By Lisa Crockett; photo by Cindy Cranstone and courtesy of LYFE Kitchen
Loving your food everyday is important at a new restaurant at Park Meadows Retail Resort. And loving your food includes feeling good about it before, during and after the meal. LYFE Kitchen (Love Your Food Everyday) is a great place to grab a quick bite or – if you’re so inclined – spend time lingering over a meal, even if you long ago crossed run-of-the-mill restaurant food off your list.
LYFE Kitchen is owned and operated by Rachel and DJ Mitchell. The couple are seasoned veterans of the restaurant business, owning and operating three McDonald’s franchises for the last 13 years. This new venture is both familiar and new at the same time.
“The restaurant business is all about people,” said DJ. “We set expectations and ensure quality and that’s the same thing we’ve always done. This restaurant, though, does use different preparation methods and ingredients that we’re really excited about.”
Those new ingredients are healthy and fresh – when the restaurant opened a few months ago, the opening celebration featured a “Brussels sprout cutting” rather than a traditional ribbon cutting. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features an abundance of organic, non-gmo, and nutrient-packed entrees. Tofu, Gardein, quinoa, avocado and other superfoods play a starring role. All entrees are 600 calories or fewer and contain less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium. But the focus isn’t entirely on nutritional benefits.
“This is great tasting food, darn good food,” said DJ. “We feel really proud of what we’re doing, and we hear people leaving the restaurant talking about the incredible food. That’s what it’s all about.”
Food is ordered at the counter and then delivered to your table in a concept that DJ calls “fresh casual.” The menu is divided into categories: gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and “everything,” which includes meat, poultry and seafood. Drinks range from refreshing non-alcoholic choices like cucumber mint water, juice and smoothies, to red wine, white wine, and beer on tap. On a recent visit, I asked the person behind the counter to make a recommendation, and based on the fact that I am an “everything” eater, she recommended I try the bison burger, available only at the Park Meadows location. It was tasty and satisfying without being heavy.
“We’ve added a few things to our menu to give it a local flavor,” said DJ. “We’ve added bison, green chile, and when they are in season peaches.” New menu items are first approved by a panel of experts to ensure that they fit in with the health-conscious focus of the menu.
“Bison got a big thumbs up because it is lean, grass-fed, raised without antibiotics or hormones and is high in Omega-3 [fatty acids],” said DJ.
The menu choices include everything from tofu or Greek yogurt and berries for breakfast to a satisfying lunch or dinner of “unfried” chicken – a crispy chicken breast that offers a healthier alternative to its more traditionally prepared counterpart. DJ’s favorite is the quinoa crunch wrap, a vegetable-based wrap which features the protein-rich grain along with veggies and edamame hummus. “I like it because it tastes good, and I feel good after I eat it,” said DJ.
LYFE Kitchen is open seven days a week at Park Meadows Mall, 8401 Park Meadows Center Drive (upstairs outside Nordstrom, next to Athleta). Visit www.restaurant.lyfekitchen.com/locations/co/lone-tree for details.
8401 S Park Meadows Center Dr,
Lone Tree, Colorado 80124