The tagline for Chicago Diner is “Meat Free Since ’83” and I love it! Everything on the menu is vegan or has a vegan option, and Sunday before we hit the road to come home, we stopped at the newer location in Logan Square. Chris has been several times, so it was fun to have our friends Amy, Steve and Clara along as fellow newbies. Both locations are on the small side, so we arrived a few minutes before they opened and we weren’t even the first ones there. The Logan Square space is beautiful and it gets bonus points for being a “US Green Building Council LEED Gold certified facility, incorporating repurposed materials & fixtures throughout, as well as employing other Earth conscious initiatives like eco-friendly disposables; FSC & Rainforest Alliance certified menu paper; container & waste oil recycling; high efficiency appliances, lighting & HVAC systems.” Pretty amazing, right? I didn’t even know the menu paper thing was a thing.
As the seasoned pro, Chris ordered a Cookie Dough Peanut Butter milkshake the second we were seated. Following his lead, I ordered a Mocha milkshake, Clara went for the Carrot Cake milkshake, and Steve and Amy shared the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough milkshake. I love that everyone got something different. They were all incredibly flavorful and immediately had us wishing the Twin Cities could have a Chicago Diner. This is what amazes me about vegan food – you can have the same things you’ve always enjoyed without supporting animal cruelty. Total win.
After checking out the seasonal specials, Amy put in an order for the Toasted Pumpkin Ravioli. The breaded ravioli is filled with pumpkin and butternut squash, and it comes with an apple dipping sauce. More deliciousness. They came out perfectly fresh, and the blend of textures between the crunchy breading and the smooth, creamy filling is exactly what I look for in a dish. Thanks to Amy for sharing with everyone!
While it seemed sacrilege to order a non-brunch item, the Titanic BLT Burger called to me: seitan veggie patty, seitan bacon, French fried onions. lettuce, onion and chipotle fire sauce. It’s a thing of beauty, and even though I was already feeling full I was determined to finish it. Amy tried the Buddha’s Karma Burger and she was having the same problem. The five of us spent some time laughing from encouraging each other to suck it up and finish our meals, and from trying to figure out how we could possibly do so. In the end, Amy and I ditched the little bit of bun we had left so we could stand a chance at eating the filling, and someone’s pants may have found themselves unbuttoned. I was at least grateful I got a regular-sized milkshake and not the large.
Chris opted for a brunch item and ordered the Mexicana Bowl which has such a lovely mix of colors. He said the jalapenos add a good amount of spice to the tofu, tomatoes, onions, cheese, potato hash and black beans. I’m glad I got a picture right away because he dumped the guacamole and salsa on top of everything and mixed it all together before he dove in. I would consider ordering this dish next time we go since I love all of those flavors. Clara tried the Biscuits & Seitan Gravy which looked scrumptious as well.
We all finally admitted that we were too stuffed to take another bite, so Chris got us cinnamon rolls to go. They are enormous, and his first one didn’t even make it home. I ate mine not long after walking in the door, and I wasn’t even hungry. They just… Wow. I can’t remember the last time I had cinnamon rolls that tasted so good. They were even still warm as they brought them out in the box to us, and they’re so soft, fresh, gooey, sweet, etc. etc. etc. Thank goodness Chris knew the drill, or I might not have gotten them!
Having brunch at Chicago Diner was the perfect way to close out our weekend road trip. The food more than met my expectations, and I’ll look forward to going again the next time I’m in town.