Food

New Health Cafe Provides Dining Alternative for Local Students

Alec Karam | The PhoenixThe Pack Nutrition, which resides on North Broadway, provides meal alternatives to students dining near campus.

A new health cafe has opened near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, offering students yet another dining option. 

The Pack Nutrition, located at 6206 N. Broadway, soft-opened Nov. 9 and plans to open in full in January with live music and other offerings. The cafe serves protein smoothies and teas as meal substitutes. 

A limited menu of four teas plus add-ons and 11 smoothies gives patrons a decent variety to mix-and-match. Offered in three sizes, teas range from $7 to $12, while smoothies range from $6 to $10. The shop offers $1 off if customers buy both a smoothie and tea.

Prices are somewhat affordable if patrons treat the drinks as the meal substitutes they’re intended as, but buying one as an afternoon snack may not be the best use of money. Plus, with 24 grams of protein per smoothie, these drinks are a bit dense to add atop a full meal.

The boisterous staff liven the experience with a friendly greeting and solid customer service. They ask that customers try the drinks before they pay to make sure they’re serving them a quality beverage. 

The chocolate chip cookie dough smoothie is quite sweet and delectable, although not the best choice for those who don’t have a mighty sweet tooth. Some fruitier options, such as fruity pebbles and banana bread, balance out the dessert-heavy selection.

Those who aren’t classic tea fans will enjoy the sunrise tea, a raspberry lemonade and lime-infused drink that’s just the right mix of tart and sweet. The Pack Nutrition also features a Lu Wolf-inspired tea that features skittles in the flavoring.

While tasty and protein-packed, the drinks aren’t quite filling enough to satisfy an empty stomach. And the high sugar content makes treating these as diet choices questionable. Seriously, lightheadedness is a very real possibility after ordering one of the sweeter smoothies, so beware of that.

If drink-based meals aren’t someone’s cup of tea, The Pack Nutrition isn’t going to be a favorite. Protein smoothies have their place but they’re not the best replacement for a good old-fashioned sandwich. Still, people who love an on-the-go meal or a post-workout protein pick-me-up will likely be regulars at the establishment.

As part of its soft opening, the cafe is handing out 50 percent off punch cards that offer a buy 10 combos, get one free deal.

The Pack Nutrition’s current hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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