Tag Archives: Chicago

Loose Leaf Lounge Vegan Menu Premieres Tonight

Mercy for Animals has done it again. Loose Leaf Lounge (2915 N Broadway) will be premiering their new vegan menu tonight starting at 5pm!  The vegan menu includes a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Daiya, tomato and onion, a Ground Seitan Sandwich with avocado, peppers, spinach and Veganaise, a Chorizo Seitan Wrap with avocado, cilantro, and tomato, Vegan Cookies, and more!

These items are being added to their menu permanently, so if you can’t check them out tonight, do so soon! I know I will.

*Note from Facebook Event Invite regarding tonight: Since Loose Leaf Lounge is a small cafe, seating is not guaranteed and they do not take reservations. To increase your chances of getting a seat, arrive promptly at 5 p.m., after 8 p.m., or come for carry-out!

El Nuevo Mexicano’s New Vegan Menu

Last Thursday, El Nuevo Mexicano (2914 N Clark Street, 773-528-2131) premiered their new vegan menu with a benefit for Mercy for Animals. Nick and I were so excited we made a reservation a week in advance in order to make sure we’d get to try it out.

El Nuevo Mexicano, is a small restaurant which has been serving Mexican food in Lakeview since 1983. I had never been there until last week, because my family typically went to the Little Village to get Mexican food when I was growing up, so I wasn’t sure what to expect (other than that their vegan menu would include Daiya cheese and Upton’s Naturals seitan). Since we knew we would be reviewing the place and part of the proceeds were going to charity we decided to go all out and get an appetizer, 2 entrees and a dessert.


Botana Combinada

We chose the Botana Combinada, which consists of two flautas filled with Upton’s chorizo, carrots and potatoes served with guacamole. It was delicious! I liked it so much I wasn’t entirely sure I’d made the right call not ordering the Flautas de Verduras con Papa y Chorizo Vegano as my entree (next time!). The flautas were flavorful and they weren’t bathed in grease, which can often be the case. The guacamole was fresh and we had an abundance of tortilla chips and salsa to finish off what we didn’t eat with the flautas.


Enchiladas de Vegetales en Salsa Bandera

I ordered the Enchiladas de Verduras en Salsa Bandera, which consisted of three corn tortillas stuffed with grilled peppers, mango, plantains, pico de gallo and Daiya cheese covered in chipotle and tomatillo salsas, served with rice and a salad made of fresh greens, jicama, strawberries and mango drizzled with a vinaigrette. I was not disappointed with my choice. I am not someone who shies away from mixing sweet and savory foods or sweet and spicy foods, if you are then this may not be the best entree for you to order. However, neither flavor overpowered the other, which is often what turns people off to such combinations and together the fruits, vegetables and salsa made a unique, healthy, delicious meal, which I look forward to eating again soon.

Fajitas Vegano Pt 1

Fajitas Vegano Pt 2

Nick, ordered the Fajitas Vegano, which consisted of sauteed onions, peppers and seasoned soy strips, served with quinoa, beans, guacamole, pico de gallo and warm corn tortillas. His entree was almost enough food for two people. He asked for the quinoa, which was seasoned like Spanish rice (yum!) instead of rice. After trying my entree and our appetizer he was a bit disappointed with the fajitas, because though they were good, he wasn’t blown away by them. He was scared away from some of the other entrees, because unlike me, he’s not really into fruit, so the idea of eating entrees which mixed fruit andspicy/savory things was a bit daunting, so he went with the safe choice. What he got was something we could have easily made at home, though, I had never thought of preparing quinoa like Spanish rice.


Chimichangas de Camote en Chipotle Durazno Salsa

We decided to split a dessert, because, Nick’s, entree was so large he wasn’t able to finish it all. At the time the only vegan dessert available was the Chimichangas de Camote en Chipotle Durazno Salsa, so we went with that. The chimichangas were flour tortillas filled with mashed sweet potatoes, served with a scoop of vegan ice cream and drizzled with warm peaches, chipotle powder and raisins. The chipotle powder gave the dessert a little kick and the neutral flavors of vanilla ice cream and sweet potatoes went nicely with the spiciness of the chipotle and the sweetness of the peaches.

Overall it was a very pleasant dining experience. The wait staff were friendly and attentive, never letting our water glasses go dry. The restaurant was cozy and not too loud, and the food was delicious. I’m looking forward to going back and trying more of the vegan menu. Though, we made a reservation, they are not required as the restaurant is pretty casual. Entrees range from $12-$15, which means it won’t be a weekly joint for us, but it also means it’ll be the kind of place we visit more than twice a year.

