I just got back from my first vegan meetup here in Chicago. For those who don’t know, meetup.com lists several vegan groups that meet for lunches or brunches. The Chicago vegan group meets monthly and this month, we met at Soul Vegetarian East at 203 E. 75th Street. The food and the company were great. Here’s what was on the menu:

  • Carrot Salad — This had a very yummy texture, kinda like old style apple sauce. The carrots were not shredded, rather they were pureed with a variety of seasonings and some chunks of celery added. Many people when back for seconds of this and almost no one left any on their plate.
  • BBQ Twists — I only saw one person not finish this and I gotta think that was an anomaly because this was the best BBQ sauce I’ve had. Love love loved them.
  • Mac & Cheese — Oh my god! This was not like any other vegan mac and cheese I’ve had. If they used nutritional yeast, it sure didn’t taste like it. I’m not a big fan of nooch as a cheesy flavor so whatever these folks did to this, was perfect. It also had a bit of spunk but I couldn’t tell what it was. Nicely blended with a crunchy top.
  • Greens — I’m pretty certain these were collard greens seasoned with onions and a nice broth. Very savory.
  • Corn Bread — If you’re a corn bread lover, it’s likely you fall into one of two camps: sweet or non-sweet corn bread. This bread was only a teensy sweet so I’d still place it in the non-sweet camp. It also had the dryer texture of the non-sweet variety, not at all cakelike.
  • Lemon Cake — Soul Vegetarian East makes great cakes but get a fresh slice or they will dry out from sitting a while. I found that the lemon icing cake we were served was slightly dry but that also could have been because I chose a corner piece rather than middle square. The lemon icing was nicely flavored but a bit chalky. I asked around our table and one other person agreed.

What I would have had second helpings of if I weren’t in public:

  • Mac & Cheese
  • BBQ Twists
  • Carrot Salad

I have heard that Soul Vegetarian East only makes their Mac & Cheese a few days a week so call before you go if that’s what you want to order.

The restaurant is super easy to get to: take the Dan Ryan southbound, exit number 60A, turn left at the light (75th) and go about 4 blocks. Best parking on 75th westbound, so go past the restaurant, turn around and head back. Many street parking spots are usually open right across from the restaurant.