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The Lunch Studio, a healthy burger alternative.

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The Lunch Studio
Rob Gill


I have said it before and I will say it again right now; Flint is a great place to eat.  Most of us in this city get caught in the rut from time to time and forget that there are many great opportunities and many choices here, especially when you are looking for good food.  Now the thing that you may not realize is that after driving past the rows of coney islands and taco stands (some say the best in the country) if you keep your eyes peeled and read the signs you can find a handful of restaurants that are doing something different, perhaps better than the others.  One could say that by the simple design of the menu and the attention to the needs of the community, they are making their patrons healthier people.  The Lunch Studio is one of these places.  You won't find any burgers, super-sized milk shakes or deep-fried anything, but you will find a business that is catering to the needs of a city soaked in low-grade beef and a special sauce.    

Located in Downtown Flint (444 S. Saginaw St) the staff of the Lunch Studio has been serving the area a healthy alternative to the burger, coney, and taco monotony since December of 2001. They have succeeded in providing the community a fresh, delicious breakfast and lunch in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.  Tracy Whelpley says she developed the idea for the Lunch Studio while living in New York City and was tired of not being able to find healthy options when she went out to eat.  She later found herself unemployed and unwilling to return to the retail industry and on a trip home to Flint, she fell in love with the downtown community.  Tracy borrowed from her experience at a similar restaurant in California and with the support of her friends and family and some business counseling she developed a plan and got to work.  She picked the location, signed a lease and began serving healthy and creative food a month later.

On the menu are a variety of soups and sandwiches that you won't find anywhere else downtown, like the French Onion (grilled Swiss and sautéed onions on French bread), Turkey and Avocado (w/jack cheese, tomato, onion, sprouts and mayo), Chicken Waldorf and their own Studio Tuna along with some creative variations of the grilled cheese.  You will also find some classics such as their club sandwich on sourdough or the ham and cheese on swirled rye.  What you won't find on the menu here is anything prepackaged or heavily processed.  They do not deep-fry anything and I bet there is not a hot dog in the building.   The soups are almost all homemade and the salads are prepared fresh daily.  It seems as though the staff here pays close attention to the quality and freshness of food they prepare.  Their focus is on serving healthy and flavorful meals to their patrons.  The idea of serving wholesome food got the attention of the Genesee County Health Department who gave them a Healthy Lifestyle Award for providing menu choices that met very strict nutritional criteria.

In addition to serving the community great food, you can occasionally catch some local talent at the Lunch Studio.  Tracy and the staff have kept up with the building's tradition of live music, art and poetry.  So next time you are downtown and hungry, be sure to stop by for some great food and a cool place to hang out.  They are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.  The prices are great, with sandwiches ranging from 3.95 to 6.50.  The Lunch Studio is smoke free and offers free delivery downtown.  To view the menu or get the rest of the lowdown, check out their website www.thelunchstudio.com or give them a call at 810-424-9868.


Flint Talk Writer: Rob Gill

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I am a chef and food writer. I've been trying to survive here in Flint and the surrounding area most of my life. Learn more at...
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