Friday, June 29, 2012

Vegan Chicago: Restaurant Review of El Nuevo Mexicano

El Nuevo Mexicano is my go-to restaurant for some vegan Latino food. Of course, there is also several other places one could go like Quesadilla Mexican Vegetarian Cuisine and La Cocina. El Nuevo has vegan menu options throughout (marked "V") and they use Daiya cheese as well as local seitan heros, Upton's Naturals (chorizo seitan and chicken variety).

For appetizers, one could start with guacamole and chips. When I went, I asked them to make vegan quesadillas for an appetizer (as they had regular on the menu and I knew they had vegan cheese) and these were good although it's a lot of Daiya. I'd recommend splitting with a friend for sure!

Entree's include:
  • Enchiladas with seitan chorizo, potatos, and carrots with tomatillo salsa and topped with Daiya cheese. Side option of quinoa or white rice and beans.
  • Flautas filled with veggies, seitan chorizo, and Daiya. Served with chipotle and tomatillo sauce, spring salad with mango and jimica, and white rice or quinoa.
  • Chimichangas vegano: Flour tortillas stuffed with seitan chorizo, mango, plantain, bell pepper, onions, almonds, and raisins then flash fried. Served with chipotle peach salsa and spring mix of mango and jimica. Also served with yams roasted with agave nectar and dusted with chile powder.
  • Fajitas with a mixture of vegetables. Served with pico de gallo, guacamole, and tortillas. Ask for no sour cream.
  • Quesadilla vegano: tortillas stuffed with veggies, seitan chorizo, Daiya cheese, mango, plantains, and pico de gallo. Served with a spring mix of mango and jimica.
Of course, there are the tasty margaritas too! Can't forget those.

The quinoa that came with the entrees was spiced like Mexican rice so it has a kick to it, be warned! I prefered the white rice instead. It is nice they offer another type of grain other than rice, though. I do like that the entree's generally come with a spring salad mixture of mango and jimica. It gives the meal some lightness to it, especially if one gets the fried entree's. The flautas were really good, although I am not a huge fan of chipotle! The other picture at the top I don't think is listed on the menu. They use Upton's Naturals chicken style seitan that is marinated and put into the mini tortillas with some vegetables. I really liked these! I just wish I could find it on their menu online. Perhaps it was a new item when I went there.

Pricing is a bit on the moderate side especially if one gets appetizers and drinks. I would prepare to pay at least $60 for a total bill of two people with appetizers, entree's, and drinks. If you want a nice Mexican dinner, though, I very much recommend El Nuevo Mexicano!

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