29 April 2015

beantown bound!

hey, team! travel update ...

tomorrow, josh & i are heading to boston! 

just time for a little vacay ...
& what better place than the home of one of my favorite movies! 

i'm calling this trip "fever pitch reenactment weekend." (yes, i plan on tweeting at jimmy fallon & drew barrymore the entire trip. get ready, josh.)

time for some yankee dancing! 
here we are at a rainy white sox game ...
sub in a red sox starter jacket for me & a red sox hat for josh & this is probably what we will look like in again 2 days time. 

anywho ... from the research i'm doing, boston doesn't appear to be the most vegan-frandly place i've ever been, but i've found a few good spots (including vegan italian & vegan donuts, mmm.) ... so stand by! 

have a nice rest of the week & weekend, everyone!

19 April 2015

nha hang viet nam.

my fam likes to do something a little different for easter ... instead of your traditional easter meal (e.g. ham, ew.), we like to go out for an untraditional meal.

this year, we decided on vietnamese. and i knew just the place right on argyle in uptown : nha hang viet nam. (unofficial facebook page! ... that's right ... this place is so tiny, they don't have a website!)

i heard about nha hang viet nam from one of my friends / co-workers. (hi, erik!) he's got great food taste & is kind of a regular at nha hang viet name, so i knew it'd be good.

here's what i had ...

goi cuon chay :
vegetarian spring roll w/ lemongrass tofu, lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, chive & vermicelli. 
the lemongrass tofu in this spring roll was delicious!! 

pho chay :
vegetarian noodle soup w/ broccoli, bok choy, pea pods & soft tofu.
this reminded me a lot of the pho from pho lily ... fresh veggies, great flavor ... overall delicious!

much like the other vietnamese restaurants on argyle, nha hang viet nam is just a dinky lil' shop with great food. if you're in the mood for authentic vietnamese, check them out!

nha hang viet nam
1032 w. argyle st.
chicago, il 60640

15 April 2015


one of my best gal pals (hi carly!) has recently become obsessed with tanoshii, a sushi place in the west loop right on randolph. so after a couple of times hearing about it, i decided it was the perfect place for date night when josh & i were craving sushi.

about : "at tanoshii, the menu is only half the story. steeped in the tradition of omakase, our chefs craft dishes according to your individual tastes ... leave things to us, and you might even discover a few you didn't know you had." omakase! cool!

josh & i both did the omakase menu ... which means i don't exactly remember what i ate. but i'll try.

here's what i had ...

chip :
tortilla chip, sweet potato, tomato ...
this was a vegan version of their fish & chip appetizer. you can't tell from this angle, but the chip was absolutely loaded with stuff. really delish. 

strawberry sauce :
avocado, sweet potato, cucumber, etc.
 i was nervous about the strawberry sauce at first, but it turned out to be really good. you only tasted it for a second before enjoying the super freshness of the veggies. 

chili sauce :
avocado, spinach, lettuce, etc.
this was my favorite of the night. the chili sauce was perfectly spicy & went great with the veggies they put in the roll. 

omakase might be my new favoarite thing. i mean, i love trying new food & always like help when deciding what to eat ... so it's pretty perfect for me. 

josh was not as into the omakase as i was. while he was super impressed with the fish quality in his sushi pieces, he wasn't that into the rolls they made him. 

so when at tanoshii ... if you're a sushi lover + adventurous eater, it might be best to just pick your own items. but if you are vegan ... definitely try the omakase! 

720 w. randolph st.
chicago, il 60661

12 April 2015

boiler room.

some of my coworkers (read : one of them, duarte) have been rambling on about the awesomeness of boiler room for a while now. so one thursday evening, we decided to round up some of the gang & head to logan square for some eats.

boiler room does this fancy little daily special called the pb&j ... which stands for pizza, beer & jamo ... 1 slice of pizza, 1 pbr, 1 shot of jameson ... all for the low, low price of $8.50!!! for us vegans, this is only available on tuesdays ... so i didn't get to experience it for myself, as i went on a thursday. but i can definitely see the appeal. i mean, duh.

since i was lucky enough to go with not one, but two other vegans (hi, tnaya & anthony!), we decided to split a whole pizza ... the bee vegan, to bee exact. (lol.)

bee vegan :
sounds amazing, right?

here she is ...

whole pie :
photo cred : anthony.
this pizza was so big, i needed a 6+ footer to get up for the snap! 

fancy shot :
photo cred : duarte.
this is what happens when you are friends with people in the design industry.

