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August 08, 2016

New Center City restaurant takes healthy eating a step further

Mindful Mondays Food
Carroll - Real Food Eatery Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Lunchtime at Real Food Eatery, 207 South 16th Street.

If you are a person who tries to be mindful of what you eat, you know how hard it is to eat well, especially on the go. We have all been there, starving and searching. Perhaps you settle for a bag of nuts, a bar or a questionable banana from a convenience store.

There are many “healthy” offerings at fast casual places like soup, salads and wraps but, the reality is, you have no idea what restaurants are adding to these dishes. Hidden ingredients like preservatives, sauces, heavy salt and sugar can be detrimental to both your diet and your health.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Berry salad with arugula, strawberry, avocado, feta, with a balsamic vinaigrette.

You really can’t know what goes into your food unless you cook it yourself. Until now, that is.

Meet Mike Mangold and John Colasante, creators and owners of Real Food Eatery, which opened its doors just over 2 weeks ago in Center City on 16th Street between Walnut and Locust.

Neither of them have backgrounds in the restaurant business. Just a passion for eating well and a belief that what we consume should be simple, healthy, satisfying … and accessible. You could say it is just two real guys, serving up real food.

The food is prepared just as they would prepare it at home. They exclusively use extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh spices. In fact, many of the recipes are their own, including the delicious carrots that are Mike’s wife’s recipe, and, did I mention everything on the menu is gluten-free?

The ordering process is as straightforward as the food. You first choose your entrée (Chicken, salmon, pork, sirloin or mushroom) and then choose your base (greens or grains). Choose two sides as your entrée is seared on the grill in front of you. The line moves quickly.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Salmon filet on greens with kale slaw and roasted carrot fries.

I had the pleasure of sitting down to eat with John and Mike and my friend Taylor, who introduced me to the concept.

They brought out an assortment of menu items to try and as we shared and discussed their concept, even our photographer couldn’t help but to try a forkful or two.

We spoke about the future of food and how a shift is upon us. There are pockets of the American public that simply aren’t ok with putting bad food in their bodies anymore.

Coincidentally, much of their customer base thus far is comprised of patrons coming local gyms and workout studios. Obviously, lunch is also packed with people who work in local offices and with prices ranging from $8.95-$12.95 for an entire meal, they have already amassed a gaggle of regulars, who they know by first name.

For now, they are focused only on this location with no immediate plans for expansion although they fielded two franchise inquiries during our 45-minute lunch.

This is not your typical healthy food concept. It’s a movement. I will certainly be back and look forward to watching this innovative concept grow.

I will continue to keep you posted on my health journey and would love to hear your experiences as well. Please feel free to share below or tweet me @christiemandia.

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Each week, on Mindful Mondays, Christie shares her tips and tricks toward a healthier lifestyle. Give these tips a try to improve your health, wellness and quality of life!