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Friday, September 30

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« Facing the Smoothie Kendall College Experience Earns High Marks »

Event Mon Aug 24 2009

Eating and Pedaling: a Winning Combo

Gingko Organic GardensLast Saturday I participated in the Active Transportation Alliance and Neighbor Space's Veggie Bike and Dine, an all-day ride that took me and 50 other riders through a heap of northside neighborhoods starting from Rogers Park and ending in Old Town and studded with food stops from a range of restaurants and visits to a few community gardens. Along the way I gathered some new restaurant recommendations.

Power orbs from Lakeside CafeI eat meat. But I plan to visit Lakeside Cafe, an all-veg Rogers Park restaurant who provided the first samplings of the day with an absolutely phenomenal ginger brew, which had an agave- and lemon-sweetened tinge to it that provided just enough sugar and flavor to completely forget that it wasn't plain old lemonade. We also ate Lakeside's power orbs, which resembled a raw granola bar. Delish.

Gingko Organic GardensWe then pedaled south, through the many lovely streets of Edgewater and Rogers Park, and landed at Ras Dashen, which serves great Ethiopian fare. We ate injera-covered concoctions of lentils and vegetables, along with a generously large glass of water (it was starting to get hot). This place is also on my visit again list. Very good, and just enough to fortify us for a long ride through Andersonville, where we then landed at Gingko Organic Gardens. If you're a gardener looking for a new volunteer opportunity, visit this place: Gingko is a community-run garden space that grows organic produce that is distributed to low-income people living with HIV. Truly remarkable work. While there, we snacked on falafel and pita from Taste of Lebanon.

Chicago DinerThe ride became a little harder from this point, as the morning had become afternoon and cars were clogging up the street. We made it Roscoe and Halsted, where we ate lunches of veggie wraps, pasta salad and chocolate cookies and brownies from Chicago Diner in a beautifully landscaped open space that was primarily funded by patron donations from Roscoe's, whose building is in front of the garden.

Trotters to GoAt this point, I couldn't eat any more and wanted to go home to watch old episodes of Greek. But the pack moved along, landing at Trotter's to Go, who threw a bevy of great-tasting food at us: a spicy maki, a caprese salad-esqe hors d'oeuvre topped with truffle oil (which makes anything from cardboard to ammonia taste good). Although I hate the dirt taste that I believe mushrooms have, I happily slurped a creamy mushroom soup served in a shot glass. Very good dirt. Trotters also plied us with a tasty Fuji apple and avocado bruschetta, carrot cake cupcakes, and a fruit crumble (which produced one of the few "meh" food moments of the day), along with a few other tasty treats.

Trotters to Go I just couldn't eat any more. I didn't know if I could even ride my bike any more judging from the food I had eaten. But we soldered on to the finish line at Old Town Triangle Park at Clark and Wisconsin, where Cassie Green of the Green Grocer was waiting with vegan marshmallow rice krispie treats and lemonade. I stumbled home in a food coma, not knowing if I would ever want to eat again. But at least I had the exercise saved up in the bank.

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Marcus Simmons / August 29, 2009 7:40 PM

that sounds really cool

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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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