After a few dark and cloudy days, my friends and I decided to leave the depressingly repetitive dining hall and try out Lyfe Kitchen. Lyfe is restaurant that hails itself for providing customers with fresh, wholesome ingredients and plenty of options for those with dietary restrictions, all within a short walk of Northwestern's campus.

After a particularly busy week, Lyfe's bright and cheery atmosphere was exactly what I needed. Staff were friendly, immediately welcoming all guests with a smile. Floor-to-ceiling windows around the store allowed the warm sunlight in. The restaurant made you feel welcomed and whole, even from the moment you entered.

Alex Schwartz

My friends and I were excited to find that breakfast is offered until 3 p.m., so we ordered blueberry lemon pancakes and banana coconut budino along with our sweet potato garlic parmesan fries and chicken avocado sandwich. 

Alex Schwartz

The pancakes were definitely the uncontested favorite; there were just so many different things happening at once that came together harmoniously. The combination of the zesty lemon, plump blueberries, pure maple syrup, and creamy ricotta was a brilliant balance to satiate a sweet tooth without being overly pungent. What really lightened up the plate was the addition of quinoa to the flour-based batter. The extra protein from the quinoa kept us all full and happy for hours.

Alex Schwartz

Moving onto the savory portion of our brunch, we have the grilled chicken and avocado sandwich. Usually, I don't like avocado, since the consistency is too mushy, but in this sandwich, I enjoyed it. It was a good contrast to the crunchy vegetables, buttering up the moist chicken breast. With a side salad of arugula, it was a well-balanced and filling meal.

pasta, vegetable, meat, sauce
Alex Schwartz

To accompany our sandwich, we ordered a side of garlic parmesan sweet potato fries. Now, I am a sucker for sweet potato fries; I much prefer them over regular fries, because they are both better for you and, in my opinion, tastier.

My friend Noelle, on the other hand, normally does not like sweet potatoes, so at first she was hesitant to give them a shot. However, they were cooked and seasoned to perfection. But the star of the dish was the chipotle aioli, which gave the fries an extra kick.

dairy product, cream, coffee, chocolate, sweet
Alex Schwartz

We finished our meal with the budino. A budino is a traditional Italian custard, so it is definitely on the decadent side. Lyfe health-ifies it by making the pudding out of chia seeds, providing Omega-3s and fiber in an otherwise calorie-heavy and fuel-deficient dish. The generous heaps of cinnamon sprinkled integrated throughout the pudding with the crunch of the walnuts on top was the most well-balanced spoonful.

If you're looking for a healthy yet satisfying meal, or you're really just into aesthetically pleasing and nourishing food, LYFE is the place for you.

As a part of North Shore Restaurant Month, you can have a four-course Prix Fixe meal at Lyfe for just $25 during February 2016.