New Edwards grab-and-go eatery makes gourmet convenient | VailDaily.com

New Edwards grab-and-go eatery makes gourmet convenient

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily
Lauren's Kitchen is located in the Western corner of Riverwalk at Edwards.
Kim Fuller | Special to the Daily

Lauren McElroy grew up in the kitchen. The Texas native learned the ropes of preparing southern comfort food from her two grandmothers, one from each side of the family. She stayed passionate about cooking, and after studying marketing and working in that field for 10 years, she decided to go to culinary school and pursue a career in what she loved.

McElroy calls the Vail Valley her “happy place” and has been living and working in the area for over a decade. She spent the last six years developing her catering company, New American Foods, and has now opened Lauren’s Kitchen, a quaint and inviting grab-and-go in The Riverwalk at Edwards.

Entrees or sides

Guests have a few options to enjoy McElroy’s food: grab a full entree, salad or side from the cooler and bring it home to heat and eat; pick out a dish and bring it to the counter where it will be heated and plated to dine in; have the dish heated and bring it to the office or back home ready to enjoy.

Choose from some of McElroy’s specialties, from lasagna bolognese and chicken Parmesan to maple Dijon salmon and chicken noodle soup. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are available, as well as gluten-free options.

“I label options for dietary restrictions,” McElroy said. “Look for the symbol, and if it doesn’t have anything it’s just good old comfort food.”

Enjoy chicken, tuna or macaroni salad from the deli case, either by the pint, half-pint, on a croissant or a wrap. There is also a hot special offered every day as a single serving, like chicken tortilla soup or Texas chili, that’s warm and ready to eat.

Prices at Lauren’s Kitchen are designed to be reasonable. Entrees serve two (or “one hungry man,” said McElroy) and range from $10 to $12 on average. Salads are about $9 and soups are generally around $5.99 for one serving, or $10.99 for a quart.

“I try to be affordable because I want everybody to be able to come in,” she said. “My slogan is ‘making gourmet convenient,’ but it’s not gourmet as in overpriced — it’s gourmet as in great food.”

McElroy still offers her personal chef and catering services as well. Just email her from newamerican foods.com and let her know what your needs are, when the food is needed and how many people are being served, dietary restrictions and any special request, and she’ll send a customized menu that is designed to fit your palate and your budget.

Lauren’s Kitchen is currently open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Beginning in December, the eatery will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and serving grab-and-go breakfast options in the morning, including sweet and savory options of breakfast casserole.

Learn more at newamerican foods.com/LaurensKitchen, and follow @LaurensKitchenEdwards on Facebook for daily menu updates.