chicago diner, an old favorite

mofo banner 2013

last weekend, we went down to chicago (my second visit in three days) to check out chicago vegan mania. this was the event’s fifth year, and my third time visiting (erik’s second). i’m going to write a separate (guest) post about vegan mania for the vegan milwaukee blog, so today i’ll just focus on the tasty dinner we had afterward, at the always-right-decision chicago diner.

chicago diner neon

because we had snacked at vegan mania over the previous few hours, we tried to behave ourselves and not go totally overboard for this meal. translation: no appetizer round. sob! anyhow, we picked some great entrees, so we weren’t too terribly disappointed in the long run. here’s one shot that captures both plates:

chicago diner dinners

in the foreground are my tinga street tacos, which were stuffed with chicken-style seitan (simmered with onions, peppers, and tomatoes). i then piled the sides (black beans, rice, and guacamole) on top, for some seriously gigantic tacos. i couldn’t believe how heavy they were when i picked the first one up! i actually had to give one of these to erik because i couldn’t finish (and i wanted to save a tiny bit of room for dessert).

in the background, you can see erik’s golden fillet sandwich, which was their take on a fish sandwich. it’s herb, panko, and cornmeal breaded tofu for the patty, and it comes complete with vegan tartar sauce and slaw. he ordered a salad on the side (with southwest spice dressing), and got a pretty generous portion. i was never into fish (or tartar sauce) so i didn’t try this one, but he was really happy with it.

after that, it was time for the diner’s famous dessert menu. i had a rather problematic overeating issue the last time we visited (heh), so i decided i’d take mine to go. erik, however, was still doing okay so he ate his selection before we hit the road:

caramel crunch torte

this is the caramel crunch torte, and it was spectacular (i stole one bite). it’s served with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle, and the chocolate ganache is the perfect foil to everything else going on. yum!

i am pretty much wedded to their shakes; i can’t remember the last time i visited the diner and left without one, and to be honest i’m not sure that has ever, ever happened. my biggest decision is always which flavor? this time i went with lucky leprechaun mint, which is sort of a minty chocolatey concoction:

mint shake

and i drank that sucker leisurely-style, over the next 90 minutes as we made our way home. this was definitely the right decision, because i got to extend my diner deliciousness all the way back to wisconsin. until next time, chicago diner!


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