Posted by Lauren
When we landed in Chicago yesterday at 1:30pm, the only thing on our minds was food. A few weeks back, Serious Eats posted a slideshow called “5 Milkshakes We Love.”
Milkshake number 4 caught my attention because:
- Peanut butter… a MUST.
- Cookie dough… WOW.
- Vegan?! Nicole can enjoy it!!!!
I remember instantly emailing the link to Nicole, suggesting we try to go here on this very trip. While we waited for Kyle to join us at Enterprise (he flew separately), the lunch decision was made and my recommendation of The Chicago Diner won!
The Chicago Diner has been serving vegetarian and vegan food since 1983. The history behind The Chicago Diner is really interesting and if you want to read a Q&A with the owners, check it out here.
With pictures of bunnies and chickens on the wall, the Chicago Diner not only feeds the meat-free lovers of the midwest, but it also supports many animal rights and vegetarian publications and groups (think: Greenpeace, Mercy for Animals, etc). They have organic wines & beers, a full vegan brunch offered daily, and a vast menu with healthified comfort food. Score.
First to the table: the VEGAN SHAKES!!!
On the left: Chocolate Banana
On the right: Cookie Dough Peanut Butter
Best shake of my life. No doubt about it. Thick. Nutty. And a sweetness reminiscent of warm, fresh-baked cookies.
For the table: Nachos ($8) – seitan chorizo, spiced black beans, tomato, onion, jalapeños, guacamole, sour cream, cheeze & salsa…. FIVE STARS!! The nachos were a last minute decision after we saw a neighboring table receive theirs. I’m so glad Nicole asked for a plate of these!!
My choice: “SUV” Straight Up Veggie ($8.50) – The SUV of grilled cheese with cajunnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts & cucumber on toasted wheat. The kale sandwich was tasty and not at all bitter like my kale salads usually are. The SUV was okay… I felt rushed so quickly ordered this. Odds are I would have picked something else…
Nicole’s pick: BBQ Chicken Ranch Salad ($11) - Zesty BBQ seitan wingz topping romaine, chopped tomato, onion, carrot & sliced cucumber with vegan ranch. Nicole LOVED the seitan wingz and was so happy to be reunited with a vegan ranch dressing. Growing up, ranch was her go-to dressing.
David’s lunch: Cage Free Greek Omelet ($9) - Spinach, feta, onion & tomato, with hash browns, fruit garnish & bread. David was a fan of his omelet and he really enjoyed the chocolate banana shake…
Kyle’s plate: Avocado Tostadas ($10.50) – black beans, seasoned quinoa, grilled onions & peppers, avocado slices on corn tortillas with chimichurri, a cilantro based Argentinean salsa. No word on what Kyle thought of his black bean/quinoa/avocado tostadas. He cleaned his plate though, if that is any indication :)
Unpictured: Shirley’s pick: Sweet Potato Quesadilla ($10.50) – spinach tortilla, marinated seitan, fat free black beans, mashed sweet potatoes, cheeze, spinach & salsa fresca
The Chicago Diner is nestled in the heart of Boys Town, a colorful neighborhood of Chicago. The streets are sprinkled with sex shops and costume stores. Across the street I ducked into a bachelorette party supply store to pick up a quick gift for the bride-to-be Krista.
Check out this shot David snagged with his iPhone… The Chicago Diner is in the background….
Question: Do you have a favorite veggie meat? (boca burger, seitan, etc…)
I love veggie bacon!! It’s flat and crispy and I like it almost-burnt!
p.s. Krista’s getting married in a few hours!!! We had our hair and makeup done this morning! EEEKK!!! SO EXCITED!!
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