Restaurant Review: Life Cafe

May 9, 2010

Hello readers!

After leaving Jacksonville, I stopped in NYC for a day to briefly reunite with Caitlin on my way back to Toronto. During my short visit, we decided to go out to lunch at a local place we’ve been meaning to try for a while: Life Cafe in Brooklyn. Here’s how our meal went…

As we first entered the restaurant, I was surprised to see that the atmosphere of Life Cafe was definitely not one of a cafe, but rather one of a bar. A little misleading, given the restaurant’s name, and a little disappointing, given our intention to stay there after our meal to do the New York Times crossword, since we could now see that this was not the place to do that. Anyway, we still had the food to look forward to at least. Or so we thought.

My choice was the Life Veggie Burger with an add-on of guacamole. I always appreciate when a kitchen offers an in-house veggie burger, and Life Cafe’s was a nice mix of vegetables, brown rice, black beans, and soy. The addition of the guacamole was definitely a good choice, and the whole wheat pita it was served in was an interesting twist. Overall, though, I’d rate this burger as fair: not bad in any way, but nothing particularly special either. In addition, the side of fries it came with was very disappointing in my opinion—and I’m not the kind of person to take a lousy side of fries lightly.

Caitlin’s choice was the Eggless Rancheros, Life Cafe’s vegan twist on Huevos Rancheros. It consisted of sauteed tofu, corn, onion, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro over some tortillas, topped with soy cheese and served with brown rice and black beans on the side. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of this dish. The soy cheese was not any good in my opinion (and this is not because I’m flatly against soy cheese—there are some I like and some I don’t, and this was definitely one of the kinds I don’t), and the rest of the plate was just average, and tasted more like a hodgepodge of things thrown together rather than one cohesive dish. As Caitlin noted, this was probably something she could make at home, only better, and that’s definitely not the sort of experience one wants when eating out.

So all in all, Life Cafe gets low marks in my book, and will likely not be getting a repeat visit from either of us any time soon. Although we appreciate finding nearby Brooklyn restaurants with vegetarian friendly menus, this is not an unconditional appreciation. If you’re looking for a place to grab a nice vegetarian lunch and perhaps spend some of your afternoon, I’d suggest avoiding Life Cafe—and check out Little Skips instead.

Until we eat again,


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