Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Friday, March 14, 2014

Restaurant Review: Urban Vegan

            Happy Pi Day!  I feel like I should do a pie-themed entry today.  Alas, that will not be happening.  However, I do have something else for you that you might find equally enjoyable:  another restaurant review!  I know, I know – two restaurant reviews back-to-back.  I wanted to avoid it but I thought I’d post about it before my poor memory skills erase most of what I wanted to say about the restaurant.  Besides, who doesn’t enjoy pictures of food?
            Monday, my wife and I went to Urban Vegan in Lake View on W. Montrose.  I only mention the exact location because they have another location in Lincoln Park.  Urban Vegan serves Thai food, which I love.  Hell, I love Asian food, period.  You can also order pick-up and delivery so if you’re nearby I highly recommend you get something from here.  I wish I lived closer than almost an hour away.  Bummer.

            The Lake View location was relatively small (only about a ½ dozen tables) but it didn’t feel like you were crammed into a phone booth with others elbowing you in the side as they ate.  The lighting and atmosphere was pleasant enough and the service was really quick.  And as with most days we go out to eat, we were pretty hungry by the time we got to the restaurant.
            Before our appetizers arrived we received two bowls of miso soup (I love that stuff).  It’s one of the things I look forward to the most whenever we go to Asian restaurants.  It’s like the Asian equivalent to breadsticks at Italian restaurants.
            The appetizers were amazing!  The first one they brought out was our order of steam curry dumplings.  I could eat dumplings everyday of the year.  The curry sauce made them a bit spicy but nothing most people couldn’t handle.  I’ve gotten used to my wife making some spicy meals but I still can’t handle anything above mild.  Typical white person problems, eh?  I had a cup of water nearby so I made it through the dumplings just fine.

            Our next appetizer was an order of chicken satay.  I think these were my favorite despite how much I enjoyed the dumplings.  I didn’t eat the peanut sauce that they came with but they tasted really good with just the sauce they had drizzled on them.  The ‘chicken’ they used was that same soft, tear-able feel that I vaguely recall chicken having had.  I don’t know why but outside of Beyond Meat (a company I’ll try to delve into in another post soon), Asian vegan restaurants have the best chicken-meat alternatives around.  If you’re going to Urban Vegan, I recommend checking out this dish!

            The only complaint I have about the appetizers (and the dessert) was that they were a bit smaller than I would have liked.  Oh well.
            For our main meals, my wife ordered Pad Thai and I had the Curry Spinach Noodle.  My wife loves Pad Thai and she has ordered it at every Asian restaurant that serves it.  Ever since she had Wok ’N Fire’s Pad Thai, she has been on a quest to find somewhere that could top it.  Up until Monday she had yet to find a restaurant that could make a better Pad Thai.  That changed once she had Urban Vegan’s Pad Thai.  When I asked her if she was now going to stop ordering Pad Thai everywhere, she laughed and smiled before saying no.  I guess, however, that is pretty big praise because trust me when I say she’s ordered Pad Thai EVERYWHERE.
            My dish was amazing but I didn’t think my meal choices through.  I had already had an appetizer with curry in it and now I was having another dish with curry in it.  Besides being a little spicier than I was expecting (for my tastes.  Again, most people won’t really be bothered.), I really enjoyed it.  I had been worried the portions were going to be small since the appetizers were but I had plenty of food to eat.  The vegan shrimp felt like and even tasted like the animal.  I don’t eat a ton of alternative meat products so I enjoy getting to see what’s out there as far as alternatives go for vegans.  With shrimps and bacon and a whole host of other omnivore foods becoming veganized, it is even easier than ever to go vegan.  It’s great!

            Like I mentioned earlier we also had coconut ice cream for dessert.  The ice cream was served in a coconut shell and had chocolate drizzled around the coconut.  My wife and I shared one coconut but I probably could’ve eaten one all by myself.  It was relatively small for a portion.  Although, looking back on it, I probably would’ve exploded had I had my own full coconut.  I tend to overeat.

            Overall, it was a really fun experience!  The price for two appetizers, two main meals, and a dessert was under $50.  Not too shabby since meals with vegan meats can be a bit more expensive than meals without them.  I’m still amazed at how many vegetarian and vegan options are popping up all over Chicago.  I just wish I could have a few more out in the burbs (you hear that, restaurant entrepreneurs?).
            Ok, next entry will be a real post with real thoughts other than “om nom nom nom”, I promise.  Until next time, keep on vegan on!  (Still trying to work on a catchy ending.  Does that qualify?  Should I keep that one?)


  1. LOL! I kind of like "Keep on Vegan On" or what about "Keep Calm and Vegan On"? =)

    1. Thanks for the input! I also like your suggestion. Hmm! Perhaps I'll alternate between the two. haha

    2. Ok so I am terrified of Thai food, had a horrible experience once and have never tried again. After reading this, I just might go to this restaurant and try again.

    3. Jen - Hello there! I hope I won't do you wrong by this review. It was really good & if you're not a fan of spicy, just don't get any of the curry dishes. There's plenty to eat to play it safe. If you don't like pasta dishes, they do have wraps & burgers as alternative options. Thanks for the reply! Hope you enjoy it.