It would appear that the thick, jiggling arms of Chicago didn't quite embrace U Food Grill, the healthy fast food concept from George Foreman. All three locations (South Loop, Loop and Lincoln Park) have closed and reopened as franchises of The Grille, which maintains some of U Food's health-conscious methods and ingredients, but caters to real Chicagoans with less artery-friendly items as well.
Located in the South Loop, the Grille on State still adheres to Foreman's lean, mean grilling techniques. Absolutely nothing is fried, not even the fries. Everything is baked, steamed or grilled. Low-fat cheese is standard. The list of sides reads like a nutritionist's dream: in addition to baked fries, there's brown rice, fresh broccoli, fresh veggies, black beans and side salad, all for $1.99. The selection of fresh wraps and salads, all priced under $8 and full of yummy ingredients like hummus, feta and grilled or breaded chicken, prove that eating healthy need not be expensive or bland. The customizable smoothie menu, featuring real fruit and fat-free yogurt, offers guilt-free sweet treats.
However, if you just can't quit your junk food addiction, or maybe you think health food is for wimps, The Grille serves up familiar Chicago fare like a Maxwell Street Polish, smoked brisket dip and Vienna hot corned beef on rye. So long as the health nuts and the fat fiends can mingle in peace in the casual dining area, The Grille should stick around.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Amanda Nyren