Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Restaurant Review: The Chicago Diner: Part Deux

            I know I have reviewed The Chicago Diner before (check out the entry and feast your eyes upon the pictures of delicious foods!) but I’ve never been to their second location in Logan Square.  We’ve always loved the original location but today time was a bit more pressing to us than preference so we went to their newer location.  Even though it was the same company, I had this weird feeling like we were cheating on the Halsted Street location.  I know that I’m odd, thanks.

            While the Halsted location had a 1950s café vibe to it, the Milwaukee Avenue location in Logan Square felt a bit more upscale.  There were longer booths in the middle of the restaurant and a bar directly to the right as you entered.  Along the far wall was a big “Meat Free Since ’83” sign hanging from a wall.  We were seated at a smaller two-seat table along the wall and began scouring over the menu.  Let me tell you that that was no easy task.  Every time we go in there I find it nearly impossible to narrow my choice down to one dish.
My mocha shake (on left) and my wife's Lucky Leprechaun Mint shake (on right)

            I ordered my regular mocha shake, since nobody should ever leave The Chicago Diner without trying one of their shakes, and somehow resisted ordering the larger size.  This turned out to be a wise decision since I stuffed myself on the food.

            For appetizers – yes, plural – we ordered the Thai Chili Wingz and the poutine.  We seem to get the poutine whenever we go there but how can you pass up fries covered in vegan sour cream, ‘bacon’, Teese vegan cheese, jalapenos, green onions, and gravy?  You can’t, is the right answer if you know what’s good for you.  However, I think the most amazing appetizer I’ve had there are the Thai Chili Wingz.  HOT. DAMN.  They were amazing!  These seitan ‘wings’ could probably fool many omnivores if they didn’t know it was vegan.  They came with a chili lime marinade and served with Sriracha Ranch dipping sauce.  I was seriously considering the notion of getting an order to go.

            For my main dish I ordered the Caribbean risotto.  I was having a very tough choice deciding because the avocado tostados, scrambled tofu deluxe, and pierogi quesadillas (!!) all sounded so good.  This was a bit of a gamble for me, however, because I’m still hit-or-miss on eating beans.  My wife was pretty surprised I even ordered this.  I figured that it would be tolerable since it was in a risotto and I love risotto.  I could eat risotto every day.  Grilled veggies and plantains surrounded the risotto.  Despite my love-hate relationship with beans, this dish was really good!  The rice, beans, and plantains reminded me of our vacation to Costa Rica and it got me in the mood for our upcoming trip to Ecuador and Peru.

            So, definitely check out their second location in Logan Square if you’re in Chicago.  It’s a cool place with the same fantastic food.  I already want to go back.  I think my insatiable appetite is partly why I’m the broke vegan.
            Until next time, keep calm and vegan on!

The Chicago Diner in Logan Square is located at 2333 N. Milwaukee Avenue.  Check out my previous TCD review for the link.

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