23 February 2014

victory's banner.

for the past three years, one of my friends/co-workers (hi, erik!) has been telling me about a little vegetarian/vegan joint : victory's banner in roscoe village.

it literally has taken me this whole time to get there. but i finally did.

their website proclaims, "yes, we are vegetarian. but you won't miss the meat!" yes, people, it's true. you won't miss it!

here's what i had ...

vegan french toast :
w/ vegan butter. obviously.
when i was little, i hated french toast. like really hated. i think it was the egg bit. but now, since there are no eggs involved ... and it's basically sweetened, fried bread ... i'm all about it. i haven't had french toast since my trip to karyn's cooked a while back ... i think i liked this version better! it was super sweet & delicious ... i didn't even need to add any maple syrup.

soy sausage :
soy sausage + cholula is one of my favorite breakfast items.
this homemade version was delicious!

crispy potatoes :
any form of potatoes is a-ok in my book.
i added cholula to these, too. overall, great.

my one piece of advice is not to go to victory's banner on the weekend ... it's a small place, so you'll definitely wait. but besides that ... the food is quite good. definitely worth a visit for any brunch-loving vegans.

--
2100 w. roscoe street
chicago, il 60618

19 February 2014

mity nice.

ah, shopping. one of my favorite (ok, my favorite) pastimes. and sometimes, even in the snow - a girl's just gotta shop.

this happened a couple weekends ago. i had a coupon that was about to expire, so my friend, jenny, & i were forced to brave the cold in order to score some sweet deals.

after several hours of shopping + no eating, we had to stop. and so we did at mity nice, a lettuce entertain you restaurant located in water tower.

like any good restaurant : "mity nice is modern comfort food; food you like to eat, familiar favorites with a twist." that's what i like!

here's what i had ...

acapulco salad :
black beans, sweet corn, avocado, tomatoes, crispy tortillas, fire-roasted poblano peppers & cilantro-lime vinaigrette. (no chicken. no cheddar cheese. add kale! duh.)
is this a salad or is this a salad? i mean ... come on. so many awesome & delicious ingredients! i literally snarfed this down. not joking. jenny was only halfway done with her salad when i took my last bite.

mity nice has plenty of other salads that can also be prepared vegan ... so you aren't limited to just one. it's a great place to stop when shopping on the mag mile.

--
mity nice
835 n. michigan avenue
chicago, il 60611

--
here are some other lettuce entertain you restaurants i've visited.

16 February 2014

webster's wine bar.

one of my only major complaints about chicago is that we don't have enough wine bars ... because, in my opinion, wine bars are the best. here are the reasons why :

1. they are generally quiet. you can hear yourself & your friends talking.

that's it. that's the reason that wine bars are the best.

anyway, when date night rolled around last week, josh & i decided we wanted somewhere quiet ... to sip vino & eat small bites. enter webster's wine bar. webster's is located on webster avenue (i wonder how they came up with the name ...) right across from the movie theater. which makes it the perfect pre- or post-movie spot.

a bit about this lovely joint : "we still strive to maintain a comfortable & relaxing atmosphere where beginners & experts alike can enjoy a great glass of wine & escape the stress of daily life." does that sound great or what? 

here's what i had ...

catalan style pan con tomate :
tomato, olive oil, garlic & marcona almonds.
i loved the chunkiness of the tomatoes on here -- quite different from all the pan con tomate i ate in barcelona. as always, delicious. 

 house blended olives :
cuquillo, manzanilla, garlic-stuffed gordals, nocellara & castelvetrano.
as you know, when i see olives on a menu, i get olives. these were all fantastic.

sautéed brussels sprouts :
garlic, shallots & lemon.
i'm not sure when my love of brussels sprouts came to be, but it is here & it is not changing. this version was super garlicky, so i obviously loved every bite. 

roasted ratatouille :
eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers & onions.
at this point in the meal, i was just pretending i was still hungry, when in reality - i was full of wine. (it is a wine bar, after all.) but that doesn't mean i didn't completely love this dish. our server recommended it & i am quite pleased that she did!

to sum up, webster's is generally perfect ... check it out.