According to their Facebook page, El Nuevo Mexicano, will be adding/changing items offered on the vegan menu periodically, so check back often to see what new delicious treats are being offered! For those who are interested, they also offer drink specials 5 nights a week and can be booked for parties. Just remember to ask for the Vegan Menu.

Another Vegan Restaurant Closes It’s Doors in Chicago

This week Veggie Bite (1300 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL) closed it’s doors.  I spoke to Sylvia, one of the owners, and it sounds like Veggie Bite will still be around in some shape or form (like at your local grocer perhaps?) and they may even return to the restaurant business at some point in the future.

I’m sad to see them go. I will miss the chix-free nuggets and their shakes. Here’s to hoping they make a comeback soon! In the meantime, they’ll be keeping their facebook page up, so check there often for updates.

Dead Pile: A Play – February 3-27, 2011

Dead Pile is a play about an animal rights activist being produced by Chicago-based XIII Pocket theater company at Stage 773 ( 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL) . The play will be running from February 3-27, 2011,  Thursday-Sunday evenings at 8:00 pm. For ticket information call 773-327-5252 or visit the Stage 773 website.

Want to know more? Check out the synopsis and author bio below.

Dead Pile
Written by Laura Jacqmin

Directed by Megan Shuchman

The play follows Jeremy, a young black wannabe investigator – someone who goes undercover at factory farms to film the often-horrific abuses committed within – on his first exposé. Guided by Davey, the head of a fledgling Midwest-based NPO, Jeremy attempts to navigate the world of a southern Indiana dairy farm – masquerading as someone “from the area” who just needs work for a few months.

Though he tries to keep to himself, he finds himself drawn into the lives of the employees on the farm – particularly Nance, a farm worker who would like nothing better than to leave and do something – anything – else, but who is trapped in her minimum-wage job for the foreseeable future. He also forms a friendship with Russell, the son of the big boss, who wants to make some major changes at the dairy and whose real dreams lie in becoming an organic vegetable farmer.

But Jeremy quickly discovers how difficult his mission actually is: the crushing loneliness, the constant lying, and the necessity of observing ever-escalating abuse without being able to intervene or stop what’s happening. And the deeper in Jeremy gets, the more he’s forced to confront difficult questions about his line of work.

Dead Pile is a play that compels us to examine what we eat – and what we’re willing to sacrifice.

About the playwright:

Laura Jacqmin was the winner of the 2008 Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award to recognize an emerging female playwright. Her plays include Look, We Are Breathing (2010 Sundance Theatre Lab on Governors Island), January Joiner (P73’s Yale residency) and Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s 5th Annual First Look Repertory of New Work). Other plays include Folk Song, I Am Frightened of My Body, Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (which enjoyed a sold-out run in Chicago in summer 2010, and will be remounted in early 2011 at 16th Street Theatre), and And when we awoke there was light and light. Her work has been produced and developed by the Goodman Theatre, Ars Nova, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, Joe’s Pub, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Dramatists, The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival and more.

She lives in Chicago where she is currently working on commissions from South Coast Rep, the Goodman Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre and the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project. She is a member of the Goodman Theatre’s 2010-2011 playwrights unit. BA Yale University; MFA Ohio University.

Vegan Pizza by the Slice Comes to Wrigleyville

Move over Whole Foods, Ian’s Pizza in Wrigleyville is getting in on the vegan pizza by the slice game:

Chicago, IL – December 6, 2010 – Ian’s Pizza Wrigleyville has announced a vegan pizza by the slice line-up to its pre-made offerings every Thursday night starting January 6th, 2010, from 5:00pm-10:00pm.

“We recently participated in World Vegan Week along with three other Chicago restaurants,” said Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau, Ian’s Pizza Wrigleyville General Manager. “We had such a positive response — from customers and from staff — that we wanted to keep a focus on vegan pizza in an ongoing way. It seemed the best way to do that would be to offer a variety of vegan slices in the window at a certain day and time.”

So for the next two months, starting Thursday, January 6th from 5pm-10pm, Ian’s Wrigleyville will be offering at least one of its four main vegan pizzas by the slice in the window, ready to eat in two minutes or less.

“We can’t guarantee which pie (or pies) will be in the window,” said Michael Wood, Assistant Manager. “It will be one of four choices — the vegan Florentine, the three-veggie, the chicken seitan taco, or the pepperoni/sausage seitan. But it will be at least one, and possibly more.”

