By: Sammy Harris
Hello again! I cannot believe that it has already been a month since I wrote my first Foodie Feature– this year is going by CRAZY fast! Last time, I wrote about my foodie endeavors throughout Ohio, but now it is time to give my hometown and prominent food capital, Chicago, a debut on here! I went home for fall break, so it is only fitting to tell you about the restaurants I tried for the first time, as well as my favorites that I had to return to over the weekend!
Below is a clear demonstration of my taste palette adventure at Beatnik in the West Town of Downtown Chicago. Beatnik’s unique name and atmosphere draws inspiration from the globetrotting Beat Generation of the 1950s and ’60s and the bohemian hipsters who have since followed in their path. These are a couple of the tapas type of plates that my parents and I shared: Falafel, Bone Marrow & Miso Scallops and Potatoes 3 Ways. All of these dishes had a harmonious dynamic of flavors and ingredients from Asia, Mexico, the Middle East and South America. I definitely recommend coming here if you love trying new, unique dishes.
Next up is my all-time favorite meal: breakfast! The possibilities are endless, from savory skillets to sweet yogurt parfaits; sometimes, even leftover pizza does the job! My family & I were staying in Wicker Park for our Friday night. If you have not been to Wicker Park before, you NEED to visit. I think its a hidden gem: similar to Lincoln Park, but less crowded & more reflective of an authentic, neighborhood vibe. This is where we found Milk & Honey Cafe! I chose the classic Avocado Toast (with pickled onion, poached eggs, roasted cherry tomatoes topped with smoked paprika aioli), next to my mom’s Huevos Rancheros and my dad’s BLT. I also had to order the seasonal pumpkin spice latte– it was off the charts!
What’s super cool about this adorable breakfast and lunch spot is that it is owned by Carol Watson. When she opened M&H cafe, she immediately created her own granola recipe, using only fresh, all-natural ingredients that aligned with her mantra, “Made from scratch, not mass produced.” It’s a pretty cool mantra if you ask me! Their non-GMO verified Milk & Honey Granola, with five flavors, can be found on shelves across the country, including in my dorm!
How could I have been minutes away from my all-time favorite restaurant throughout all of Chicago, and not grab a bite?! Well, clearly I couldn’t, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I ate at True Food Kitchen in West Town during Fall Break.
True Food Kitchen has a ton of locations throughout the country, but each one has a unique menu that changes seasonally. Their story embodies exactly why I started this healthy lifestyle senior year of high school. As a matter of fact, I think it was here that I began to think “Wow- healthy food can actually be so yummy and not just the steamed broccoli my mom makes me eat every night.” Here is a little bit about their story: “A restaurant inspired by the philosophy that food should make you feel better, not worse. Together, we’re a passionate collective of accomplished chefs, visionary restaurateurs and a renowned doctor of integrative medicine, who believe delicious dining and conscious nutrition can go hand in hand, without sacrificing flavor, creativity or indulgence.”
For dinner that evening, we started off with Kale Aid (kale, ginger, lemon, apple, celery, cucumber), followed by Charred Cauliflower and a Corn & Tomato Flatbread for apps. Then, I got the Korean Noodle Bowl with sweet potato glass noodle, pickled shiitake, organic spinach, heirloom carrots, bean sprout, toasted sesame & shrimp! My mom and dad got the Good Earth Kale Cobb & Grass-fed Steak Tacos. I finished it all off with Adaptogenic Tulsi Tea to detoxify & reset!
Again, please feel free to reach out to me (via my Instagram) and/or GreenHawks Media with any suggestions, requests, questions, etc … I cannot wait to keep sharing my love for whole, organic, mostly plant-based foods that make us feel good while helping out the environment A LOT!
All photos courtesy of Sammy Harris