Archive for the ‘fast food’ Category


The founders of the fast-casual chain Lyfe Kitchen (413 N. Clark St., no phone yet), coming to lyfe on November 15 in River North, worked together at McDonald’s—a corporation that does not exactly share Lyfe’s healthful, organic, no-trans-fats, no-preservatives philosophy.

“We are trying to run away from that, and yet we don’t want to run away from it,” says Mike Donahue, a Lyfe partner. Even though the food couldn’t be more different, principles about branding and franchising clearly grew from the Golden Arches experience. “We learned that the biggest unmet need in America is healthy food that happens to taste good,” he says.

The name of Lyfe Kitchen is an acronym standing for “love your food everyday”—a slogan the copy editors didn’t get hold of, but “love your food every day” becomes Lyfed, which doesn’t work anyway. Every item on the menu measures less than 600 calories. In addition to free-range chicken, fish options such as salmon and barramundi, and Tallgrass Beef, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets are covered.

“Our first meeting was in Art Smith’s kitchen,” Donahue says. Smith, the celebrity chef of Table Fifty-Two, is an investor in Lyfe Kitchen, and he collaborated with Tal Ronnen, the author of The Conscious Cook, to conceive the menu. “We have this great Southern gourmet chef known for comfort food—fried chicken, turkey meat loaf, mac and cheese. Tal knew about ancient grains and quinoa and farro. We got them involved and we smashed food atoms,” Donahue says.

With two California locations open and one more on the cusp, the Chicago restaurant makes four. They’re also eying spaces in Evanston and by Northwestern Memorial Hospital. On the horizon, the Lyfe team set a goal of 250 stores across the United States by 2017—sounds like the partners also learned something from McDonald’s about how to grow a chain.


Mourners at a Pennsylvania fast-food fan’s funeral wanted him to have it his way, so they arranged for his hearse — and the rest of the procession — to make one last drive-thru visit before reaching the cemetery.

David Kime Jr. “lived by his own rules,” daughter Linda Phiel said. He considered the lettuce on a burger his version of healthy eating, she said.

To give him a whopper of a send-off Saturday, the funeral procession stopped at a Burger King where each mourner got a sandwich for the road.

Kime got one last burger too, the York Daily Record reported. It was placed atop his flag-draped coffin at the cemetery.

Phiel said the display wasn’t a joke, rather a happy way of honoring her father and the things that brought him joy.

“He lived a wonderful life and on his own terms,” she said.

Kime, 88, a World War II veteran, died Jan. 20.

Restaurant manager Margaret Hess said she knew his face and his order. She and her crew made 40 burgers for the funeral procession.

“It’s nice to know he was a loyal customer up until the end — the very end,” she said.

Just when we thought fast food news could not get any more exciting, Burger King announced that it will be offering a bacon sundae throughout the U.S. this summer.

The dessert — a 510 calorie monstrosity featuring both a whole strip of bacon and bacon crumbles atop a fudge and caramel sundae — was released in April in Nashville to reasonable fanfare, but will now receive a wide release as part of Burger King’s expanded summer menu. This move coincides with the world’s second largest hamburger chain’s new strategy to rebrand itself, changing its tagline from “Have It Your Way” to “Taste Is King.” It’s already made several changes to its menu this year, adding new snack wraps and salads and adjusting its recipes for staples like French fries and the Whopper.

(LIST: Top 10 Worst Fast-Food Meals)

Burger King first saw success for its bacon sundae earlier this year when it “took Nashville, TN by storm,” according to a company press release. The cold treat — which boasts 8 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar — is described in the release as a “sweet and savory dessert [featuring] rich and creamy vanilla soft serve, drizzled with chocolate fudge, caramel and topped with bacon crumbles, complete with a thick-cut, hardwood smoked bacon garnish.”

Bacon garnishes are not the only new development on the BK menu: summer additions also include the Memphis Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich, Carolina and Texas BBQ sandwiches, frozen lemonade and sweet potato fries. These items will be available throughout the summer, or while supplies last.

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