Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chicago Diner

Hey Vegecagoans! I have just a very short post tonight. Today for lunch I went to my favorite restaurant in Chicago, the generically-named Chicago Diner. This time I actually remembered to bring my camera! The diner is conveniently located two blocks from my gym and on Sundays I am sometimes able to strong-arm my friend K into eating here.

The sweet potato quesadillas were calling me but I made myself try something new. I ordered the California Reuben ("agave slow roasted mesquite 'turkey' seitan on marbled rye, topped with fresh coleslaw & cheeze") with sweet potato fries.

They brought me the wrong kind of potatoes, but it was a little blessing in disguise because I didn't eat them and was therefore able to save room in my tummy for a shake. We both had a Bell's Oberon Ale (K's idea, I swear) too. K got her favorite black bean burger and they actually brought her sweet potato fries.

I was pretty full but I hadn't had one of their shakes in months and I couldn't take it any longer. Sometimes in the gym classes when the instructor is making us do too many lunges I promise my crying hamstrings that I can go to the diner afterwards and get a shake. So once in a while I have to make good on my promise to myself. I ordered my standard cookie dough peanut butter shake. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. I forgot to take a 'before' picture but...

...I finished it. Afterwards I took a serious nap.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm too tired to think of a title

Greeting Vegecagoans!

I must apologize for completely slacking on posting. Thank you to my seven (7!) followers on Google Reader for sticking with this experiment of mine.

To be entirely honest I thought I would do quite a bit of posting from work, and sure enough I start having to actually work during most of my waking hours. And I know I said I would focus on Chicago and its unique challenges and advantages for vegans, but these last few weeks I am lucky if I make it to the Burrito Beach down the street, much less an actual restaurant.

I went to my first bachelorette party last weekend. I mean, it was the first one I've attended, it was not my bachelorette party. Sure enough, the hostess brought out Jell-O shots.

This always makes me uncomfortable because the person approaching you with a Jell-O shot truly believes they are giving you a rowdy little ray of sunshine. This one even had whipped cream and a candy %&#!$ on it. But when I look at a Jell-O shot all I can see is the Kind & Knox gelatin factory down I-29 from my hometown of Sioux City, Iowa. The smell of this factory, and the corporate meat-packing plants and factory farms around it, is overwhelming. I concede that it is better to make a "useful" product out of the leftover cattle body parts, using the whole animal rather than just the meat, but gelatin and its components have ruined any chance I have at being a normal binge-drinking 25-year-old adult and just taking a jiggly shot with everyone else.

It's easy for me to say no to these Jell-O shots, but it is hard to see the look of disappointment from the bearer of the Jell-O shot when I refuse. There is not much I can do to explain my refusal. Whenever an occasion calls for Jell-O shots, it is the absolute wrong time to preach about gelatin and the virtues of veganism.

Two (maybe three?) years ago, before I was vegan (but had mostly stopped eating Jell-O), my second cousin, a professional sorority girl at a state university, brought Jell-O shots to the family Christmas Eve gathering. I gave in and took one. I hated Jell-O, but I really hated the thought of offending my wacky drunken lovable relatives.

This past year I did not partake. And at the bachelorette party I avoided Jell-O shots by playing photographer while everyone else participated. Until I was forced to take tequila shots to compensate.

Product of the Day: Today I'd like to give a quick shout-out to Jamba Juice for being vegan friendly. As I mentioned my work schedule has been jam-packed lately. (On top of the usual activity, today's events included a stolen shredder and our head of security getting food poisoning from a hamburger around 11:30 a.m...these incidents were unrelated) This morning I was already running around at work at 7:30 a.m. so I eventually needed breakfast like WHOA. I went to my trusty Jamba Juice and got an Apple Cinnamon Pretzel (just seven simple ingredients, all with non-scary pronouncible names) and a Pomegranate Paradise smoothie. On Jamba's website you can find a list of all of their vegan products.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

H1N1...or "another blow to the pork industry"

I am getting a little off-topic, but until I am ready for a vegan/Chicago-centric post, here are two tidbits of info related to "swine flu."

#1 - A video about proper hand washing technique. The nurse in the video is my mom, and she loves pandemics.

#2 -

Let's not freak out about swine flu. Egpyt decided to kill all their pigs last week, without any reported H1N1 cases in the country. This just doesn't make sense, and it hurts humans as well as little piglets.

Last night my dear friend M reported that her roommate works with someone who has a confirmed case of H1N1. Please do not tell my mother.

Product of the Day: Speaking of mothers, Vegecagoan's product of the day is Best Bath Store's "She Is Seriously Spoiled" gift basket (check out the price tag, it is "serious.") Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10th people.