For the past year and a half, Ian’s Pizza Wrigleyville has had vegan ingredients on-hand to make whole pies, but this is the first time (except for the recent World Vegan Week) when they’ll make sure to have vegan pizza ready to heat in the window. Ian’s uses Chicago Soydairy’s Teese Vegan Cheese, Upton’s Naturals Chicken and Sausage Seitan, and Yues’ Soy Pepperoni.

Ian’s Pizza By the Slice opened its first restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001. Known for its unusual toppings, high-quality ingredients, and late-night crowds, there are now four locations. The third location, Ian’s Pizza Wrigleyville, opened at 3463 N. Clark Street in July 2008.

Upton’s Naturals: An Interview with Dan Staackmann

Upton’s Naturals is my favorite seitan and not just because they’re from Chicago. Upton’s is produced in a small warehouse hidden in an industrial park in Skokie, IL. They offer a wide range of flavors (chorizo, ground beef, Italian sausage, gyros, bacon & more!) to local eating establishments, as well as at select grocers AND they have “grab & go” items, like the Gyro Wrap and the Breakfast Sandwich! We recently sent Dan a few questions to find out a bit more about Upton’s and here’s what he had to say:

SCV: First off, who is the mysterious mustachioed man?

Upton. No, he’s not flesh & blood, but was created by us along with our friend & illustrator, John Sampson.

SCV: Upton’s has been around for 4 yrs now, tell us how the company started and how it’s changed since it’s early days.

Although it says “Since 2006” on the retail packs, we actually formed Upton’s in August of 2005 and were developing the products about a year before that in a shared kitchen. I started the company with a good friend of mine who has since gone on to pursue other interests. We’d both been vegan for 10+ years and were looking for a project to work on together involving food. We did some thinking and realized there was a hole in the seitan market, especially for restaurants, so we decided to try and fill it. Neither of us had a culinary background, so it was all trial and error. We began selling to a handful of restaurants in Chicago and about a year in to that we decided to launch the retail line. We started with 7 stores in Chicago and delivered to them ourselves…then started working with a distributor and expanded to about 20 stores in IL & WI until earlier this year when we began selling to stores throughout the Midwest and Southwest. How things have changed…the first 3 years we did everything ourselves, just the 2 of us. We’ve added an employee about every six months since then.

SCV: How come your seitan is so delicious?! We can’t get enough Upton’s Chorizo or Bacon!

We just use the most simple ingredients and try to base our flavors on traditional recipes.

SCV: Are all of your products produced in your warehouse in Skokie?

All of the seitan and ready-to-eat items are made in Skokie, but we do use a third-party to produce the tamales.

SCV: How many people does it take to keep Upton’s running these days?

5 total. Three people handle all of the production and two of us keep things running in the office.

SCV: You recently added some new sandwiches to your offerings, how do you come up with such tasty sandwiches, wraps, etc.? Are any of them based off of customer suggestions? (We’re particularly fond of the Chicken Bacon Wrap and the Breakfast Sandwich with Bacon).

We just try to put out products that we think are good. We tried soliciting ideas for new ready to eat items a few times, but didn’t get much feedback.

SCV: Is there anywhere in the city we can get your sandwiches, wraps, etc. besides Whole Foods?

The only independent store currently selling the ready to eat items is W Grocer on North Ave. The retail seitan packs & tamales are available at most of the indie shops (full list on our website). Some restaurants don’t like it when their “secret” ingredients are made public, but we occasionally Tweet about new places that are serving Upton’s.

SCV: Are there any super secret recipes in the works for new items?

No, we’re trying to focus on widening the distribution of current products over the next year or so. After that we’ll likely package a couple more varieties of seitan for retail… bacon and chicken are at the top of the list.

SCV: We own some of your shirts & buttons and all the cool kids we know want them (especially the pin collection of mustachioed men, though I’m partial to the clean shaven guy). How can they go about getting their own?

They should be available on our website soon. Also, we occasionally give them away at events, so keep an eye out!

To find out more about Upton’s, including recipe ideas, check out their website: http://www.uptonsnaturals.com/

If you want the inside scoop make sure you follow them on Twitter & Facebook!

Life On Mars

I am always wary of being critical of vegan establishments, because there aren’t many of them in Chicago and I’m always happy when a new one pops up. However, we at Second City Vegan feel that food should not be praised just because it’s vegan, it should be praised because it’s good. That being said, Life on Mars has some very tasty offerings, but there are several things they could improve upon. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering they haven’t made it to the one year mark yet.

