At Churkeys Chicken & Turkey Grill, a new restaurant on West 87th Street, diners don't miss the beef or pork.
When you don't eat beef or pork, your options are limited on the South and Southwest sides of the city. The latest effort to feed that niche comes in the form of Churkeys Chicken and Turkey Grill, which has figured out how to use seasonings to make these other white meats more appealing.
"We make our own seasonings, our own sauces so with that type of education you can figure it out. You know, how to make a certain piece of turkey taste like a beef," said Elba Drummer, one of the owners of Churkeys Chicken and Turkey Grill.
Chicken and waffles is a no-brainer, but at Churkeys, you can have the chicken baked instead of fried. Turkey "bites" are barbeque sauce-covered nuggets taken from the juicy thigh while the traditional Italian beef gets a healthier update.
"We have a turkey Italian sandwich, it actually tastes like Italian beef, so we try to be real creative with it," Drummer said.
A chicken po' boy comes fully-dressed, along with a knob of hot sauce. They're even trying to update the traditional beef-and-lamb gyro, by slicing their own using turkey. One of the other more appealing features here, especially for health-conscious fast-food diners, is the fact they don't use any starchy white buns or slices.
"All wheat buns, all wheat pitas. So we try to keep it a little healthier than normal fast food restaurants," said Drummer.
Churkeys Chicken & Turkey Grill
3300 W. 87th St.
Another good option is Quench Restaurants, which focuses on lean proteins AND vegetables. The Quench chain is run by the I Love Food Group, ilovefoodgroup.com. They have several locations:
4653 S. Michigan Ave.
5815 W. Madison Ave.
915 W. 87th St.
2236 E. 71st St.
616 E. 79th St.
4049 W. 79th St.
678 River Oaks Dr.