Enter the headquarters for foodie vegetarians everywhere, The Chicago Diner, which has been serving all vegetarian cuisine since 1983 in the form of familiar, comforting diner favorites like Chicken Fried Steak and Nachos. Many a meat eater has been converted on these holy grounds, and Brandy, a lover of most meats, decided it was time to brave the tofu, the seitan, and the textured vegetable protein to discover the truth about this Lakeview staple.
Sadly at this point, Brandy's sore throat got the better of her. She longed to try one of Chicago Diner's famed desserts, though, so she decided to take a meal to go for when her esophagus had decided to cooperate.
She ordered one of Chicago Diner's signature dishes, the Radical Reuben with a side of sweet potato fries. The fries, even after re-heating, still had a lovely crisp on the outside and a supple softness of the inside. Somehow, these fries tasted a bit more savory than a typical sweet potato fry, but Brandy greatly enjoyed the contrast. Brandy was hard pressed to tell the "meat" on this sandwich from real corned beef, as the texture, flavor, and even the look of it was spot on. The sauerkraut provided a nice tangy contrast to the sweet grilled onions and peppers (an unusual, but bright addition to a classic Reuben) and the cheese (she did cop out here a little and asked for dairy cheese) had melted wonderfully into the pungent marble rye.
Though she won't be switching to vegetarianism any time soon, Brandy did enjoy her encounter with so called Rabbit Food this week. For as she put it, "If this is what the rabbits are eating, then I want to be one in my next life."
The Short and Sweet Review