August: gone in the blink of an eye. I still have not accepted that summer is basically over and fall is on its way. While I do love the fall, I’m wishing the summer could stick around a bit longer. Since I have no way to change that, we’ll just relive some of the cool things I did this past month:
Eat Purely– Have you tried Eat Purely yet? It’s an awesome, healthy option for ordering chef-made meals in less than 20 minutes (Chicago only at this time). All the ingredients are organic and locally sourced and most of all, absolutely delicious. I had the chance to try out a few different meal options and I have to say I was really impressed. You can order these meals up to one week in advance and the portion sizes are really substantial, meaning quite the bang for your buck. Eat Purely really is all about making our lives healthier and easier. One of my favorite dishes I’ve tried so far (which is pictured) is spicy peanut buckwheat soba noodles, Chinese bbq tofu, really fresh veggies like cucumber, snap peas, carrots, bok choy and more. Quite honestly, I wasn’t really expecting much from this dish, but there was so much flavor and the vegetables were so fresh and tasty. Trust me, you want to try out Eat Purely. And here’s the best part; use the code VEGETARIANTOURIST to get a $20 credit (which is basically two free meals). Seriously, a no-brainer. Download the app, order your food and check it out for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Honey’s– I was so excited to check out this newly opened hot spot in the West Loop called Honey’s. It is a stunningly beautiful place with a hip crowd, great cocktail menu and yummy food. I was there only for happy hour and some snacks, but got to try another great restaurant that is focused on seasonal, contemporary dishes. And, what’s great about this place is that chef also directs the cocktail program so that the cocktails are inspired to be paired with the dishes on the ever-changing menu. I think that is so cool and so rare to find. I don’t think I’ve come across that level of sophistication or detail at many restaurants I’ve been to when it comes to the cocktails. It’s right up my alley and you know I’ll be back to come try more of what Honey’s has to offer.
Arami– If someone suggests going to a sushi place for dinner, I’m the one that usually needs to check the menu before agreeing to it. Why? Because many sushi places don’t do much in terms of vegetarian food outside of the boring and standard avocado and/or cucumber roll (so unimaginative of them). And, then you find a place like Arami that has not only tons of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, but they even have an entire separate menu. How’s that for remembering us dietary restriction folk? I love it! I really enjoyed checking out some of the amazing dishes at Arami (like the pictured maitake mushrooms from the robata grill). Another dish I absolutely loved was the agedashi tofu, which was probably one of the best I’ve ever had. Arami is an adorable, quaint space and the food is great, so make sure you go check it out. They definitely have got you covered, no matter what your dietary restriction.
Steadfast– I love finding restaurants that are not pretentious but have such delicious and beautifully presented food that you feel like you are at a pretentious restaurant; that’s Steadfast. My recent dinner there had me blown away at how gorgeous each item was….and, it wasn’t only pretty, it tasted great too. If you go, one of my absolute favorite items on the menu was the bread. You get to pick the variety of breads (options like lavender pretzel or orange sourdough or garlicky cracker to name a few), to the pickles, oil and butter to be served alongside (and there are several, unique varieties within each category like saffron butter). Such thought and detail into something that usually is so basic at most restaurants. The bread course was just the first foray into a lovely dinner with so many flavors and artistic presentation. I had just as much fun photographing my food as I did eating it!
Green Zebra– I’m always asked what my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Chicago are, and without hesitation I always include Green Zebra on that list. It’s one of the few places that I can eat every single item on the menu! Do you know how awesome that feels? When at most restaurants I can only choose maybe a handful of items on a menu, then I come to a place like Green Zebra that feels catered just to me. It’s pretty damn cool. And more than that, absolutely delicious. One great thing Green Zebra does is an entire tasting menu each week that is focused around one seasonal ingredient (with the fall coming up, think acorn squash or pumpkin or apples for example). It’s an awesome way to experience a well thought out and innovative menu around a great vegetable or fruit. Go try it out my fellow veggie (and non-veggie) warriors.
Please Note: While I was invited to these events/restaurants, all opinions are my own.