Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cleveland and Chicago

Laura arrived in Cleveland around 12:30, picked me up at the hotel, and drove right to Cleveland Vegan for lunch.  We decided to try a few things from the menu and share.  We started with the summer bruschetta trio, which came with tomato basil, peach and red pepper, and celery lime spreads to put on a grilled baguette.  I loaded all three spreads together on my pieces of bread and thought it was quite delicious!  We also tried the lemon almond ricotta crepe with raw lemon curd and raspberries.  It is hard to find vegan crepes, so we were excited to try this one, and it did not disappoint.  The shredded breakfast potatoes with ranch sauce were yummy, and the florentine benedict was pretty good too.  I was never a huge fan of eggs benedict, but this vegan version was pretty tasty.  Cleveland Vegan gets a good score in my book!

We headed back to Flaming Ice Cube for dinner after an afternoon at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and a beer at Nano Brew.  We were supposed to meet our friend Jesse, but he wasn't feeling well, so it was just the two of us.  I ordered the pizza burger, which was fantastic!  The macaroni salad on the side was great too.  Laura got the Asian quinoa bowl, which she said was okay; the peanut sauce was a bit spicy (not a negative in my book!).  For dessert, I ordered three little pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies which were excellent, and Laura ordered the molten chocolate cake, which was good but too rich for me.  All three of my visits to Flaming Ice Cube were superb!

On Wednesday we drove from Cleveland to Chicago.  We started getting hungry for lunch in Indiana, and the most veg-friendly town on the way was, unfortunately, South Bend.  Ignoring the fact that we were in the land of Notre Dame, we made our way to the Crooked Ewe Brewery and Ale House.  They have a completely vegan menu in addition to their regular menu with some very creative choices.  We decided to choose three and share.  The salad we chose was amazing.  Filled with kale and nuts and couscous, I could have eaten an entire one by myself.  But we had other items to try - fried cauliflower in a sweet sauce and seitan brisket with potato salad and pickles.  They also brought over buffalo artichokes by mistake - finally, the buffalo sauce I have been waiting for!  We had to get most of those to go, since we didn't order them and we were stuffed from all of the other food.  Oh, and I tried their oatmeal stout - I was unsure after the first sip, but sold by the third - yum!

We arrived in Chicago in the late afternoon, and I soon discovered a link to some vegan deep dish on my Facebook page, so we began our quest.  We decided to walk the three and a half miles, knowing that we would be ingesting many calories.  Kitchen 17's website warned that they often run out of pizza, so we headed out around 5:15.  When we arrived a little more than an hour later, the place was hopping!  We grabbed the last open table and put in our order for a traditional - vegan sausage and pepperoni with a layer of cheese and a layer of marinara.  The pizza was amazing, but incredibly filling; I couldn't finish my second piece.  Take note - they only do deep dish on Wednesday nights!

This morning we headed to Wrigley Field for a tour and had a late breakfast at Pick Me Up Cafe.  I went with the Santa Fe scramble, with vegan Chorizo, potatoes, peppers, onions, and jalepenos.  It was topped with some sort of melty delicious vegan cheese.  The scramble was good, but very heavy and filling.  Luckily we are having a late dinner tonight.  Laura ordered the French Toast, which was excellent.  We are off to the Chicago Diner for dinner in a bit - meat free since '83!

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