On Saturday, Nick and I stopped by Life on Mars (LoM from here on out) for lunch. I’ve been there a handful of times since they opened and Nick has been there about twice as many times as I have. When Nick & I first went to LoM back in February it was a small establishment which served take-out only. There was a small bench in the corner and the rest of the floor space was empty save for a counter stacked with flyers and such. The menu was basic, consisting of six hot bar items and a couple of cold case items. Since our first visit they’ve added several cafe tables and the counter of flyers is now empty and has several stools lined up along it. There are three blackboards up on the wall. The first one lists the hot and cold case items which change on a daily basis (the labels in the case are color coded to indicate pricing), the second one lists sandwiches (which are a mere $5.50) and the third lists both hot and cold beverages they offer. They also offer different desserts every day.


I’ve sampled several of LoM’s hot bar dishes and some of them aren’t very impressive, but the ones I’ve liked I’ve enjoyed a lot. Among them are: Tofu Saag, Sweet and Sour Seitan and the Coconut Greens.

Mock Chicken Salad Sandwich
On Saturday, I got the Mock Chicken Salad sandwich. Until then I’d only had hot bar items, but Nick recommended I try I sandwich and when we asked the employee what his recommendations were he suggested we get the Mock Chicken Salad or the Tuna Salad, so I went with the Mock Chicken on a roll. I also got a Blue Sky Orange Cream soda, sweet potato chips ($1.75) and a chocolate chip cookie ($1.50).

Unfortunately, the best parts of my meal were the sweet potato chips and the Blue Sky Orange Cream soda. The sandwich was underwhelming.The Mock Chicken Salad was cubed tofu mixed with celery and mayo, though I couldn’t taste the celery. This was topped with lettuce, tomato and onion, however, all I tasted was mayonnaise and a hint of onion. The lack of variety of flavor made me wish I’d had some of the hot peppers I’d been offered added to the sandwich. The chocolate chip cookie was also disappointing. It was small, slightly greasy and one of the edges was burnt, so I felt cheated for having paid as much as I did (especially since I can get a big, delicious, vegan cookie from ABC cookies at W Grocer for at least ten cents less).

Nick and I asked to eat our meal at the restaurant and it was served on paper plates and unfortunately there was no recycling bin for us to dispose of our pop cans.

I like that the staff at LoM is always very friendly and willing to answer questions. I also think that the addition of seating was a smart move. However, it would be nice if they acquired some small plates to serve sandwiches on as opposed to paper plates in order to be less wasteful. Adding a recycling bin for soda cans and bottles would be nice, too. I also like that LoM will let you sample any of the hot bar items before you decide on what you’d like to purchase, that way you don’t get any unpleasant surprises.

Though, I don’t visit LoM often, I do like that it exists and that it’s so close to where I live. It’s where I stop whenever I don’t feel like cooking and I want something hot, healthy and reasonably priced that’s vegan.


I’ve visited Life on Mars three times in the last month, which is essential in order to do a thorough review of LoM as it’s a multi-faceted eatery.

My first visit this autumn involved me popping in during the afternoon. The woman behind the counter was extremely enthusiastic and answered all of my questions. After mulling over my options I elected to forgo the hot bar take-out items and instead got a Mock Chicken Salad Sandwich on a kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato, and onion. The sandwich was huge, and with a $5.50 price tag, I was impressed. Unfortunately it was sort of bland. To wash it down I got a Black Cherry Vanilla Shake. I like that they give you the option of soy or rice milk but I was underwhelmed by the shake itself. This was actually my 3rd shake from LoM (the other 2 were Chocolate Shakes) and all of them have been runny and thin. Unfortunately they also lack all of the little details you get at Pick Me Up, Earwax, and the Chicago Diner like syrups, toppings, etc. Overall it was kind of a boring meal even if it was healthy, filling, and inexpensive.

A few nights ago I was biking home from a friend’s place who lives a couple blocks from LoM and I was feeling kind of hungry so I decided to stop by. It was very close to closing time and despite that I got no feeling of being rushed out the door. I was waited on by the owner and he was extremely friendly and in good spirits. He answered all of my questions and allowed me to read ingredients when I asked. I love that sort of accommodating service – and that it was at the end of the night to boot was excellent. I was on my way home so I elected to get a hot bar item as take out. I bought the Seitan with Mushrooms and Peppers. I think this is where you get the most out of LoM. This was an item the really belonged on pasta or rice, so I took it home and put it on rice. For $4.50 I had enough Seitan and Mushrooms for two large plates of pasta and even though it wasn’t the most highly seasoned food, I was at home so I was at liberty to heavily spice with black and red pepper. By the way, I washed this down with a Blue Sky Root Beer that I purchased at LoM and it is some tasty root beer.

