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Drive-Thru
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Restaurant Sat Apr 21 2007

Veggie Bite: Vegan Fast Food

Veggie Bite. Veggie Gyros- Fake Cheese Fries- Fake Buffalo on Rye.jpg
Veggie Gyros, Fake Cheese Fries, Fake Buffalo on Rye

Usually, I like to advocate for bicycling or CTAing there. But this time, my pal Erin took me on a South Side drive from Wicker Park. Veggie Bite at 3031 West 111th Street near Kedzie was our destination. Vegans like this spot for greasy vegan versions of classic fast food; it's all vegan. "Buffalo on Rye" reminds me of a fish sandwich. It's battered and fried tofu - one side generously given thousand-island-style sauce and the other a tangy ketchup (like French dressing as Erin pointed out). Gyros come filled with a messy combination of white-colored, greasy seitan, lettuce, tomato chunks and a cheesy sauce. The cheese fries have the same sauce. Its pungent taste comes from nutritional yeast, which adds a bit of chalkiness - and lets some people claim it tastes like cheese. This implementation is thick, suggestive of tahini, and tasting of hints of paprika. But it's not stringy or gooey. It tastes good - just don't expect cheese. Nutritional yeast fake cheeses often take a thick liquid form that thickens as they cool. But they're about to cheese what carob is to chocolate: not the same but something I've told myself is good enough (instead of cheese, but not chocolate). Veggie Bite's German chocolate cake was tender and moist, but not rich; and the frosting was more fluff than flavor. Some people can't seem to wait for Veggie Bite's anticipated North Side location to open. I'm excited for them. If the person I overheard working there is to be any indication, they seem quite moved to make food that's respectful of our animal friends. I think that helps us be a little more compassionate. And that's good for everyone.

Veggie Bite. Fake Cheese Fries.jpg
Fake Cheese Fries

Veggie Bite. Fake Gyros.jpg

Fake Gyros

Veggie Bite. Fake Buffalo on Rye.jpg
Fake Buffalo on Rye

Veggie Bite Menu Board.jpg

Veggie Bite Bakery Case.jpg

 
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Ed / April 21, 2007 7:27 PM

Is that mustard or fakey vegan cheese on the gyro?

Either way, ew.

Ed / April 21, 2007 7:28 PM

Nevermind. "cheese sauce".

Gah.

I hope these guys succeed, but I'll sure as hell never order their gyro :)

Mona / April 21, 2007 10:26 PM

Holy cow. That stuff looks so good! It makes me want to fly to Chicago just for a sandwich. The tofu buffalo one. And the yeasty cheese fries. ;-)

Katie / May 4, 2007 12:34 AM

Veggie Bite is definately the best vegan restaurant I have ever eaten at. I have tried 90% of the menu so far and I have been impressed with everything. I am definately a Veggie Bite addict. If you haven't been you are missing out. Of course vegan cheese will never taste like dairy cheese but, this stuff tastes amazing. And let me point out cruelty free cheese.

C.J. / December 24, 2007 8:33 PM

Just tried this place for the first time.
It is really good.
The fajita wrap is awesome and can't wait to try the rest of the menu. Cheese fries are tasty too.
Please expand to the far south burbs and northern Indiana.
Thanks!

Selange / January 9, 2008 3:38 PM

I have had the pleasure of eating there a few times and I live in the far western suburbs of Chicago, so believe me its an hour trip for me to partake in these delights. As a person who has high hopes of opening a vegan restaurant in St Charles Il Ive looked toward Veggie bite as the way to go. So make the journey its well worth it. There aren't too many vegetarian and vegan restaurants that offer fast food.

Evelyn S. Oliver / May 14, 2010 9:55 AM

Please come to Bed Stuy Brooklyn!! I would love one :)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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