--
webster's wine bar
1480 w. webster avenue
chicago, il 60614

12 February 2014

dawali mediterranean kitchen.

ah. the winter olympics. what better way to celebrate than by watching the opening ceremonies with your best girls & ordering in some greek food? just as the original olympians would have eaten!

and so we did just that ... for this particular occasion, we decided to go with dawali mediterranean kitchen, located right in heart of lincoln park ... where they serve "chicago's tastiest middle eastern cuisine." perfect!

i'd emailed dawali a while back to inquire about vegan options. they came back with quite a list, so i was very, very, very excited to finally get to try their food.

here's what i had ...

 vegan appetizers :
lentil soup, stuffed grape leaves, hummus & masaka (grilled mixed veggies).
in true halley fashion, i went with the all appetizer option. all was delicious. my favorite part? obviously the hummus. they also have a spicy hummus, which we also got -- it was top notch to say the least. 

dawali is the perfect place to order in from ... you can pretend you are on a sunny mediterranean beach and not sitting on your radiator in a cozy blanket & thick socks, trying to keep warm.

--
dawali mediterranean kitchen
1625 n. halsted street
chicago, il 60614

09 February 2014

new items : girl & the goat.

well, i've finally been back to girl & the goat ... and let me say, it was just as amazing this time as it was last time.

i decided to venture out a little and not get any of the dishes i'd eaten previously. this was made particularly easy by the new (ish?) addition a ...

vegan menu !!
what!

so exciting. i love when places have a vegan menu ... and when somewhere like girl & the goat has one? i mean, come on. 

per the usual, i was with my lovely girlfriends who will always share vegan stuffs with me. having people to share the vegan options with is super clutch at a place like this ... here's what i had ...

ghums n' roses bread :
apple sauce. (no rosemary butter.)
k, it's bread. it simply can't be bad, by definition. i believe the word bread and the spanish word for good (bueno) share the same root. kidding, but it's still just so good. i don't know what ghums are, but this version was particularly awesome.

roasted beets :
green beans, avocado & bread crumbs.
the fried bread crumbs reminded me of the tomato dish at trenchermen ... aka, this was delicious.

pan fried shishito peppers :
sesame & miso.
holy shishito pepper perfection. the best. i repeat. the best version of shishito peppers ever. i literally ate 95% of the bowl ... so so so so so damn good.

wood grilled broccoli :
spiced krispies.
my girlfriends & i didn't listen to our server when she told us we were ordering way too much food. "we like to eat," we said. so by time this dish came, we were all stuffed ... and we barely ate any of it. don't get me wrong, it was great ... perfect wood grilled flavor on the broccoli. we were just so full.


girl & the goat remains one of my favorite restaurants in the city. amazing chef, amazing food, legit & amazing vegan menu. you really can't ask for much more. 

--
girl & the goat
809 w. randolph st.
chicago, il 60607

05 February 2014

vora.

for ladies date night a couple weeks ago, my lovely gp (galpal), jessie, & i decided to stay in her hood ... and try somewhere new. we ended up at vora.

vora is a taiwanese & asian fusion joint. their motto, you ask? "simple. healthy. delicious." all food descriptors i love. woop!

here's what i had ...

taiwanese turnip cakes :
a starter specially chosen for us by the owner. quite good & very unique.

vegetable dumplings :
in my mind, you can't go wrong with vegetable dumplings. always tasty little bites.

vegetarian soup :
broccoli, carrot, zucchini, peapods, bok choy, cilantro in a lemon broth.
this was my favorite item of the night. it was super fresh & flavorful ... a perfect bowl of hot veggie soup for this miserable winter we've been having. #chiberia.

tofu & spinach :
stir fried spinach & tofu in a white wine sauce.
jessie & i were wondering what this dish would be like ... given that a white wine sauce is typically associated with italian food (in my little world, at least). it ended up being great. i ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.

12 grain rice :
i love mixed rices like this, so i was very happy. i could have easily eaten this whole bowl ... twice.

my only issue/disclaimer with vora is that i was worried about how actually vegan some of these items are. the manager, while very nice, had no idea what was & wasn't vegan. and the owner promised all these items are vegan, but then also asked if i ate fish. generally, not a good sign.

that being said, i did verify with my taiwanese friend that this stuff would usually be vegan ... so that's nice.

if you're up for an adventure & in the area, check out vora.

--
vora
1028 n. clark street
chicago, il 60610