Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vegan Chicago: Restaurant Review of Munch

Vegan Chicago is a vegan network for like-minded folks to get together and have fun on various outings like dining at restaurants or bars. I've been to a few events in the last couple years. Truthfully, big social events like that are just not my thing. I'm much more of a lone wolf, if you will. But, I saw that they were having a dine-out at a newer vegetarian restaurant in Oak Park, IL (suburb just outside Chicago) called Munch. I was excited to see this as I have been looking for an opportunity to go out there and check it out. My friend who lives in Oak Park came with and we had a great time trying several items off the menu. Here are some photos from the meetup on Vegan Chicago.

Spicy "Beef" Nachos
To begin, we had the spicy "beef" nachos made vegan. It was topped with Daiya and Upton's Naturals chorizo. It could have been a bit warmer, but there were probably 30 people at this little cafe so I don't blame them for the heat factor. It was a pretty filling appetizer so I would get again. The radishes were a bit confusing, though. I'm not sure why they were on the nachos.

Vegan Lasagna
Soup of the Day

For entree's, my friend had the vegan lasagna with the soup of the day. I had a bite of each. The soup was excellent. Perfect for a fall day. The lasagna was also very good! I would definitely get this again as it looked like a filling entree portion. I ordered the Philly "steakless" sandwich. They use Upton's Naturals gyro style seitan which one can only get wholesale through the company. I've had it before by ordering bulk and freezing with the Chicago Vegan Co-Op. I really love Upton's Naturals wholesale products (even more than the retail seitan they have). You don't see it too often in restaurants, so I was really excited to see it on Munch's menu. I'm also glad that they're supporting a local vegan company like Upton's. The sandwich was a bit salty for my taste. Again, this could be because they were rushing to fill so many orders. It was filled with Daiya and sauteed mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers. The side I got was sauteed greens. These were really exceptional. I'm a bit of a dark leafy green freak (I eat raw kale salad 4-6 times a week), so I always go for the greens when I see 'em on the menu. The meal was so big, I took half the sandwich home for later. We were much too full for dessert, but the cafe offers vegan milk shakes, cookies, and brownies. 

Philly "Steakless" Sandwich
It's great to see new vegetarian restaurants popping up all over the city. I mentioned in a previous post about other places that have opened: Urban Vegan Chicago, the various new Native Foods Cafe locations, Quesadilla Mexican Vegetarian Cuisine, and Earth's Healing Cafe (raw). New York Deli has started serving a permanent vegan menu at their place too. Items include a vegan chick'n parm, vegan gyro, SLT (seitan, lettuce, tomato), the John Lennon (hummus sandwich), and vegan desserts.

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