August 30, 2012

Universal Studios

Last month, I met my sister and her family in Orlando so we could visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. (Our trip to Universal was really just for she and I, my nephews - 12 and 8 - sadly had no real desire). I thought for sure I would be eating french fries and side salads all day.

However, to my delight, Confisco Grille & Backwater Bar is very vegetarian friendly. The hummus, topped with olive oil and fresh herbs, and wood oven baked lavosh was so good - I love the texture of the lavosh. It puffs up in the heat and when you tear it open, all the steam releases.
The Tex Mex Wrap can easily be veganized, and as long as I have guacamole, I'm happy.

The best part is they label all of their items as Vegetarian or Gluten Free.
Now to the fun part...on our way to Harry Potter, we passed through Seuss Landing. It's so beautiful here - it's really magical.
And then you'll spot Hogsmeade. The rooves are covered with snow and all the chimneys are crooked - the details are really spot on.
The ride inside of Hogwarts is worth the wait - that is if you go in the single riders line. You'll be split up from your party, but it's usually a five minute wait vs an hour wait. My nephew and I still got to ride together, it all depends on the size of the groups.
I loved this train schedule. The details make you feel like all of it really exists somewhere.
They serve Butterbeer everywhere, but unfortunately the topping is not vegan. (You might be able to order this without the topping, but not sure how good that would taste...)

The Pumpkin Juice is vegan. It's pretty much like drinking pumpkin pie, if you're into that sort of thing. Which I kind of was, given the circumstances. Not sure I would drink this anywhere but there :)

August 29, 2012


I recently had dinner with some friends at Fonda in Brooklyn. Along with some killer guacamole, they offer Vegetarian Enchiladas that can easily be vegan-ized.

Soft corn tortillas filled with diced potatoes, roasted eggplant, zucchinis and chayote, topped with a tomatillo serrano sauce, chopped cauliflower and cilantro. Ask for them sans queso fresco and crema. 


August 23, 2012

Urban Union

Urban Union in University Village (Chicago) changes their menu seasonally. So I'm sure their menu has changed since I was last there, but this will at least give an idea of what types of dishes they serve.
Most of their dishes are meant to be shared. And they have quite a few vegan and vegetarian options to choose. 

For examples, a Farro, Arugula + Onion Salad with lemon and mint dressing.
An Endive, Raddichio + Spinach Salad with apples and candied nuts.
Wood Roasted Rapini with garlic, chili, lemon and oil.
They also have some amazing Garlic Frites, but by the time they arrived it was too dark for a photo...I also noticed Roasted Sweet Corn with lime and smoked paprika on their current menu. I will definitely have to make a follow up visit before corn is out of season!

Also, they have a great frame in the back of the restaurant...about life.

August 21, 2012

Overy Easy

The Tofu Scramble at Over Easy in Chicago came highly recommended by a fellow vegan, and I finally got to experience it for myself.

Tofu is scrambled with vegan chorizo, spiced veggie crumbles, red peppers, jalapenos and topped with salsa verde + guacamole. 

I love when I get to eat guacamole for breakfast.

August 20, 2012

Victoria Vegan Vodka Sauce

A few weeks ago I ordered the Victoria Vegan Vodka Sauce from Vegan Essentials. My husband adores vodka sauce and I was so excited to find a vegan version.

The sauce is incredible. It has the perfect amount of sweetness and a touch of garlic. It's quite possibly my favorite jarred pasta sauce.
They also make 6 other varieties of marinara - Classic, Mushroom, White Bean, Chianti Wine + Italian Veggie. The White Bean sounds so good!
If you're not familiar with Vegan Essentials, it's an amazing source for all things vegan.

August 17, 2012

Penny's Noodle Shop

I had a really delicious light and fresh noodle bowl a few weeks ago at Penny's Noodle Shop in Chicago.

The Vegetarian Bowl is filled with thin rice noodles, tofu, lettuce, bean sprouts, red cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, ground peanuts and slices of lime. Top it off with soy sauce and hot sauce and it's perfect on a summer afternoon.

August 15, 2012

Revolution Brewing

I recently found a killer vegan (is that an oxymoron?) sandwich at Revolution Brewing in Chicago.

The Tofu Revolution consists of smoked tofu, black bean relish, plantains, pickles and spicy mustard. The tofu is sliced very thin - which I love! And the pickle gives it the perfect amount of vinegar and sourness.
They also have a Tempeh Reuben with vegan Russian dressing - just make sure to order without Swiss if you're vegan. 

August 13, 2012


Melt is a cute little sandwich shop in Bucktown (Chicago) that just so happens to offer soy cheese. I am so thankful for this because sometimes I'm just not in the mood for hummus. (I love hummus, but I don't like to eat it every time I eat out. And I find that any non-cheese sandwich I order is smothered in hummus).

A few weeks ago I stopped in and ordered their Provence with a few alterations. Instead of mushrooms and truffle white cheddar, I went for avocado, soy cheese + oven roasted tomatoes on sourdough.

This combination was seriously tasty. And my husband and I both loved the soy cheese. (I believe they use Teese).

They also offer gluten free bread!

August 10, 2012

Fish Bar

Fish doesn't exactly sound like a vegan/vegetarian friendly place. 

However, I found some really awesome starters and side dishes worth writing about.

The house salad - butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and balsamic dressing - is light and fresh, which is definitely needed with the fried foods to come...
I can't resist tater tots, and these are particularly crispy.
And my favorite - fried lemon, onion and jalapeno. The onions and jalapenos are good, but the lemons are crazy good. They're dipped in a seasoned flour and fried until golden.
And again, outdoor seating!

August 8, 2012

Old Oak Tap

Vegan sliders...oh yes. You don't often see these on a menu, especially at a non-vegetarian restaurant. 

At Old Oak Tap in Chicago, their vegetarian sliders can be altered to be vegan. (Ok, so vegan sliders aren't really on the menu here either, but close enough!) And they are crazy good. Luckily, our server has several vegan friends and therefore has experience veganizing the menu.

Soyrizo, red pepper coulis and roasted poblano peppers on a vegan bun. I love that the soyrizo is crispy with some burnt bits!
Plus, they have outdoor seating!

August 7, 2012

Victory's Banner

I had the most amazing vegan french toast a few weeks ago at Victory's Banner in Chicago.

Even my husband, who has never enjoyed french toast, loved it. It's made with thick sliced bread, with a lovely vanilla flavor, and served with vegan butter and maple syrup.

No photo could do it justice. It was really that good.
We dined al fresco, making it even more enjoyable.
Victory's Banner is a vegetarian restaurant in Roscoe Village. They have all kinds of vegan options for breakfast and lunch.

August 2, 2012


More Chicago pizza today! 

A couple of weeks ago we stopped by Coalfire in West Town. Another stellar slice, topped with garlic, oregano and salt. The sauce is sweet and the crust is thin and charred - it's delicious.