I returned to LoM on Friday with the intent of getting the full LoM experience for this review. Once again I was greeted by pleasant courteous staff. I asked the young woman behind the counter what she would get. She recommended the BBQ Rib sandwich on a kaiser roll. I elected to supplement it with the Peanut Stew from the hot bar and another Blue Sky Root Beer. Like the Mock Chicken Sandwich, it was a hefty sandwich for $5.50. The BBQ sauce was flavorful but the ribs themselves were kind of nondescript. It was just an okay sandwich. I followed this up with my Peanut Stew which had a texture more like gravy than stew – like it was thickened with flour. It was more seasoned than some of their other items but I still ended up shaking Nutritional Yeast, Black Pepper, and Salt into it from their condiment station.

Tempeh Tuna Salad

Finally, on Saturday I ordered the Tempeh Tuna Salad sandwich and another Blue Sky Root Beer. The tempeh was slightly better than the mock chicken, since it had a bit more texture to it, but the sandwich was still underwhelming. I enjoyed Lisa’s sweet potato chips, despite their lack of salt and as always the service and my root beer were great.

I love that LoM is an all vegan eatery and that it’s really close to home without being packed into one of the two main areas for vegan food – Wicker Park or Lake View. I like their affordable prices and their unique niche as a take-out place with a revolving menu. I think their greatest weakness is a light hand when it comes to seasoning. I know that some people come from the school of thought that by under-seasoning the individual can then season to taste and you can appeal to a greater number of palates. Personally, I’d rather someone go heavy handed with the spices so that my food is teeming with flavor and run the risk of being alienated by dill or parsley overload. Sometimes less isn’t more, it’s just less.

All of that aside, if you’re heading home and you just want something to put over rice or pasta without going all out, Life on Mars is the place to stop.

To find out what Life On Mars is offering on any given day check out their website (http://www.mars-takeout.com/) or follow them on Twitter.

Life On Mars
2910 W Armitage

Drew’s Eatery

Last night Nick and I went to check out Drew’s Eatery, one of the four restaurants participating in Mercy for AnimalsChicago Vegan Week Campaign. We checked out their menu online before heading over and unlike some of the other restaurants participating, Drew’s has a wide variety of vegan options on their menu and it’s not something they’re just doing for vegan week, it’s something they do year round!

When you’re walking along Montrose you just might miss the small restaurant buried in a row of restaurants and bars across from Welles Park. The signs in the window advertise that they have vegan and vegetarian options, as well as their use of local, organic and sustainable products.

Drew’s menu includes both cheese and ice cream from Chicago Soy Dairy, seitan from Upton’s Naturals and baked goods from Sweet Dreams Bakery. Their sausages are Tofurky brand and their Not Dogs are made by Soy Boy.

Nick & I were impressed by the detailed information in recycling and biodegradation info they had throughout the establishment.

Recycling Center

Drew’s offers items both a la carte and as combos. They also have daily specials posted and all of their vegan items are clearly marked. There were so many vegan options on the menu we had a tough time deciding what we wanted.

I ended up going with Combo #2, which included a hot dog or sandwich, a side and half a bowl of soup. For my combo I chose the Not Dog with the “The Phoney” topping sans cheese, which is basically a chili dog, along with a side of chips and half a bowl of Red Potato and Garlic Soup (the half bowl is the size of a cup). For dessert I got a scoop of Temptation Pumpkin Ice cream (They also had Temptation’s S’Mores, Chocolate and Dreamsicle when we went in)!

Notdog Phoney with Red Potato and Garlic Soup

I got the Special of the Day, which was also a combo and consisted of the Not Dog, which I got with the “North Sider” topping (celery salt, relish, onions, pickle, tomato and giardiniera peppers), Chips and Pomegranate Lemonade from the Organic Drink Bar. I also got a half bowl of Red Potato and Garlic soup. For dessert I got a chocolate peanut butter shake.

Northsider Notdog with Red Potato and Garlic Soup

We were served by Drew, himself who made our food as we ordered it. He was very friendly and willing to answer all of our questions about ingredients and even showed us the packaging to the soy milk when Nick asked to see it.

Once we were done paying for our food we were directed to the organic condiment bar for traditional hot dog toppings and we found a small table to sit at and enjoy our food.


