Even if you’ve never been to the Litehouse Whole Food Grill in the South Loop, it’s hard to go wrong with your selection. Not only were the ingredients fresh and varied, but the menu itself had a DIY, pseudo-fast-casual feel.
The tweak to celebrate Black Restaurant Week? Nineteen percent off everything on the menu.
Most of Litehouse Grill’s menu items are available served in a variety of ways: one section came via wrap (spinach or tomato), salad (extra romaine and/or spinach) or bowl, which was simply the listed ingredients served over rice. Another let you choose the same fillings among a taco, burrito, quesadilla or nachos.
I opted for the first section, ordering the recommended Caribbean mango jerk and the jerk chicken, both in bowls. I also ordered the freshly squeezed lemonade, which was delicious and refreshing, although a tad sweet for my taste.
The Caribbean mango jerk included jerk mango salmon, corn, romaine lettuce, mozzarella cheese and pico de gallo, plus a mango vinaigrette on the side. The fish was perfectly seasoned and cooked, and along with the mild white cheese and white rice, acted as something of a canvas for the other brighter flavors. The pico de gallo, veggies and mango dressing had plenty of room to flourish while still finding balance with the jerk spice.
Meanwhile, the jerk chicken bowl practically transported me to Chipotle, and this is meant as a compliment. The chicken carried that wonderful allspice flavor, yet the collection of vegetables, including green bell peppers, pico de gallo and the addition of rice had me feeling as if I were eating a burrito bowl — but better.
I left each dressing on the side and moderated per bite, but the mango vinaigrette was a delicious complement to that bowl, and the honey mustard dressing put a wild twist on the jerk chicken. The dressing was extremely tangy, not like the sweet honey mustards at fast food spots.
Be sure to mention the Black Restaurant Week offer — Litehouse told me during checkout that customers should mention their interest in the event to get the deal.
Litehouse Whole Food Grill (South Loop), 2028 S. Clark St., 312-465-2187, litehousewholefoodgrill.com
Chicago Black Restaurant Week runs through Feb. 17. For participating restaurants and menus, go to chiblackrestaurantweek.com/restaurant-lineup.