Meat Free Since 1983

July 5, 2010

While my Chicago Diner-loving-friend was in town, I had a chance to check out this well-known and meat-free restaurant. The Chicago Diner offers numerous options for vegetarians and vegans and even meat lovers like me. I will admit I was a bit afraid to try a veggie restaurant, but there were so many options that appealed to me.

We started off with some of their AMAZING vegan shakes. These were great because they were dairy-free and made my tummy happy! I tried the special s'more shake, while my friend had the chocolate peanut butter shake. They were extremely tasty and filling and might be better suited for dessert rather than with your meal!

For our entrees, I tried the "Gyro" made with sliced seitan, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and vegan tzatziki sauce on grilled pita with a mixed green salad & vegan dressing. The sandwich was delicious and it was my first time trying seitan, which is wheat gluten used to replace many of the "meats" on the menu i.e. seitan "meat"balls, seitan ribs, etc. The meat itself looked just like strips of gyro meat but had a lighter consistency. I enjoyed my sandwich, but the seitan was a tad too salty for me.

My Chicago Diner-loving friend had her usual, the sweet potato quesadillas filled with grilled seitan, mashed sweet potatoes, cheese, spinach and black beans. Obviously she loved this entree and I also had the chance to give it a try. The spinach tortilla was nicely grilled and paired well with the very spicy homemade salsa on the side. I would definitely come back for this entree! Yum!

Overall, this meat lover was glad to try a restaurant outside of her comfort zone. I really enjoyed the friendly neighborhood feel of the diner, and the no-frills atmosphere. Next time around, I'll be sure to test out a different vegan shake flavor, and will probably stay away from the seitan :). Vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores alike will love The Chicago Diner's vast menu, outstanding staff, and wholesome options.

The Chicago Diner
3411 N Halsted
Chicago IL 60657-2412
Chicago Diner on Urbanspoon

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