By Jaspreet Gill

CoreLife Eatery’s new location is just a short drive away from Syracuse University’s campus. Located in DeWitt, this marks the health-food restaurant chain’s second location in Syracuse and the 48th location in the country.

The chain operates by a “you are what you eat” mentality, offering fresh, nutritious food for their customers free from processed ingredients at an affordable price. Co-founder John Vaney said when opening up their first location, the team wanted to make an eatery where no matter what customers order, it’s good for them – that includes no soda, no chips, and no cookies.

“We’re trying to get rid of the myth that eating healthy doesn’t have any flavor, it’s bland, or ‘I kind of suffered my way through that meal but i knew it was good for me so I ate it anyways’,” said Vaney. “Our customers kind of feel the opposite of that…They come back for the taste but really what they notice is the more they eat here, the better they feel.”

Customers can choose from a green bowl, grain bowl, broth bowl, warm rice bowl, or a power plate. I chose the Korean barbeque pork rice bowl (a large was 700 calories and a small was 530 calories), which included all-natural slow-roasted pork sirloin, a purple rice blend, house-made kimchi, sesame sriracha sprouts, spicy broccoli, cucumber, carrots, a fried cage-free egg, and house-made Korean barbeque sauce (25 calories). I paired that with a honey ginger lemonade and the total for the two items came out to be $15.

KoreanBBQPorkricebowl
The rice bowl was spicy and it paired well with the fresh ginger taste of the lemonade. And the portion size for the bowl was huge.

The house-made Korean barbeque sauce was one of 20 available dressings and sauces, which are all homemade and gluten-free, and included Gochujang, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, Tamari soy sauce, minced garlic, and a ginger puree. The restaurant’s menu also lists all allergens in each meal, pictures of each bowl, and their website includes nutritional information for all meals.

There are also options to customize your own bowl to your preference, including vegan options. Vaney’s favorite includes kale, napa cabbage, shredded beets, tomatoes, craisins, extra carrot-chili vinaigrette dressing, and tofu or chicken.

If the honey ginger lemonade isn’t your thing, other options include a plain fresh squeezed lemonade, fruit punch, beet lemonade, tropical green tea, or apple cider green tea.

“For juice, I usually do half green tea and half beet lemonade,” Vaney said. “A lot of people once they get used to a lot of the different foods that are here, it’s almost like going to Starbucks where they just make their own version of whatever they want.”

Vaney added that the first Syracuse location, at 7265 Buckley Rd, is the busiest out of all 48 restaurants, with lines regularly leading outside the store. But why stay in line when you can beat it by ordering online?

And for those loyal CoreLife Eatery fans, an app called CoreLife Ascend is available in the App Store or on Google Play that allows customers to earn rewards, get digital gift cards and make purchases.

CoreLife Eatery is open daily from 11 am to 9 pm and is located at 5743 Widewaters Parkway.

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