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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Restaurant Review: Healthy Sins Vegan Cafe & Naked Sprout Organics Market in Lockport

            Hello, one and all!  Sorry for yet another delay but since I’ve returned from my cousin’s wedding, I've been working constantly up until this last Friday.  10 days in a row sure can fly by when you’re not looking.
            Since I last left you, a lot has happened.  First of all, I booked a vacation for this fall to Ecuador and Peru!  It’s going to be amazing.  Or at least I hope it will be amazing!  It’s the first time my wife and I have been to either country but it’s part of our world domination tour.  We’ve been to Ireland (nearly all of it), Northern Ireland, London, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica (to name but a few) so far.  I’m really looking forward to finding new vegan places in each country and reporting back on them.
            You’d think that’d be all, but you’d be wrong.  We also booked our (last major) vacation for 2015.  Brussels, Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, various cities in Luxembourg, and wherever else we can manage to visit are all on the list.  This will mark the first time we’ve been to all of these places.  I told you: world domination tour.  I say it’s our last major vacation because after that, we might stick to small trips here and there.  We just wanted to go out with a bang.  It might seem a bit crazy but we generally live like misers for most of the year.  Plus, my wife never uses her vacation time so that helps to pay for our tickets.  I just didn’t want you all to think that the title of my blog was a bit misleading.  I still wear the same clothes I’ve had for over a decade.  See? Broke.  With that being said, I may be posting fewer restaurant reviews in an effort to save money.  SAD, I know.
            Anyway!  Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get to the heart of the entry.  I wanted to get to a restaurant we went to in Lockport, IL a short while back.  I just never got around to mentioning it thanks to all the craziness going on in my world.  It’s a shame because the restaurant in question is quite good and worth the trip if you’re even remotely close-by.  You see, we went to Healthy Sins Vegan Café for a raw lunch.

            I’ve never been to Lockport despite the fact that I’ve lived about 45 minutes away for most of my life.  I wish I had visited it sooner because it looks like nothing has changed since the 1930s.  You half-expect Bonnie and Clyde to run out of a bank at any moment.
I found the speakeasy!

            It’s got a small but cool main street and you can walk along the Illinois and Michigan Canal that runs next to their main street.  It makes for a peaceful Saturday if you’re looking to get away.

            The restaurant itself was very cool and unexpected given the 1930s vibe from the town.  The restaurant has artwork hanging up along the walls and the tables themselves are in the shape of leaves.  I’ve felt that the one problem with raw restaurants tends to be that the meals look smaller than you would want for the price you pay for them.  Don’t get me wrong – I love raw restaurants and Chicago has/had a few that are quite good.  But, as the Broke Vegan, it’s not a type of restaurant I’d go to each week.
            That being said, this restaurant’s portions were decent.  I did spend quite a bit but that’s mainly because I wanted to make sure I had enough variety to give a decent review.  We ordered two appetizers, two main meals, and two desserts for about $60.  By comparison, we ate at the Loving Heart (see the review further down the blog) for about $25-30 and ate like kings.  If we were just going there any other normal day we probably would’ve only spent about $45 or so.  That being said, we went for lunch and were full for most of the day.

            Our first appetizer was an order of bagel bites.  The ‘bagels’ were dehydrated bread slices (probably made of a combination of flax and some sort of seeds if I had to guess).  There were six slices and each slice had its own topping.  There was a pesto, a pumpkin seed cheese, a taco ‘meat’, an egg salad, a tuna, and a ‘sloppy joe’ topping.  I would have to say that my favorites were probably the taco meat, the egg salad, and the sloppy joe.  I loved the variety and the unique ways they were able to create raw, vegan toppings.

            The second appetizer was an order of nachos that featured dehydrated chips.  The dish came with taco meat, guacamole, salsa and onions, and sour cream drizzled over it all.  These. Were. Fantastic.  The menu says it’s a meal in itself and that’s no joke.  We probably could’ve just had the two appetizers and two desserts and been content.
            My wife ordered the pizza after much debate and was really impressed with it.  It looked delicious and I probably would order that the next time we went.  The waitress had recommended it to her and said it was a popular choice.  So if you’re new to the raw scene and don’t know what to get you might want to check that out.

            I ordered the sloppy joe’s because I grew up addicted to sloppy joe sandwiches and whenever I see a sloppy joe option on a menu, I have to give it a shot.  It wasn’t too bad but not my favorite raw dish.  I was originally going to go with a raw pasta dish and probably should’ve because I think after eating all that other raw taco meat, I was on raw vegan meat overload.  It was an interesting take and I dig their attempt at it but by the end of the meal I was about ready to explode.  The dish also came with a small side salad and a small fruit salad.
Why can't I eat the picture?!?

            The dessert I had was a raw apple pie, which – and I cannot stress this enough – was amazing!  It tasted like it was cooked and was probably one of the best raw desserts I’ve had (not counting homemade).  That was worth the trip to Lockport alone.  Just look at the picture!  I’m drooling even now.
            All in all, I would definitely return here and I recommend it to anyone who wants good food and is looking for a little indulgence (as far as spending a little cash goes).  The staff was super friendly and the décor and vibe were cool.

Just down the street is Naked Sprout Organics Market, which makes its own juices and smoothies.  I would also recommend stopping inside to grab a drink before you head back home.  I had an oatmeal cinnamon smoothie, which might sound odd but was pretty good!  It had a bit too much nutmeg for my liking but was tasty none-the-less.  My wife, however, had the strawberry-lemon cheesecake smoothie and – hot damn – it was so, so, so good!  It was like I was really drinking a mashed up cheesecake.

            I promise not to be gone for as long as I have been for my next entry.  I have a few things lined up to talk about.  Hope everyone is well!  Until next time, keep calm and vegan on!

You can check out Healthy Sins Vegan Café HERE.  They are located at 928 S. State Street, Lockport, IL, 60441.
You can check out Naked Sprout Organics Market HERE.

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