I waited with bated breath for Corelife to open. I am a big fan of Panera’s salads (which I carefully research for gluten online before ordering!) and was looking forward to this new option because all of the menu items are gluten free (note that they offer you a piece of bread at the end but it is kept in a separate closed box). They offer salads, grain bowls, or broth bowls or you can make your own from their ingredients. For our first foray we decided to go with two salads from the menu – the chicken Caesar and the Cobb. While I love the concept, I wasn’t completely in love with the food as it came. The salads were heavy on greens and light on anything else. This could be remedied by making your own (or adding to the existing salad), but I think it would be pricier since I would
want more veggies in my salad. It was a lot of lettuce and not much else. My biggest beef was with the salad dressing. For each of our salads, they scooped a huge ladle full of dressing onto them. It was far too much. In the future, I will ask for dressing on the side. Both of our salads had heavy, white gloppy dressing coating the lettuce. In smaller amounts, it would have been fine.
We also sampled drinks: a tropical green tea (completely unsweetened) and a tropical fruit punch with coconut water. The punch was very good. The tea was refreshing, but I like a bit of sweetness so I wouldn’t get that again.
We’re planning to go back. The broth bowls I spied other people eating looked really good, so maybe we will try some of those.
Updated: August 25, 2017
We gave them a second try and got take out. We each got the Chicken and Rice Noodle Broth Bowl. I added carrots as an extra in addition to the kale, celery, scallions, and chicken that comes with it. They were good and very filling. If you’re expecting soup, that’s not what you’re getting. The veggies are raw, although we brought ours home and popped them in the microwave which did soften them up a bit. I liked the soup better than I liked the salad I had on our previous visit. It was a really tasty, filling meal. I’ll definitely go back.
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