Fresh, delicious and healthy are three core essentials when it comes to finding a good restaurant. The new CoreLife Eatery in American Fork offers those three fundamentals and more.
CoreLife Eatery is a brand that started off in 2015 with an original location in Syracuse, New York. Since then it has been opening franchises in seven Eastern states. The American Fork location, which opened two months ago, is the company’s first foray into the West.
CoreLife is billed as an active lifestyle restaurant, primarily focusing on custom-created dishes that are greens-, grains- or broth-based. All menu items are free of trans fats, artificial colors, GMOs, sweeteners and other artificial flavors.
We visited CoreLife Eatery on Saturday evening. The restaurant’s interior was very inviting and visually vibrant with a variety of bright colors, photographic wall panels featuring fruit, low-hanging light bulbs and pithy, upbeat sayings displayed prominently throughout. My favorite saying quoted noted food author Michael Pollan, and simply stated: “Eat food ... not too much ... mostly plants.”
Seating is plenty comfortable, with a variety of booths and tables inside — in addition to outside patio dining — with a total of around 120 seats.
Orders are placed at the front counter. The various options can seem a bit daunting the first time through — mostly because almost everything appears so good. For starters, there are three main divisions: Green Bowls, Grain Bowls and Broth Bowls. The green bowls feature choices of kale, spinach, arugula, romaine and a mesclun mix. The signature bowls include Sriacha Ginger Roasted Tofu, Mediterranean, Kale Caesar Chicken, Chicken Cobb, Spicy Ginger Steak, and Steak, Bacon & Bleu Cheese.
There are seven signature grain-based bowls from which to choose. My wife ordered the Southwest Grilled Chicken & Wild Rice Blend. It included wild rice, antibiotic-free chicken, chopped romaine, avocado, jalapenos, tortilla strips, tomatoes, black beans, scallions, corn and shredded white cheddar, topped with a cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette dressing. This was completely outstanding. Very delicious.
Additional signature grain bowls include Tuna Poke, Greens & Ancient Grains, Sriacha Ginger Tofu & Ancient Grains, Spicy Chicken & Ancient Grains, Thai Chicken & Rice Noodles, and Ginger Steak & Rice Noodles.
As for the Broth Bowls, there are three sub-categories: Bone Broth, Vegetable Broth and Just the Broth. Each of those also have three options, for a total of nine different kinds. We had planned to circle back after our main order to pick up the Tomato Basil and Broccoli Cheese broths, but workers had started cleaning up and already removed them by the time we made it back.
Of course, there is the Build Your Own Bowl option, allowing you to cater your order specifically to your preferences. In the first step, you pick your base — which comes down to a choice between greens and grains. We talked about the greens above, but the available grains include tri-colored quinoa, organic brown rice or rice noodles. Then you can add up to four ingredients from a list of 22 healthy items (I’m not going to list them all, but we’re talking a boatload of vegetables and a few fruit offerings). The third step is selecting premium ingredients (at an additional price per item) including various cheeses, bacon, avocado, chicken, steak and more. Finally, you choose a topping or broth from a list of delectable custom offerings.
Our 10-year-old son opted for the Build Your Own Bowl option and loved his choices. However, he was only able to finish about half of it. Who knew that eating such healthy items could be so filling? (Probably moms everywhere, but I digress.)
Which brings us to another point. The items come in three basic sizes. You definitely get your money’s worth with the large, but come with a hefty appetite — or consider getting the medium. The portions are very generous.
I could not resist ordering the Steak Plate. This also starts with a greens or grain base — and I chose a combination of organic brown rice and rice noodles. It is augmented by two roasted vegetables, which I opted for curried cauliflower and roasted butternut squash. It was topped with four long strips (about 8 to 10 inches) of steak. I wasn’t totally sure which dressing to select, so the server gave me two on the side: the Thai cashew and the miso sesame ginger. In the end, I liked both of them about the same, but would give an ever-so-slight nod to the Thai cashew. This plate had a lot going on, and I would definitely order it again.
Whatever you do, do not overlook the impressive variety of lemonades. All the lemons are squeezed fresh daily, and the flavors are a tad exotic. What would you say to a beet lemonade, for example? (Say, “Yes, please!”) Other lemonade flavors on the day of our visit included blueberry, cranberry cayenne, regular and coconut water fruit punch lemonade. These are served fountain style, so you actually can mix or match flavors. Our family favorite turned out to be a mix between the coconut water fruit punch and beet lemonades. Delicious!
If eating healthy is your thing — and really, who doesn’t want this as their end goal — then should give CoreLife Eatery a try. It tastes good, and you’ll feel good for it.