Friday, April 5, 2013

Global Coffee and Cargo

2917 West Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252 - 0091

   Global Coffee was an unexpected surprise. I was wandering the streets of Logan Square when I happened to walk by a cute little store front lodged between a community garden and a thrift store. I then noticed and Intelligentsia coffee sign, and while I've only had coffee from Int once, I took this as a good sign. Also, if you know Logan, you know that where Kedzie and Armitage meet, there is very little to see and do so I figured this was a good as it would get. So... enter store.
Bathroom wallpaper!
   This place is adorable. The different tables and chairs along with the eclectic paintings on the wall make it feel incredibly comfortable and the couches and pillows do not go unnoticed. I picked the table by the window-front to enjoy the natural lighting from an almost warm spring day and stared at the solar system hanging from the ceiling. I appreciate personalty and this pace definitely has one. Even their bathroom is an adventure.
   Their menu is what you might expect from a small mom an pop cafe. They offer sandwiches, breakfasty stuff, some appetizers including the standard hummus platter, etc, etc. I ordered a veggie burger and had the option between chips or potatoes. The burger wasn't terribly exciting but I'm really not that picky when it comes to burgers and at only $5.50, I really couldn't complain. Oh and the potatoes where truly tasty and included in that price; amazing. And since I was going to be there a while, I ordered a brown sugar cinnamon soy latte that needs no elaboration.
   A few hours later, I walked out feeling rather satisfied and not thinking much else... and then I did some research and was truly impressed. As if supporting small businesses is not a priority for me, this cafe is actually a part of a non profit which is "dedicated to empowering individuals who in transition from a variety of circumstances, such as homelessness, recovering from addiction, low-income, .. [have] the common desire to work towards self-sufficiency ..." They have various programs, including the above mentioned garden and thrift store. The cafe is actually a part of their job training program.
   Heart melted. The end.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hot Doug's

3324 North California Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618 
Phone: (773) 279-9550

   This place needs no introduction. If you like food, you know Hot Doug's and if you're from Chicago, then you definitely know Hot Doug's. HD is exactly what the name implies, a hot dog haven. And while there are only dogs and fries to choose from, their menu is far from limited.

   So how does a vegan end up at a place who's slogan is "There are no two finer words in the English language than Encased Meats"? Well I don't really know but I'm glad I did. And although The Joe Strummer is the only vegan dog on their menu, it is encouraging to have a meatless option in a "sausage superstore." Furthermore, it is a great place to share a meal with friends that insist they never know where to take you.
   Back to the dog. The Joe Stummer is a non-complicated, delicious hot dog. Some days all you need is classic. But don't worry, if you're in the mood to spice things up, ask for sport peppers, sauerkraut or giardiniera.. Or all three if you're really looking to go nuts. This is your hot dog, your way. 
   Oh and did I forget to mention the fries? Amazing.

Total cost:  $4.50

The Joe Stummer 
(formerly Pete Shelley. Steve Diggle & Howard Devoto)
Vegetarian Dog: Meatless... and delicious!

Condiments- The  Basics 
Mustard, Caramelized Onions, Relish, Tomatoes, Pickles, Celery Salt
Ketchup, Raw Onions, Sport Peppers, Sauerkraut, Spicy Giardiniera

Monday, April 1, 2013

Quesadilla La Reina del Sur

2235 North Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647 
Phone: (773) 235-8807

   It seems only appropriate that the first restaurant I would visit is Quesadilla La Reina Del Sur, or simply Quesadilla for short. This place is absolutely amazing. I don't know that words (or pictures) can actually do this place justice.
   I'll let you guys in on a little secret. I am Mexican, like born in Mexico Mexican.. and since food can be so nostalgic, I will admit there are days that I think about my mom's cooking and long for her delicious creations. It wasn't until I discovered Quesadilla that I thought I would never get to taste those things again. I don't mean to sound so dramatic but Mexican dishes are heavily meat driven and we do not discriminate which means there are a LOT of things I can not eat at family gatherings.
   Enough about me. This place is a gem. It took me far too long to discover it but don't worry, I've been making up for lost time. They are 100% vegetarian but make everything vegan and although this will sound like an oxymoron, this is the most authentic Mexican restaurant I have been to. 
   Conclusion: Eat here. Eat here often.

Pictured: The boyfriend.. I realize that burritos are pretty common, however, this monstrosity is composed of Barbacoa (roasted lamb) and Chicharron (pork skin). Yes, it is the size of grown man's torso AND you get to pick two flavors. Their menu warns "beware, this is a beast of a burrito." Noted. 

Sunday special, Pozole Verde.. I have never seen this as a vegan option. This is perfect for hangovers; commonly made with hominy, chicken and a delicious spicy broth.

Total cost: $16.