Quite a few new restaurants have popped up around Preston Hollow this year, and there are even more to come. Last weekend I stopped by LYFE Kitchen for lunch with a friend. The new fast casual spot opened up about five months ago in Preston Center (8315 Westchester).

The restaurant bills itself as a healthy alternative to fast food, with low-calorie and low sodium items to order. Various printed menus hang near the entrance to the right, just before you see the herb garden. There’s a gluten-free menu, vegetarian menu, and a wine menu, along with the straightforward “I eat everything” menu — all listing calorie counts under every item. If you’re a little overwhelmed by all of the options, the friendly staff are patient and helpful — likely the influence of LYFE co-founder and CEO Mike Roberts, who used to be in charge of similarly customer-service oriented McDonald’s.


After ordering our food we picked a table, which wouldn’t be a problem even if the place was crowded. It’s huge inside, with a covered patio for when it warms up. If you don’t order one of the four beers on tap or a kale smoothie to drink, there are LYFE waters in various fruity flavors. The pretty hibiscus LYFE water (hibiscus tea infused with beet, apple, lemon, and ginger) pictured below wasn’t overly sweet and kind of tasted like tamarind juice.


Or you can save a few bucks and stick with water to drink, which is served chilled, ambient or sparkling.


To start, we tried the chunky guac n’ chips. The house-baked corn tortilla chips come with salsa fresca and some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had.


My friend ordered the grilled Mahi fish tacos, served with chayote slaw, avocado, cilantro, green onion, and chipotle aioli. The portions seemed small at first but were actually filling and just the right size for lunch.


The vegetarian Chik’n sandwich was surprisingly hearty, and I would order it again. The chipotle aioli and shishito pepper relish helped dress up the vegetarian chicken patty, which can be dry and bland when served alone. The greens were flavorful too.


Whether you have a modified diet or are trying to cut back on calories, LYFE is one of the new neighborhood lunch spots that’s worth a visit.

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