I had so much blissful, chocolate-covered-with-a-cherry-on-top fun today that I don’t want to go to sleep.
I just keep scrolling back over to the camera-phone pictures I uploaded to Facebook so I can see it all again.
There’s me at the Chicago Diner and there’s that awesome picture of the skyline. OH! OH! And there’s me holding Bronson’s martini glass so I can look cool.
I have not lately been as calm as I was sipping my $8 hot-chocolate-with-caramel-minus-the-marshmallows in the Signature Room at the Hancock. Looking down over the entire city of golden lights and black diamond buildings and a pond so big they call it a lake, I was all-good.
The world was small. And I could conquer it any day of the week. Twice on Sunday.
Sometimes I forget that I have that ability. Bronson made me remember though.
For all of today.
And I was just me.
Just happy me.
There. I’m done now. Feel free to puke from the joy of it all.
I was born in ’83 for those keeping track.
A city to love.
No alcohol was used in the making of this picture.
Because for some reason, my friends love me way more than necessary, I some how convinced a couple of them to go to a raw vegan restaurant in Chicago today with me (despite their typical meat-eating ways).
Don’t fret, i haven’t gone raw myself — it was just the closest vegan restaurant to my friend’s house. We made our way to Cousin’s Incredible Vitality and well, it didn’t suck.
I’ve never been to a vegan-only restaurant so I dived in with an open mind and the glass of warm water the waitress had given me (apparently, aside from avoiding fire, raw vegan also don’t use ice).
And I apologize in advance that the pictures are blurry, but they were taken with my cell phone. Yes, Sandy B., I know you do not approve, but it’s MY blog. so deal with it.
I ordered the sampler platter (pictured above), which included three appetizers:
Mini Flax Pizzas
Luscious Pizzas with almond cheese, marinara, olive tapenade avocado, love and gratitude.
Mango salsa and refried beans” on three romaine taco shells.
Savory creamed spinach, shallots, fresh herbs, sundried tomatoes, and love dehydrated to perfection.
I’ve learned that you can’t go around expecting vegan versions of things to taste like whatever they’re imitating, but I have to say, none of these were even close to what they said they were. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them, but I did not feel like i had eaten pizza, taco and spinach dip at the end of my meal.
The “tacos” had lettuce instead of regular shells, but they also had crap tons of flavor and were probably my favorite thing. However, I should point out that I did appreciate the “love dehydrated to perfection” in the spinach delight.
One of my friend’s orders is pictured above and I think it was the following:
Mediterranean pasta 9
zucchini noodles with choice of marinara or pesto sauce and pine nut parmesan
I’m pretty sure she really, really, really wanted to heat it up in some fashion, but other than that, I think she liked it.
My other friend’s order is pictured above:
Ravioli á la Turka
Cashew ricotta cheese folded into a delicious beet pasta shell smothered in spicy marinara.
He raved about it like there was no tomorrow, but I’m not sure whether he really liked it or whether he was just trying to make feel better about the fact that I had dragged two of my friends to a raw vegan restaurant.
He and I also got dessert, which I really did think was AMAZING, and he at least said was AMAZING, but again I couldn’t be sure if he really liked it or if he was just trying to ease my concerns. Both where cheese-less cheese cakes. Mine chocolate and his chocolate banana.
I have no freaking clue how any of these dishes were made, but I have to say, if I lived within a 15 mile radius of this place, I could see myself eating there on a regular basis.
So, does anyone know of any other good Chicago vegan restaurants?
im a little worried im going to get in a car accident.
for those of you who don’t live in chi-town(land) let me explain how driving in this area works:
i start out my morning by darting across three lanes of traffic so i can get into the left turn lane.
and before you’re all, “what? why don’t you turn at the light, idiot?” THERE IS NO LIGHT! DON’T YOU THINK I ALREADY THOUGHT OF THAT!
basically, i say a prayer to God that all the traffic stops for me, and then i jolt out in front of oncoming cars and close my eyes.
then i block traffic for awhile in the middle lane while i wait for someone to let me into the turn lane.
i figure if i cause a big enough traffic jam, someone eventually will take pity on me.
then i hop into the lane with my loud-a$$ car that TOTALLY needs a new muffler and doesn’t really like accelerating that much and i try to turn left at the light that’s a block ahead.
i usually miss the turn arrow, but if im the first or second car in the row, it is just plain common courtesy for me to turn when the main light turns yellow and oncoming traffic starts to slow down. the people behind me would be seriously pissed if i was all “oh, that’s ok. the light is yellow. that means yield. i’ll just wait for the next arrow.”
i undoubtedly go through at least one red light every day.
im a little worried the cops are going to catch on.
but im a little more worried that they would pull me over if i DIDN’T go through the red light. (you think im kidding. im not)
im usually ok for the next hour or so on my way to work — the occasional sudden stops and tailgating don’t really bother me any more. it turns out my seat belt and my brakes work pretty well.
but then i have to turn into my office.
also no light there.
i again block traffic until someone lets me go into the parking lot.
the problem with this situation is that it usually requires me to pull back OUT of the parking lot at some point.
and unfortunately a light has yet to appear by the end of my shift yet.
sometimes, i fantasize about turning left out of the parking lot, but then i realize that’s like fantasizing about marrying johnny depp.
it’s just a dream that i can keep in my heart till i die.
instead i have to turn right and then go about a mile out of my way to turn around and go in the right direction.
this usually involves a sporadic u-turn at an intersection that is in no way designed for sporadic u-turns.
thankfully, nobody has hit me yet.
sometimes, i get so sick of driving that i decide to walk to the grocery store across the street from my job for lunch.
walking is suppossed to be better in every way, right?
the problem is, i have to cross a four-lane highway to get there.
so i have to jolt out across two lanes of traffic (without the protection of a metal framed-car) and run to the center yellow line.
the line is thinner than me, so i stop breathing while i stand in the middle of the road and wait for the cars coming the other direction in the other two lanes to stop.
then i dart to the grocery store parking lot.
the thing that sucks, is at this point, i have to walk back.
while holding food.
sometimes, the guys who own the nail salon next to my office watch me do this, and im pretty sure they have some sort of drinking game set up where if i die they all take a shot, because every time i live they seem a little disappointed.
i, on the other hand, am ecstatic, seeing as how living is usually the goal for me.
in conclusion: when i grow up, im totally getting a chauffeur. and im only going to walk on treadmills.