Saturday, January 1, 2011

Vegan Eats in Chicago

Brian and I started a new tradition of going to Chicago between Christmas and New Year's.  The hotel deals are insanely great so we can stay at some pretty nice places.  This year we stayed at the Hyatt, which is right on the river.  It's a short walk to the Magnificent Mile, as well as Millennium Park and shopping on State Street.  We did a lot of walking and worked out at the hotel gym one morning.  I'd love to go for a run along the lake but it wasn't in the cards this time.

While in Chicago, I only had to eat salad for one of my three dinners.  (That was at Connie's Pizza where I wouldn't trust anything other than raw vegetables to be vegan.)  The first night we walked in the bitter cold/wind to Karyn's Cooked, which is totally vegan.  It was so worth the miserable walk!  Here's what we ate:

A side of steaming Southern Greens.  The best collards I've ever eaten!

A side of Mac and Cheese. Pretty tasty, as far as vegan mac and cheese goes.

Homestyle Meatloaf, steamed broccoli, garlic mashed potatoes, shiitake gravy, and a piece of garlic bread.  This was a LOT of food!  Brian and I could have easily split this one.  The meatloaf had a slightly spicy flavor and a good meaty feel. 

Sloppy Joe on a toasted whole grain bun, coleslaw, and potato wedges.  This was so delicious!  I couldn't finish the coleslaw but I ate every bit of the rest of it. 

The next night we stumbled upon Revolution Brewing.  What a find!  It's sort of like a gastropub since the place is rather trendy and upscale and the food more unique than your typical brewery.  We loved everything about the place.  There's a lot of meat on the menu but they also had many items that are vegetarian and can easily be made vegan by eliminating the cheese or sauce. 

I had the Polenta Fries appetizer, which was pretty good - although I don't normally go for fried foods.  They were crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside.  They come with smoked tomato aioli for dipping and pickled veggies.

For dinner I ordered the Italian Seitan pizza minus cheese.  It comes with cremini mushrooms, basil and smoked tomato sauce.  It has a very thin crust so I was able to eat 3/4 of it myself!   

Next time we're in Chicago we'll definitely be returning to both Karyn's Cooked and Revolution Brewing! 

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