One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Restaurant Review: VeggieBite Chicago, IL

Vegan fast food. An oxymoron right? Well God Bless Chicago because it has not only one vegan fast food restaurant but two! VeggieBite, my savior in a land of Parmesan cheese crusted everything, has two locations, on the Southside at 3031 W 111th St and on the Northside at 1300 N. Milwaukee Ave. My hotel was about 3 miles away from the Northside location and everyday I took a taxi at lunch time to Veggiebite to try something new.

Monday was an off day for VeggieBite. When I walked in the guy on the register was new, he didn't know how to work the credit card machine and they were out of buffalo wings (which I was salivating over after seeing them on the website). So on my first day I got a Philly Cheesesteak and a regular salad. Even though I spent an entire year living in Philadelphia, at this point I can't remember what a real Philly Cheesesteak tastes like. What I can tell you is that this one was amazing! Veggiebite uses its own homemade cheese sauce and a perfectly seasoned seitan beef, sliced thinly and oh so yummy. I really don't even care what a "real" Philly Cheesesteak taste like, because this is one is my one true love.

Tuesday. The girl on the register knew what she was doing and the kitchen was stocked with everything on the menu, unlike the day before. There was a quite a line so by the time I got to the front I was starving and ordered way more than I could ever eat in one sitting. I ordered chili cheese fries, chix-free nuggets, an Italian beef melt and a peach cobbler milkshake. Ok, I admit it. While I was ordering I acted like I was picking up half the order for someone else - I didn't want to seem like a total glutton! Everything smelled so good that I just had to dig into the chili cheese fries in the cab ride back and my poor peach cobbler milkshake never stood a chance to make it all the way back to the hotel. It seems like every time I tasted Veggiebite's cheesy sauce I loved it more and more. The peach cobbler milkshake was rich and decadent and actually had little bits of peach cobbler crust in it. Heavenly! The chix-free nuggets were delicious and came with a BBQ sauce. My only wish is that there was more than one sauce for the nuggets. FYI, if you're in a hurry nuggets are the best thing to get. They are ready in about a minute and the portions are generous. I wasn't able to fit another bite in my mouth for lunch but I managed to finish off the Italian beef melt before dinner with my steak-loving co-workers. The Italian beef melt was wonderful. There was only one problem. There was nothing Italian about it. It was basically the same seitan-beef used on the Philly Cheesesteak, smothered in BBQ sauce and on a bun. Don't get me wrong. It was DELICIOUS and I had to remind myself to breathe I was inhaling it so quickly but it just wasn't really an Italian sandwich. And there also wasn't anything melty or cheesy about it either. Great sandwich, but it needs a new name.

Wednesday. Finally it was time to get the Buffalo wings I had been craving since I first walked into this store. Along with the Buffalo wings I ordered cheese fries, another regular salad, cookie dough milk shake and a hot dog (I know, the oddest combination you've ever heard). The cheese fries were gone by the time I got to the hotel and the milkshake was two sips away from the same fate. I ran up to my room knowing that after 2 days of perfect food VeggieBite wouldn't let me down. Unfortunately, they did. The Buffalo wings were a disaster. Fried tofu with a mix of sriracha and hot sauce. The texture was off, the sauce was off, everything was just off. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good. I didn't spit it out but after 2 bites I gave up on trying to like it anymore. Thank God for the hot dog waiting in the wings, you can't go wrong with a hot dog and it did the trick. Next time I go I'm going all the way - the chili cheese hot dog!

Overall, I highly recommend Veggiebite. As long as you steer clear of the Buffalo wings your life will be happy. The prices were fairly reasonable, although they didn't have any type of combos so things did add up quickly. The milkshakes alone are worth the trip! The service was quick and the atmosphere was nice, but above all else the food was delicious. That's all the reason I need.


  1. Wow, thanks for the review. I haven't had any food like that since high school (a while ago). Now I want to go home and make a chili cheese hotdog. Mmm, fat.

  2. God Bless Chicago indeed... looks like the next time I am home I have a new spot to put on the favorite list! Thanks

    - Drew

  3. VeggieBite is soooooo good! LOVE their milkshakes!


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