close up of slice one of two :
guys, this is legitimate, cornmeal-y, fold-your-slice-in-half new york style pizza. as a chicagoan, that doesn't always mean i'm on board. just kidding. all pizza is the bomb, right? and dayum, this was good. i could have used a little more green pepper, but i'm a green pepper fiend, so that's really my problem. 

all in all, boiler room is a winner. as my spring obsession with pizza continues on, i know that i will be back to this joint in the summer, fall & winter ... watch out, br. who's in?!

boiler room
2210 n. california ave.
chicago, il 60647

08 April 2015

birchwood kitchen.

i referred to my 2015 eating list when trying to come up with a brunch place a couple weeks back ... we ended up at birchwood kitchen in wicker park / bucktown for sunday brunch & to celebrate a birthday! more below.

but first ... about birchwood kitchen : "our approach to dining is simple -- to balance thoughtful dishes with a casual, inviting environment. ... the menu & daily specials echo the season & we partner with local farms & producers on a variety of our menu items." great. that means i'll be back!

birthday brunch! :
happy birthday to you! 
happy birthday to you! 
happy birthday, dear duarte!! 
happy birthday to you!!
hella-delicious-looking birthday pancakes.

anywho. here's what i had ...

avocado citrus sandwich :
avocado w/ citrus fruits, cashew crema, cilantro & jalapeños on toasted multigrain. (no red onions.)
i really love that they have this vegan staple on the menu ... and it was quite tasty! perfect for a late brunch. it got a little messy at the end, but don't all sandwiches? or is that just me?

an hour wait for brunch is usually a sign of a good place ... which birchwood kitchen definitely is. like i said, with an ever-changing seasonal menu, i'll definitely be back. 

2211 w. north ave.
chicago, il 60647

05 April 2015

pizzeria del mercato.

ok, i promise. this will be the last pizza post for a while. (okay, except the amazing one coming next week ... and until the coalfire opens up near my apartment.) it's just been a pizza-y kind of spring for me, what can i say? anyway ... more lunch pizza!

pizzeria del mercato first entered into my life a couple years ago. they opened up when my office was still working out of our old racine ave. location just a mere 50 yardss from our front door. (this was dangerous for a pizza-lovah like me.) since we moved further west, i've managed to resist the temptation to get this every damn day of the week. until now.

anyway, here's what they've got to say : "at pizzeria del mercato, you will taste the flavor of truly italian herbs, olives & tomatoes. we aim to keep the authentic italian flavor in each of our creations." sounds great. but that's not the best part.

the best part is that their menu clearly marks what's vegan with two little asterisks. (example : **) no confusion!!

here's what i had ...

marinara pizza :
tomato sauce, garlic & oregano. added olives & artichokes.
crispy thin crust ... kalamata olives (upgrade!) ... general tastiness. enough to serve two not hungry people or one very hungry person. (on this day, i was the latter.)

pizzeria del mercato is kind of a big hole in the wall. (is that possible?) unassuming & kind of unexpected! but nevertheless, an ideal lunch spot for sure. now that my tastebuds have been reminded of their awesomeness, i'll be back fo sho.

pizzeria del mercato
1154 w. fulton market
chicago, il 60607

01 April 2015

tippling hall.

when tippling hall opened in river north a while back, i was really excited. i love a new restaurant, as we all know. so when one of our frequent girls' nights came around (& this time, with special visitor from nyc ... hi, melissa!!), we though it'd be the perfect spot to try.

tippling hall is about : "global comfort food" & they "offer the best of the best, be it food, cocktails, wine or beer." sign me up!

here's what i had ...

shishito peppers:
sesame oil & togarashi. 
i really like togarashi. these were super delish.

signature guacamole :
goat cheese on the side. house made tortilla chips. 
 i rarely order guacamole when dining out, especially when not at a mexican restaurant. (i mean, chipotle has the best guac, why spent $10 on subpar avocado mash!?) anyway, this version was really really great & very fresh! so i was very happy we did.

vegetable seven grain thai bowl :
fried rice, ginger, garlic & chilies. 
a side that serves 2 that i got for my main plate.
good, but also kind of meh. not really a main plate, my bad. spicy though, that's for sure!

tippling hall ... great appetizers, so so main dishes. limited vegan options for main dishes (which is maybe why i got this in the first place). it could have just been me, maybe it was our server's lack of suggestions, but i wasn't obsessed. i know that their thing is "global comfort food," but there was just a lack of cohesion on the whole menu. maybe next time ...

646 n. franklin street
chicago, il 60654