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Oprah invested. Now, this healthy restaurant chain is opening its first N.J. location.


True Food Kitchen, a restaurant chain that puts an emphasis on healthy eating, is opening its first New Jersey location in Bergen County next year.

The Arizona-based chain, which boasts Oprah Winfrey among its investors, will make its debut at The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack in the spring of 2020.

Simon Property Group, the owner of The Shops, says the addition of the chain is part of the Route 4 mall’s “luxury renovation,” which includes a concierge lounge, “enhanced valet parking” and more stores and restaurants, including LT Bar & Grill, from chef Laurent Tourondel.

“We’re a brand that is as passionate about our food as we are the local community, so we look forward to sharing our mission to ‘eat better, feel better and celebrate a passion for better living’ with residents and visitors of Hackensack,” said Shannon Keller, the restaurant chain’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.

The restaurant chain was co-founded by health guru Dr. Andrew Weil, a proponent of integrative medicine, who holds the “simple belief that food should make you feel better, not worse.”

Menu items, which focus on “nutrient-dense” foods and the anti-inflammatory benefits of some ingredients, include edamame dumplings and Dr. Weil’s organic Tuscan kale salad, as well as bowls with cauliflower polenta, ancient grains, sweet potato glass noodles or teriyaki quinoa. There are also grass-fed burgers, grilled fish tacos and spaghetti squash casserole. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are included.

The chain does not use fryers and freezers. Menus are built around what the restaurant calls the anti-inflammatory pyramid, a way of eating that is intended to guard against chronic inflammation. However, alcoholic beverages do make the cut, like a skinny margarita made with organic tequila.

Centerbridge Partners, the firm that owns P.F. Chang’s, is the majority shareholder of the restaurant chain.

Last year, True Food Kitchen had plans to double its locations to 46. The chain now spans 16 states, with locations including one in the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania, along with others in Texas, California, Florida, Colorado, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Maryland and Florida.

Have a tip? Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at akuperinsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmyKup or on Facebook.

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