The latest has arrived in Lakeview. Not only does it focus on delicious food, but they've also brought a full-time nutritionist on board.
With names like Freshii and Native Foods Cafe hitting Chicago, the emphasis seems to be on healthier alternatives to burgers and fries. It means offering healthier options at low prices, and the folks at FUL seem to be satisfying a lot more than just appetites.
Sandwich shops are a dime a dozen in Chicago. But at FUL, which occupies a sliver of a space in Lakeview, the mantra is as much about healthy lifestyles as it is about the food.
"What we wanted to do was create a place where people can come and feel the activity and feel the motion and feel the balance of their life," said owner Zach Horwitz.
That means everything is all natural or organic, and there's even a registered dietician on staff.
"She's here full time, 40 hours a week to help people go through the menu. She does one-on-one consultations. Anything from losing weight to breast feeding, help if you're pregnant," Horwitz said.
The menu is pretty simple: sandwiches, salads and paninis, along with a full line of customizable smoothies. From the panini section, the asparagus and sun-dried tomato are vibrant, matched with creamy goat cheese, a bit of salty parmesan and fresh basil, all stacked on puffy ciabatta loaves.
A turkey avocado sandwich seems simple enough on the surface, but it, too, is ramped up with arugula, fresh tomatoes and a homemade basil pesto.
Four salads are available - each featuring greens, seeds and fruit - the Cabo Fresco has the benefit of pecans, feta and a lime cilantro dressing. Each ingredient is meticulously sourced.
"We were really, really careful with who we were going with and what products we are getting," said Horwitz.
The smoothie menu is also impressive. All of the fresh fruit is frozen, then you choose from a juice a liquid base, like skim milk, and a yogurt base, plus a nutritional "boost." Horwitz says like everything else on the menu, it's all transparent.
"It's all about transparency, so you're going to watch it be made right in front of you. From the Greek yogurt that you can choose to the almond milk you can choose, to the flash-frozen fruits," he said.
Competition is a good thing when it comes to healthy fast food. And FUL has some company this month in the form of Chicago's second Native Foods Cafe, which will open its third location in the Loop next month.
3310 N. Broadway