Mark Schatzker wrote “The path to good health is better tasting food.” His book, The Dorito Effect is just an exampled of how many more consumers today are becoming aware of what is in their food. High school friends, John Colasante and Mike Mangold are here to help that mission- bringing healthy, fast, and affordable dining to Center City Philadelphia with Real Food Eatery. Their restaurant just opened on July 20th, but this restaurant offers diners so much more with hot food options for lunch and dinner without all the unnecessary additives.

Real food is unadulterated, authentic, whole food that is cultivated in the manner that nature intended.When it comes to advice on what to eat, there’s only one resource that we trust: Mother Nature.

This restaurant runs on passion, the owners left their jobs to work together to build a restaurant where health conscious diners would have more options than just salad. John’s wife knows the owners of Greens and Grains in New Jersey and they used them as a resource for starting their first restaurant. With the help of Chef Sarah Ginn, who has a degree in Nutrition and has worked in menu development with other area restaurants including Pure Fare and Agno Grill, and after 3 months of menu testing- the team was set.

At RFE they focus on cooking up natural and delicious foods from the ground to your plate with the least amount of intervention possible.We believe that simple is the ultimate sophistication. Most of our preparations only involve a few ingredients. Fresh meat, seafood, or vegetables, high quality olive oil, fresh cracked salt, pepper, herbs, and spices.

A place that blends gourmet cooking techniques and fresh, natural food with high-tech equipment and systematized processes to bring home-cooked food to your plate in 5 minutes or less for about $10 bucks.

 The entire menu is gluten-free and there is no added sugar. With predominantly hot food being served, the signature menu item is “The Real Plate” meant to emulate a typical home-cooked meal with an entree, small salad, and 2 sides (hot or cold).
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The menu focuses on vegetables, but also offers meats and has at least one vegan option. For The Real Plate you choose to start with a Base of greens or grains. Options rotate, but when we stopped it it was either kale or white rice. Then you select a Seared to Order Entree:

  • Portobello Mushroom Cap– (vegan) Garlic, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
  • Herb-rubbed Chicken Thighs– Lemon Zest, Garlic, Parsley, Chives, Oregano, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
  • Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder– Garlic, Salt, Pepper
  • Grass-fed Sirloin– Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper
  • Salmon Filet– Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

Then your 2 sides, both hot and cold options are offered and change seasonally:

Cold Sides:

Hot Sides:

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Of course Salads and Bowls are offered on the menu as well.

We tried The Real Plate with Pork Shoulder over white rice, roasted beets, and sweet potato hummus. The entire plate was a win. The sides might have even stole the show- the beets were mixed with walnuts and crumbled goat cheese making them beyond delicious. The sweet potato hummus is also one of the more popular sides and its easy to see why.

We also tried the Veggie Bowl with Salmon added. The ability to add protein was a huge plus for us and this bowl might be the most filling item on the menu once loaded with rice. The Salmon was of great quality you would come to expect from any restaurant in center city. Although the roasted kale and mushrooms looked a brown and less visually appealing the shredded carrot and sesame dressing gave the dish a pop of color.

Delivery is now available on Caviar and catering options via Foodee. We’d highly recommend you check out RFE at 16th and Walnut Street if you’re looking for delicious healthy food in Center City.

Photo credit: Courtney Apple. 

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