From Brussels to Manhattan – Exki NYC Julie April 11, 2015 Breakfast, Featured, Food Types, Gluten Free Options, Gluten Free Options, Gramercy, Healthy, Neighborhoods, Nomad, Restaurants, Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian, Vegetarian A recent restaurant opening in our area obviously calls for an Eat Up New York outing. EXKi NYC, which originated in Brussels, is bringing its fast casual and healthy appeal to Manhattan. Now with its second location open for business, we decided it was time to check it out and see what all the buzz from overseas is about! What is Exki NYC all about? Famous for its healthy prepared, pre-packaged foods, EXKi’s original idea was quite simple: create a quick-casual restaurant using only fresh and natural ingredients. The name EXKi is a play on the word “exquis”, French for “exquisite” or “delightful”. Keen on what exactly is in the food I’m eating, I greatly appreciate how well labeled every item is. On each label you can find a full lists of ingredients used, as well as if it is gluten free, vegetarian or vegan. They have a large variety of cold salads, soups, entrees, as well as desserts. For myself, I grabbed the Quinoa Chicken salad; Quinoa, FreeBird Chicken, Raisins, Curry Coconut Dressing, Romaine, and an organic apple on the side. My salad’s unique flavor combination was surprisingly tasty and not too heavy. The ingredients tasted extremely fresh. Meredith also joined me on this lunch venture. Here’s what she had to say about her experience: Exki NYC is a great stop to grab a filling and guilt free lunch. I had their Chef’s Table Wrap, it was filled with shrimp, avocado, tomato, lettuce and lemon vinaigrette. This wrap reminded me of a pescitarian’s BLT. It was light, fresh and delicious. On the side I also tried their small Duo Salads, I went with the one called “The Greek” it was a perfect mix of feta, quinoa, chive emulsion, tomato, cucumber, mint and some vinaigrette. Because I was feeling so healthy and guilt free from this lunch I figured, why not just try a dessert too! I went with a slice of their beautiful cheesecake. This was unlike any cheesecake I’ve had, as it was airy and not too sweet. The crust was very thin and flakey and it was the perfect way to end our meal at Exki NYC! Take a Seat at Exki NYC Though EXKi NYC is known for its takeaway items, if you have some time to sit down, I recommend doing so. Comfortable seating and lovely décor make for a perfect lunch getaway from the office. Meredith and I couldn’t help but admire the decorations and artwork. One wall featured portraits by artist Francesco Mastalia. The portraits are of Farmers & Chefs of Hudson Valley discussing their thoughts on the word Organic. Another wall adorned a map showing where many of their ingredients come from all over the state of New York. Both show EXKi’s passion for keeping it local. As stated on their website, since the opening of their very first restaurant, “the EXKi commitment to community values has been much more than a statement. It is truly a way of life”. Though not original to New York, we’re happy to welcome you to the neighborhood country, EXKi NYC. See you again soon! For more information on EXKi NYC check out their website.