Eva’s Kitchen—Restaurant Review

Last Friday, I visited Eva’s Kitchen on W 8th St. for a bite to eat. They kindly invited me for a meal and a chat, and I was delighted to accept. Upon arrival, enthusiastic and welcoming Alex came around the counter and took my order, chitchatting with me about the menu while I deliberated over the options. Salads, wraps/burritos, “power plates,” smoothies—choices galore! A whole section dedicated to vegetarian options too! It is clear just looking at the menu and its featured ingredients that this is a restaurant dedicated to serving and pleasing a wide array of health-conscious, hungry individuals. Brown rice, egg whites, sweet potatoes—whole grains and lean sources of protein…What could be better?

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Alex told me that his particular favorite is The Mighty Jeff Ross: grilled chicken and brown rice topped with chili beans, low fat mozzarella, and guacamole—apparently one of their best-sellers (and, by the description, I can understand why—simplistic, hearty, and delicious).

I took his input into consideration and went with the South American Burrito (which is pretty similar to The Mighty Jeff Ross with some tweaks here and there)—a whole wheat wrap stuffed with homemade guacamole, romaine, cucumber, tomato, brown rice, grilled chicken, and chili beans. I grinned satisfactorily at my choice as I placed my order and made my way over to a table to (hungrily and eagerly) wait in anticipation.

Eva’s is clearly a hotspot in Greenwich Village. The restaurant’s aura is relaxed and casual in the best way—that is, the opposite of too many NYC cafés that are so trendily hoity-toity that just walking in the doors can induce a crushing self-conscious feeling. Eva’s, on the other hand, is wonderfully warm and inviting.

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Perhaps this is due to the history and authenticity residing within its walls. This February, Eva’s is celebrating its 40th year anniversary—that is, this landmark joint “serving delicious and nutritious food” (with a Mediterranean flair, it seems) has been around since the Spring of 1978. That’s over twice my age…Pretty cool!

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As I waited, Steve (the store manager) wandered over and began chatting with me. I was struck by his kindness and spirited pride in all that is Eva’s. His kindness was contagious as we sat and talked. He told me about his personal favorite on the menu—The Eggs & Tomato: a whole wheat wrap with 5 egg whites, tomato, and cheddar cheese. I’ll have to try it next time.

He explained that the motto of Eva’s Kitchen is: “Eat good, feel good.” Their trademark is healthy food that tastes good and makes you feel good. He even mentioned that they cook with no preservatives. I was thrilled to hear that—it’s hard to find places in the city nowadays that actually care about quality of ingredients and how their food makes their customers feel upon leaving.

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My burrito came very quickly; I was very impressed by the quick service. Steve left me to enjoy my meal—although without first talking up and bringing me their house-made hot sauce (which, he mentioned, is somehow free of salt altogether!). I’m a spicy food lover, so I was very excited to try it—and very pleased with its tangy, flavorful, and subtly smoky flavor. And, of course, it did bring the heat.

The burrito itself was to die for. I wouldn’t typically think to put cucumbers in a burrito, but what a wonderful addition—it adds a pleasant crunch and acts as a nice spice-tamer. When I first saw the size of the burrito, the following thought-process occurred: “There’s no way I’ll be able to eat all that it one sitting. That’s okay though—it’ll make for a great lunch tomorrow.”

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To my surprise, I ate the entire thing—I left absolutely no trace…What can I say, it was really delicious. The chicken was juicy; the guac was flavorful (without being overly salty or, on the other hand, bland); the rice was tender; the veggies were fresh and crisp; and, overall, it left me feeling full, satisfied, and with a smile on my face. I didn’t feel bogged down and greasy like I typically do after eating a burrito. Like Steve told me: “Eat good, feel good!”

Overall, I had a blast visiting Eva’s. Particularly notable was their very fast service; lively and personable staff; extensive menu with something for everyone and anyone (no matter what preferences or dietary restrictions one might have); the constant ebb and flow of colorful customers (it clearly is a hotspot!); and the warm aura altogether.

I left with a full belly, a smiling face, and a piece of carrot cake to-go (thanks again, Steve!). Wholesome seems like a very fitting word to describe both Eva’s ambiance and tasty (yet still healthy!) food. The authenticity defining the years of memories made within, the food served, the friendly staff, and the hungry visitors (be them regulars or newcomers) seems to be what makes Eva’s uniquely…Eva’s. And due to such authenticity, Eva’s undoubtedly stands out as an NYC gem. I cannot wait for my next visit. As an NYU student with this place right around the corner from campus…Watch out Eva’s, I think I just found my new favorite lunch spot!

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*If you’re an NYU Student, make sure to stop by Eva’s and get 10% off The Lazy Hustler (“The #1 Falafel Burrito in NYC”) when you show your student ID!

**More information (and coupons) can be found at: http://www.campusclipper.com/new/coupons.php?REG_COD=1

By Libby King

 


Libby is an NYU student, a Campus Clipper foodie, and a passionate writer and graphic designer. She writes her own blog, libalittle.com, where she strives to share insight, encourage creativity, and stimulate curiosity.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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