Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Restaurant Review: Blind Faith Café in Evanston...
Last night my husband took me out for a celebratory dinner. We were celebrating me passing my anatomy and physiology class with a 96.7%. I had been hoping to pass with 100% but as my husband says "An A is an A." which of course is right. He told me to celebrate he’d take me out for dinner to any restaurant I wanted to go. I thought long and hard about it. There are so many vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Chicago I haven’t tried yet that I found it very difficult to narrow down. I wanted our dinner to be wonderful and special and so again after a lot more thought I decided to go with an old favorite rather then somewhere new. It was without a doubt the right decision!
If you live in the Chicagoland area and you’ve never been to Blind Faith Café in Evanston, it is a must! The food is out of this world, the service is quick and friendly and the atmosphere is hip, yet relaxing. They’re also a certified green restaurant, with a changing seasonally inspired menu, which is pretty cool. Of course some staple dishes remain year-round but others change frequently. Though they’ve made it their mission to change the way people think about vegetarian food - with beautiful, creative, and innovative dishes - it was only about two years ago that my husband and I discovered Blind Faith. I don’t remember how we found it, or exactly when but I think it was sometime shortly after I’d gone vegetarian and my husband was still omni. They are - it should be noted - a vegetarian restaurant however they do have many vegan dishes, and others can simply be made so by leaving off the cheese, sour cream and so on. All but two of their desserts are vegan, they have delicious sorbet instead of ice cream or vegan ice cream, and they even have some gluten-free options - including dessert - for those intolerant to wheat.
In the many times we’ve been to Blind Faith we’ve had the pleasure to sample a lot of their offerings, some of them more then once. However not all of those items sill remain on the menu the ones that do are as follows.
For appetizers the Pot stickers with orange dipping sauce, and the roasted vegetable humus are both fabulous. I highly recommend both. In the past we’ve also enjoyed other delicious appetizers - not currently on the menu - such as mushroom tamale, sweet and sour squash (which was to die for), an olive cheese plate - of which I ate the olives and friends of ours at the cheese - and a few others that I can no longer remember.
For lighter meals I recommend the Santa Fe Salad - minus the cheese - which was really delicious or the Bowl of Chili - minus the sour cream - which comes in a much larger bowl then I was expecting, and is mouth watering. The beans are cooked perfectly and have a wonderful texture, not mushy with a bit of chew to them. Perfectly spiced and mild enough for most people to handle I think.
For the main course their Barbeque Seitan Sandwich seems to be the universal favorite. My husband adores it, and some of my friends live for it. It is an incredible sandwich, that comes with a tangy coleslaw and a good smothering of sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. Seriously do not order this sandwich if you’re on a date or trying to impress someone because it’s sloppy, and drippy and you’re bound to get food all over your face. There is no delicate way to eat this sandwich but it’s so good you hardly care. The seitan has a wonderful texture and flavor, it doesn’t taste like seitan at all, and for some reason reminds me of the European sausages my Oma cooked when I was younger. I highly recommend you try it. It comes with a choice of side, either a salad or sweet potato fries and I say forget trying to be healthy get the fries because they’re divine and really round out the meal.
I’ve also had their Thai Peanut Noodles which were good but when it comes to Pad Thai I’m very fussy. There is one place I go that makes Pad Thai exactly the way I think it should be made, it is to die for, and no other restaurant I’ve eaten at, Thai or otherwise has ever come close to matching that greatness. Their Mongolian Stir-fry however is absolutely out of this world. The sauce is just incredible and again the seitan is fantastic. My husband has also had the Seitan Marsala which he really liked, but I didn’t try since I was already stuffed with my own meal. Of course there are other things we’ve tried in the past that were excellent that no longer appear on the menu.
Lastly for the dessert I can’t recommend the Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sorbet highly enough. Beware though, it is a massive slice of cake so save room! The flavors of this cake mix together so well especially with the light fruity flavor or raspberry. The regular chocolate cake is also very good if you like plain chocolate cake and the cappuccino brownie is absolutely delicious! They also make a wicked soy chai latte if you’re looking for a little after dinner drink.
So if you live in Chicagoland or plan to visit Chicagoland make sure to put the Blind Faith Café on your list of must-try restaurants, I promise you won’t be sorry! I only wish I’d remembered to bring my camera inside last night to take pictures of the food, but sadly I forgot it in the car. C’est la vie, there’s always next time right?
The Blind Faith Café - 525 Dempster Street, Evanston, IL.