We all try to eat healthy. But sometimes it’s hard to have all the right ingredients on hand AND the motivation to chop a million vegetables before they start to grow mold. That’s where CoreLife Eatery comes in, a new whole-food chain that recently made its way to Indianapolis in the Castleton area. They claim to be non-GMO and locally sourced with no high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors and flavors and their branding looks like a bright Chipotle. Similar to other fast-casual restaurants that are worming their way into Millennial’s hearts and pockets, the restaurant offers grain, salad, and broth bowls that can be customized into a myriad of healthy offerings.
This might sound a little complicated, but it’s basically like building a big salad. You pick an already-decided combination from the hanging board or design your own dish, adding things like tuna poke, black sesame seeds, and chopped almonds on top of quinoa and kale. Most bowls have a suggested dressing, which have been prepared fresh, in-house the same day. The chain also offers creative, hand-crafted beverages, such as beet lemonade or apple cider green tea.
CoreLife Eatery was really clogging my Instagram feed, so I decided to give it a try last Sunday with Husband in tow. It was pouring down rain outside, so we ran into an almost empty restaurant (sharp contrast to the lines out the door from the previous week) to see what all the fuss was about. The verdict? Underwhelming. I tried the Tuna Poke grain bowl with miso sesame ginger dressing and Husband ordered the Thai chicken with rice noodles and Thai cashew dressing. My bowl looked pretty and colorful, but became super soggy with too much dressing and the flavors all muddled together into a bland mess after a few bites. Husband’s bowl was pretty bland and he was disappointed with the cold noodles and overwhelming amount of cabbage. Both bowls needed some salt or spice or something. There was also a super weird 1/2 slice of store-bought bread that accompanied my dish as a “side,” but no other side options (I need my kettle chips!). I sampled almost all of the fruit beverages and was very let down with the taste and sweetness without finding any favorites.
I like so many ideas from CoreLife Eatery, like the protein-rich bowls, antibiotic-free meats, and pretty affordable entrees (around $10), but there has got to be a way to make them more palatable. Husband ran to Wendy’s an hour later. If I went again, I would order something different and definitely ask for dressing on the side. Or maybe I just won’t go again.
Overall Rating: 2.5/5