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Chicago Restaurant Review: Karyn’s Cooked

October 9, 2009

I just got back from a 4 day weekend in Chicago with my boyfriend, Jeff. We had an awesome time, and I have to say one of the highlights was just all the amazing food we got to have. Chicago seems to me to be much more vegan friendly. We did our research and sought out vegan-friendly restaurants ahead of time, but even in cases where we just needed to grab something quickly for lunch, we’d walk into a place and find that at least a couple of things could easily be made vegan. Not so in Minneapolis, sadly.

seitan fajitas - karyns

Seitan/tofu fajitas

Anyway, probably my favorite restaurant we went to was a place called Karyn’s Cooked Cafe. We went there twice and tried the following menu items:

  • Thai Skewers with Peanut Sauce (twice)
  • Green Enchilidas
  • Lentil Meatball Sandwich w/a side of Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Vegan Pizza
  • “Steak” (a tofu/seitan blend) fajitas
  • French fries
  • Fried tofu
  • Peanut butter cookie
  • Lemon Meringue Pie

Um, yes, that was all eaten by 2 people in 2 visits.  What can I say? We enjoyed the place!

We both agreed that the best thing we tried were the thai skewers with peanut sauce. I asked Jeff if he’d be embarrassed if I licked the peanut sauce off the plate. He said yes, so I refrained, but it took quite a bit of will power. WOW, those things were good.  I have no picture because we ate them as soon as they reached our table. Oops.

The vegan pizza was really good, as were the green enchiladas.  The meatball sandwich was decent, but could have used some more sauce – we both agreed on that.  And the fajitas were spicy and pretty tasty, but it was weird that they didn’t come with any toppings – no lettuce or tomato or soy cheese. Just the “steak” and veggies on corn tortillas.  I only ate one of these – probably my least favorite thing we tried.

Karyn's Lemon Meringue PieAnd then we have the desserts!  First of all, I used to be a HUGE lemon meringue pie fan. I haven’t had it since going vegan, and I’ve MISSED it. I didn’t actually realize this until I saw it on the menu, though, and then I thought “hey, I miss lemon meringue pie! Bring me some of that!”  This was a good decision because it was AWESOME.  I mean, the “meringue” was more of a whipped cream, but the lemon part was spot on. I ate the whole thing, so I’m not complaining at all – DELICIOUS.  Jeff had the peanut butter cookie and loved it. I tried it and it was not disappointed.

The service at Karyn’s was fantastic – both times our servers were polite, helpful, and prompt.  If I lived in Chicago, I’d definitely be a regular at this place. There are so many other things on the menu that I want to try!!It’s actually probably good I don’t live there.  I might be out of control.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2009 8:45 am

    I’ll take a slice of that pie! YUM! 🙂 Sounds like a great trip and restaurant!

  2. October 13, 2009 12:49 am

    That sounds (and looks!) so good!

  3. October 13, 2009 5:36 pm

    THAT PIE! I wish they had it when I went there. Sadly, I was disappointed by my meal.

  4. Mindy permalink*
    October 15, 2009 6:24 pm

    LAUREN & ANDRIA- It was!

    MELISSER – Aw, that sucks! Did you try the seitan skewers in peanut sauce? Because that peanut sauce was so damn good I think I’d eat cardboard if you doused it in that stuff!


  1. Chicago Restaurant Review: Karyn’s Cooked | Chicago Travel - Culture and Recreation

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