12 June 2016

left coast food & juice.

okay, i promised this week would be a good one ... let me tell you, it is. i'm officially beyond obsessed with left coast food & juice on lincoln ave. in lakeview.

since california food is some of my favorite food, i've been to left coast 5 times now. (yes, you read that right.) ... every time, it's delicious! my goal is to try all the vegan options on the menu. so far, i've tried 4, because i had to have the avocado toast twice. so good.

okay, before we dive into the eats, here's a bit about left coast : "we bring flavorful & progressive recipes to not only healthy food, but also chef-driven, cold-pressed juices & delicious smoothies." i've clearly already gotten on board with this. your turn!

here's what i had (in order of first visit to most recent) ...

kale mary smoothie :
blueberry, kale, avocado, oj, macca powder, agave, apple cider vinegar. 
any excuse for a selfie ... plus the smoothie was awesome. 

left coast acai bowl :
acai berries, blueberries, raspberries, banana, almond butter, macca powder, hemp seeds granola. 
this was my first smoothie bowl! i was pretty excited ... it's perfect for a hot day & also, just so pretty. 

robust rosa :
kale, spinach, roasted broccoli, roasted tomato, red onion, toasted hemp seeds, avocado caesar dressing + tofu.
green, check. leafy, check. tasty, check. 

hermosa avocado toast :
toasted semolina bread, avocado, mojo rojo, red onion, fresh basil + tofu. 
i pretty much live for good avocado toast. this version is on point. plus added tofu for, ya know, protein. 

easy street wrap :
tofu, brown rice, roasted carrots, pickled sultanas, smoked almonds, arugula, red onion, madras curry sauce & whole wheat wrap. 
like a vegan curry chicken salad wrap! more, please. 

holy moly, that was a lot. but honestly, isn't all of it just so delectable-looking? food that looks fresh, tastes fresh, is fresh. so many thumbs up. and it doesn't stop there ... i'm scheduled to go back tomorrow for lunch w/ my mom & le bébé. see ya on instagram! 

--
left coast food & juice
2878 n. lincoln ave.
chicago, il 60657

30 May 2016

monteverde.

memorial day bbq? no, thanks. instead, let's talk italian food ... some of the best italian food i've had in a while, tbh.

monteverde is awesome. here are the reasons why :
   1. it is helmed by sarah grueneberg of spiaggia & top chef fame.
   2. super accommodating to me (le vegan) & my pal (gluten-free).
   3. the food is incredible.

before we get into the eats ... here's a bit more about monteverde : "cooking with a traditional heart & a modern hand, monteverde offers food that is soulful, surprising & filled with storytelling." see? you can already tell it's good.

here's what i had ...

oma's green mountain salad :
little gem lettuce, avocado & crunchy vegetables. 
vegetables crunchy as advertised. entire salad delicious as expected.

artichoke & truffle polenta :
this was originally a crostini, but it wasn't vegan or g-f, so they made us a special version. i could eat crispy polenta all day, erryday. so this was a match made in heaven. 

gnocchetti sardi :
fresh grated tomato, oven-dried cherry tomatoes & basil.
UGH.SOOO.GOOD. i inhaled this bowl of pasta. (which was actually more food than it looks like in the photo. i blame the bowl.) it was just the kind of pasta / italian that i love ... simple ingredients & full of flavor.

asparagus :
i'll never say no to a side of asparagus. exhibit a. two thumbs up.

the problem with being a foodie & having a food-centric blog is that i often only go to a restaurant once or twice, even if i want to go there more ... gotta get around, ya know? but with monteverde, i want to go back again. and again. and again. and again. and this time, i'm certain i will. it's great for a girls night out, a date night ... or whatever.

i think i just read they do a kid's menu, too. so once the chi city vegan baby is putting more into his mouth than he is throwing on the floor, i plan to bring him back, too! can't wait!

--
monteverde
1020 w. madison st.
chicago, il 60607

22 May 2016

black dog gelato.

after our delicious lunch from vegan now in the french market, we knew dessert was an absolute must. (when isn't dessert a must, amiright?) luckily, right.next.door. to vegan now is ... black dog gelato.

black dog gelato offers "gourmet artisanal gelato & sorbet." thumbs up for vegan sorbet. 

here's what i had ...

chocolate sorbet :
i mean, it's chocolate sorbet. what could be bad? 
nothing. nothing could be bad. 

there are a couple other black dog gelato locations in the city (one in roscoe village & one in ukrainian village). i'm looking forward to trying more sorbets in the near future!!

--
black dog gelato
131 n. clinton st.
chicago, il 60661

15 May 2016

vegan now.

there's a little place that i'm sure most of you know about in the west loop called the chicago french market ... it's awesome. it's literally like being in a market in paris ... or barcelona ... or florence ... you get it. it a "european-style indoor market." capisce?

the french market is super vegan-friendly ... my typical go-to is saigon sisters, because, well, pho. but now, there's a new girl in town & her name is, wait for it ... vegan now. woohoo!

vegan now comes from the creators of original soul vegetarian on the south side ... they're also the makers of that delicious vegan mac & cheese you can find at whole foods. (post on my fave grocery store mac & cheese options coming soon ...)

anyway, vegan now is a "one of a kind culinary experience in innovative vegan cuisine." does it get any better?

here's what i had ...

vegan now! 
collards, cheesy potatoes, bbq tofu & cornbread.
i mean, if this isn't southern food, then i don't know what is. this was an "everything was delicious" situation. cornbread could have used some vegan buttah, but that's okay. i pretty much devoured the entire container. this is also a prime example of the photogenic-ness of food not being equal to the tastiness. woot!

other positive things about the french market / vegan now ... 1. free parking. 2. perfect spot for lunch w/ non-vegan pals. 3. vegan dessert option located next door to vegan now. (stand by for next week on that one.)

so don't delay. don't go vegan later. go vegan now. (hahaha.)

--
vegan now
131 n. clinton st.
chicago, il 60661