Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life Café: Who Says Healthy Isn’t Tasty?

Situated inside Cary’s mega workout facility Life Time Fitness, Life Café features healthy provisions like sandwiches, wraps, salads and smoothies filled with natural ingredients and devoid of artificial additives. There’s much to like about the café: artisan bread made with unbleached flour, all-natural meat and fruit, and made-from-scratch salad dressings and sauces.

My go-to choice after a workout is the satisfying mocha madness smoothie, a 300-calorie delight comprising a boost of java, chocolate, skim milk and whey protein. Other tempting options include strawberry sunrise and very berry blast. You can also build your own smoothie for about $5.

When it comes to sandwiches, a great option is the flavorful turkey avocado served warm on ciabatta bread with pepper mayo, tomato and mixed greens. Sandwiches are served with a side salad and seasonal fruit.

As for wraps, the bacon- and red-pepper-mayo-infused Southwest chicken is a solid pick. Consider avoiding blander wraps like the roast beef and harvest turkey. Quesadillas are also available, but I found them to be just average.

While most selections are healthy (the menu board lists nutrition facts for every item), tasty pizzas like BBQ chicken and pesto chicken approach or exceed 1,000 calories each. Thankfully, a half-serving option is accessible, but it’s unlikely to fill you up.

Self-serve upright coolers hold an assortment of sport drinks, soda and bottled water. Along the interior windows, floor-to-ceiling shelves contain everything from protein bars and organic cookies to athletic socks and racquetball gear.

Life Café offers fast-casual service that’s friendly and efficient. The café is open to gym members and general public alike, although it would be nice if members got a small discount. Daily specials for $4 and $5 provide affordable alternatives to budget-conscious patrons.  

Life Café on Urbanspoon


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