opens. Hopefully, this will help to spread awareness; to my knowledge, not many know that Core is opening so soon! I'm sure that the message that CoreLife carries with it will spread to Binghamton students, and will help to promote a more healthy lifestyle for all.
You can check out CoreLife's website, menu, and message here: http://eatatcore.com.