New vegan restaurant open in north side Chicago! Yes! And only about a mile from my house...double YES! Let's get right to it then...
Urban Vegan is a mainly Thai place (also a few American-style food offerings like burgers and such) located in either the Lakeview or Ravenswood neighborhood, depending on who you ask. They have been open for about a month, and I couldn't wait to check them out! They had been getting good reviews on Yelp so I knew I'd have to try Urban Vegan sooner than later. Being broke, I was gonna have to wait till next payday. But my friend Katie was kind enough to pay me for watching over her kids for about an hour (easy money, those kids are awesome), and I knew where that money was going right away!
So naturally I stopped in this new spot for dinner.
The place is tiny and cute with lots of natural light. The young lady who served us was very friendly and helpful. Oh and the music playing was of the Norah Jones/Ray Charles/Regina Spektor persuasion, I kind of enjoyed it.
My dilemma was WHAT should I eat?? I mean, take a look at the menu here...what would you get?? Well, I knew right away I'd have to try the tempura.
Broccoli, eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, and soy shrimp. Along with a yummy tempura sauce. Very good! I'd recommend this one for sure. In fact, I could see myself going back to Urban Vegan in the future just for tea and tempura!
After mulling it over for awhile I decided to go with the "Cashew Nuts" entree with seitan.
And here it is with the brown rice:
The brown rice isn't just brown rice, FYI. I could tell by the purplish tint. It was great though! The waitress said it's a mixture of brown rice and jasmine rice among others. Very good. As for my entree, I loved all of it but the seitan. And that's not Urban Vegan's fault at all. It tasted like the good 'ol seitan that we know and love, I just don't think I was in the mood for it to be honest! I've heard great things about the soy pepper steak, so I am definitely going to try that one next time. However, the rest of the dish was great. Very light tasting, perfect for a warm summer evening. But since I filled up on tempura, I took about half my entree home for leftovers.
If you live in Chicago, you've gotta give these guys a try! And actually, I enjoyed this place so much I think I'd even put it on a "must visit" list for vegans/vegetarians visiting Chicago! I will definitely be going back there, there are so many more things I'd like to try. Oh, and I'll be getting more tempura of course.
1605 W Montrose Ave
Song of the day: "Swimming Horses", Siouxsie and the Banshees