Chicago part 3

bulgogi

At the end of the long drive back from Wisconsin, through miles and miles of roadworks on the freeway, where I was the only one doing the speed limit, we ended up in more Friday night Chicago traffic. After so much concentration navigating and driving, we were both pretty zombied out. Happily, the car drop off point was not far from one of the Native Foods branches and so we ate a quick dinner there before catching the bus home and crashing straight into bed.

Native Foods is amazing. I’d challenge many meat eaters to pick that it wasn’t meat. Speaking of mock meat, I have to say that America does mock meat so well. Some of it is disturbingly realistic.

Anyway, we stuffed ourselves with a chicken burger with avocado and salad and a blackbean soup. They have a fairly extensive menu of soups, salads, wraps and burgers that all sound great. There was so much choice, I changed my mind about what I was ordering three times.
Sorry, no pictures as we were so tired we forgot to take photos.

The next day we did very little except laze about reading our books and eating a late brunch at the Chicago Diner. I had the breakfast bowl which consists of scrambled tofu, home fries, biscuit(scones) and sausage gravy. S ordered the country benedict which, oddly, was tofu, biscuit, sausage gravy and peppers, mushrooms and spinach so finely chopped as to almost disappear. Not at all what we were expecting from the menu description. I really enjoyed the sausage gravy, but I am a gravy fan. I’d always thought that sausage gravy was a misprint and that it meant sausage and gravy, but no, this is gravy with chunks of crumbled sausage in it. The rest of the dish was just too much starch and I was defeated by it, leaving most of my biscuit. We finished up with a shared chocolate, almond, coffee cake.

People have raved about the Chicago Diner. I have to say I thought it was good, but not stellar. I much preferred Champs Diner in Brooklyn, NY. Sorry Chicago.

That evening we went to Mana Food Bar for dinner. Oh wow! This place won a Michelin Bib, not a star, but the bib is an award where the judges think you get great food at bargain prices. I’d have to agree. It is an all veg menu with most dishes being vegan. You can choose large or small plates of most items on the menu, so we chose 3 small plates, and a side washed down with some local beer. Gyoza, seared collard greens, green curry rice noodles and bulgogi, followed with a coffee, chocolate sorbet. The light was very dim, so not all the photos turned out.

Perfect beer food,  all packed and zinging with flavour.

Native Foods Cafe
1484 North Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60622
www.nativefoods.com

Chicago Diner
3411 N Halsted St,
Chicago, IL 60657
www.veggiediner.com

Mana Food Bar
1742 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
www.manafoodbar.com

veganmofo2014

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