Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Breakfast At The Diner...

Sorry for the absence but I’ve been working a lot and in my spare time I’ve been testing recipes for two different - upcoming - vegan cook books. There hasn’t been a whole lot of time in between for me to make anything creative at home, at least not anything creative that I can call my own. This will probably go on for the next couple of weeks and so in the meantime I probably won’t be posting many - or any - recipes of my own, though I plan to still post regularly, about something.

Today I wanted to talk about The Chicago Diner . I’ve talked about them before, and they’re fantastic! Really, if you live in the Chicagoland area and haven’t been you’re missing out, and if you’re headed this way either passing through or planning a stay then you need to get thee to the Diner tout de suite!  Still in all my years of visiting The Chicago Diner I had never been there for breakfast - until about a week and a half ago.

You see, I’ve started a new job and the hours are overnight - which may sound strange to you but I love it. - So instead of getting out of work at 5pm, or 10pm or some normal hour I end up leaving work at about 8 or 9am, and I don’t know about you but after a nice long shift I need me some breakfast? As it happens on one of those days last week my husband was off, and so we’d decided to go see a film at one of our favorite cinema’s in the city. - They always play the weird films, foreign films, and independent films - and since the theater is only a couple of blocks from the Diner we thought “Hey, lets get breakfast!” Best idea ever!

I fell asleep in the car on the drive which was great - nothing like a cat nap! - and by the time I woke up again we were parked out front and waiting for 11am - we were about ten minutes early. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, applied a little lipstick, and yawned. By then my stomach was growling and the doors to the Diner were open for business. My husband who is often a voracious morning eater was just as hungry as me and so we slid into a booth and proceeded to go completely insane.

We each started with a cup of coffee, with soy milk and a bit of raw sugar. I actually ordered this coffee by accident I still had ‘sleep brain’ and unknowingly said yes to coffee. Oh well, it was tasty, fair trade, and came in this cute little Diner mug. Since I hadn’t really been in the mood for coffee I didn’t drink it all, but my husband polished it off after his own cup.

Cinnamon Bun 

Next we each got a cinnamon bun because HELLO VEGAN CINNAMON BUN! Enough said. This was super delicious, and moist, and the cream cheese frosting was to die for. Cinnamon buns are something that I’ve always loved, when I was a little girl my dad used to make them himself. When I grew up and moved to the states I often traveled to the evil Cinnabon - but as a vegan it’s a lot harder to just go into a place and order a cinnamon bun. Normally when I get in the mood for it I make them myself but it’s a great novelty to be able to order them somewhere, especially when they’re so damned delicious!

Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Shake

I also ordered a milkshake to go with that. Yeah, I know a milkshake for breakfast isn’t exactly healthy but I was at THE DINER, and if you’ve ever been to the diner then you know that they serve up the best godsdamned vegan milkshakes in the world! I never go to the diner without ordering one. Normally I get the Lucky Leprechaun Mint shake but this time I thought I’d branch out and choose something different - Cookie Dough Peanut Butter. Oh my gods! This was amazing, I mean really and truly amazing. It tasted like Reese’s Pieces - which I used to love as a kid. It was so creamy, and flavorful, and delicious - and so utterly decadent!

Biscuits and Gravy 

Next up my husband and I split a plate of biscuits and gravy. I was having a really difficult time deciding what I wanted to get to eat, I really wanted the biscuits but I also really wanted something ‘eggy.’ I thought getting both would be too much food, so it was a good idea to split the plate. My husband will never turn down a biscuit and some gravy. I really loved the gravy that these biscuit’s came with it was creamy, rich, and herby. The biscuits were a bit hard to taste because they were absolutely drenched in gravy but that’s perfectly okay. Biscuits don’t normally taste like all that much anyway, they’re really just a vehicle for gravy. I’m not sure I’d say that this is my fave biscuits and gravy recipe but I would definitely get this again - and again, and again!

"STK" & Eggs

For my main meal I ended up getting the “STK” & Eggs. Which is a giant slab of country-fried seitan ‘steak’ that comes with 2 eggs if you’re vegetarian, or tofu scramble if you’re vegan, a potato hash and some fruit garnish. This was pretty damn phenomenal let me tell you. The potato hash was excellent, if my belly would have allowed it I would have eaten platefuls of the stuff. The Tofu Scramble was really well seasoned though a bit dry. I like a moister scramble, and I like a lot of funky ingredients in my scrambles but this one was fairly reminiscent of what I remember eggs to be like. Finally the country fried seitan. Well, I have to say I’ve only eaten chicken fried steak once in my life - it was after I moved to IL and I have to say it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Seriously, the menu made it sound so good, and since it’s such an “American Staple” I thought I’d have to try it, but I took two bites and couldn’t eat any more then that for fear I might vomit. I tried to offer it to my husband but he never liked chicken fried steak either and so I ate around it and never dared try the dish again. My memory of that morning is actually so horrible, and so infused in my brain that despite having plenty of recipes for country fried seitan or country fried tofu I’ve never, ever tried to make a vegan version. So, I don’t know what possessed me that morning to order the country fried seitan at the Diner but I’m so glad I did. It was easily one of the best breakfast foods I’ve ever eaten. It was moist, it was crispy, it was chewy, it tasted out of this world dipped in gravy. If I’d had more room in my stomach I would have ordered another plate of just country fried seitan - no lie.

It just goes to show you that anything you can do I can vegan better. Ha.

The Big Bang Breakfast 

My husband got the Big Bang Breakfast for his meal which is 2 eggs if you’re vegetarian or tofu scram if you’re vegan, along with potato hash, fruit garnish, and either seitan bacon or a vegan sausage patty, with some toast. Lucky for my husband someone in the kitchen made a mistake and he ended up getting both the seitan bacon and the sausage patty. I was way too full from my own epic breakfast to even ask for a bite of his food, but I assure you he thought it was all pretty tasty, and if you like you can read his review at The Broke Vegan  - he just started blogging himself so go over and show your love and support!


PS: Breakfast is served at The Chicago Diner from 11am-3pm.


  1. Looks YUMMY! Almost wants me getting on a plane to Chicago!! S.T>

  2. Thanks for the pimping of my blog! I appreciate it. =)
    & this was a FANTASTIC idea! I'm so glad we went for breakfast. You really can't turn down the shakes b/c they are some of the best I've ever had. It doesn't matter what time of day - just order one! haha
    Can't wait for our next trip to the theaters so we can stop by & have another meal. hah