31 August 2016

the boarding house.

guys, this was a hard one. i'm giving fair warning that this post might seem like i'm bashing the boarding house ... i'm not. i just had such high expectations & everything fell flat for me. ugh, here we go.

josh & i celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary last month ... per usual, i was unable to decide what i wanted to do or where i wanted to go eat, so josh decided to plan a surprise. please note, i hate to be surprised. i like to know everything... so josh was forced to deal with me asking for hints for a week until he finally relented & told me we were headed to alpana singh's the boarding house in river north for din. yay!

before i dive into the food, i'm just going to say that my inability to find a good description online of the actual restaurant / menu is a sign of things to come. per the facebook page, it's "a restaurant & wine bar located at wells & superior." per the website, "the menu features a mix of small, medium, large, & shared plates." what? 

i went into the meal knowing they had a separate vegetarian menu, so i had high hopes. here's what i had ...

carrot salad :
i can't find this on their online menus anymore, so must be out of season now ... i love a plate of roasted/grilled/sautéed/etc. carrots ... but for some reason, i was shocked when these came out cold. 

soy-glazed vegetables :
zucchini ribbons, julienned carrots, peppers, garlic & sugar snap peas.
okaaay. when a restaurant has a whole separate vegetarian menu & the vegan option is just soy-glazed veggies, we have an issue. our server tried to "make the dish a little more unctuous" (direct quote) since he could tell i was a bit disappointed with this option ... but the chef's response to that was adding some cauliflower. (i originally asked for the cauliflower puree that comes with the mushroom ragout, but it wasn't vegan.) let's be honest, this was fine. that's it.

black cherry sorbet (gratis) :
i did appreciate the free anniversary sorbet they threw in. it was delish. 

it's been about a month since we went here. so while i tried for the "distance makes the heart grow fonder" path of writing this post, it didn't work. i'm actually a little more worked up about it than i should be. here's what i know ...

1. they're under no obligation to have a fantastic vegan option ... but given the vegetarian menu, i just expected it!
2. josh's meal was incredible & he loved every bite.

who else has been here & what did you think? i'd love to hear!

the boarding house
720 n. wells
chicago, il 60654

07 August 2016

grocery edition : vegan mac & cheese.

if you could list out the top three questions that vegans get asked, what would that include?

i think ...

1. do you get enough protein?
2. don't you miss chocolate?
3. don't you miss cheese?

listen, i don't miss cheese. but i'm not going to lie, i miss mac & cheese. such delicious, filling comfort food ... hard not to miss it. but lucky for us, unlike vegans of generations ago -- we've got vegan mac & cheese options a plenty available for our consumption.

so i made my way over to vegan heaven (aka whole foods) & picked a few options. here's what i got ...

daiya :
remember when we were kids & we'd say "first is the worst" ...? i decided to apply that principle here. this wasn't terrible (unlike the daiya white alfredo box or whatever, which was truly inedible), but it wasn't great. this one is trying to be like velveeta mac ... #fail on that front.

earth balance :
like the daiya wants to be velveeta, this one wants to be kraft. not going to lie, it's pretty damn good. my level of excitement when this first came out was sky high ... met / exceeded expectations. 
pro tip -- skip the v. milk & add extra v. butter. 

soul vegan :
my faveeee. reminds me of homemade mac & cheese ... i like to add some seasonings & crushed red pepper for a li'l kick (not pictured). if i see this when i'm at whole foods, i pretty much have to get it. it's that good. it comes from the people who brought us vegan now & the original soul vegetarian. so you can trust it's god. (that was a typo, but i decided to leave it.)

welp, there you have it. let me know your favorite grocery vegan mac & cheeses ... always down to try more!