I started with the organic Red Potato and Garlic soup and it was so delicious I wish I’d ordered a bowl instead of a cup (which is an option with combo #3). The Not Dog “Phoney” was good, but I was a little disappointed that the chili wasn’t spicy. It had good chili ingredients (tomato, beans, corn and onions) it just needed a little bit of kick to it and it would have been perfect. The chips were standard kettle style chips which I enjoy. But by far the best parts of my meal were the soup and the Pumpkin ice cream (they also were offering Pumpkin Pie Shakes!) I felt the pricing was reasonable considering that they use organic ingredients (our meals combined w/o dessert came to $17).
There were two other groups of people in there while we were there, both women with children, and the children seemed to be enjoying themselves in the “Kids Corner” which they can play in. Drew came out several times to check on everyone to see how the food was, etc. and he even held the door open for one of the women as she was leaving with her children. All in all it was a very pleasant dining experience and I look forward to going back!



It took me a long time to decide what I wanted. There are plenty of vegan options which is awesome, but because they are inserted all over the place in the menu it took a little bit of time to find them all and figure out what I wanted. After darting around and taking it all in I was going to get their Vegan Drew’Talian Sausage sandwich. Looking at the menu I suspected most of their sandwiches used name brand products so I asked if it was Tofurky brand and it was. Eating a whole one of these sausages can give me killer heartburn so I opted for a Northsider Not Dog instead. I got very excited that they used Not Dog brand veggie dogs. I’m originally from Buffalo, NY and Soy Boy, the company that makes Not Dogs, is also based out of Western New York and they are hard to come by in Chicago. A lot of people tend to prefer veggie dogs that try harder to emulate real hot dogs like those made by Yvves or Litelife, but personally, I like Not Dogs better with their unique flavor. I added a half bowl of Red Potato and Garlic soup to my meal and some Pomegranate Lemonade to wash it down.
I went straight for my soup because it looked really good and it was fantastic. I love potatoes and I love garlic so I knew this soup had a good chance of pleasing me and it delivered. The only drawback for me was the value. Lisa insists that the half bowl was a full cup of soup. I insist that it was 3-4 table spoons. For $3.00 it was tiny – especially considering soup is mostly water. I don’t seek out huge portions when trying to get the best value for my food dollar, but I didn’t feel that it was $3.00 worth of soup even if it was incredibly tasty. The Northsider Not Dog was excellent. Yes, its something I can make at home, but I had never had a “Chicago Style” dog and I enjoyed the combination of toppings and the wheat roll that it was on. The Pomegranate Lemonade was the only thing that left me disappointed in terms of taste. We all have different tastes and I felt that as far as lemonade goes, it was extremely watered down. I didn’t even opt for ice thankfully. I had room for dessert, so I got a Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake. It was a good shake, but there is stiff competition as far as shakes go in this city with Earwax, Chicago Diner, Pick Me Up, and Life on Mars all offering shakes using Temptation ice cream. I’d rank this shake above Life on Mars but below the rest.
One of the things that really stood out about Drew’s was Drew himself. He came off as genuine and personable. His restaurant is a form of living activism and though he’s not a vegan himself he opened a place of business that is as organic, local/sustainable, and environmentally conscious as possible. He’s open to new ideas and wants feedback. He was quite open about not knowing much about veganism when he opened the place but people kept requesting items and he’s learned on the go. He answered every question I had with enthusiasm and if I asked a question he had never gotten before he was inquisitive so that he could make sure he hadn’t missed an important detail. This combination of factors just draws willing support from people like me and I’ll gladly return just to continue to support a progressive business and watch it evolve.

Drew’s Eatery will be going entirely vegan for the day on Saturday, October 30th in honor of Chicago Vegan Week. Among items featured that day there will be 12 (!!) flavors of Temptation available. He showed us the list and we were excited about Triple Threat Chocolate and Blueberry, so make sure you pay them a visit on Saturday!

Drew’s Eatery
2207 W Montrose
Chicago, IL

More Vegan Eats in Chicago?!?

Apparently La Fontanella Italian Restaurant (2414 S Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL) is looking to add an all vegan menu to their existing menu and they are hosting a vegan dinner next Wednesday, July 21 at 7pm to gauge interest, so if you want more vegan eats in Chicago/ want to have input on such things RSVP by Sunday, July 18th to the Facebook Event (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=137385559612835) so Dan can give the owners a head count.

Unfortunately I can’t make it to the dinner due to work. If you’re in the same boat you should contact the people at La Fontanella to show them your support!