Another Little Pick Me Up

November 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

If you recall, I wrote a review a while back about a little place that serves great warm beverages and fantastic food.  I got breakfast the first time I was there and ventured out on Saturday because I needed a cozy spot with no distracting wi-fi to do some writing, plus I was hungry and I haven’t been grocery shopping…since around the time I got back from Mexico (yeah, I know).  I wound up spending almost three hours in the place and besides being just a little jazzed on all the caffeine, I left knowing there was no way in hell I would’ve been able to make such a delicious meal, even if I did have food in my apartment.

Let me preface this by saying I love sandwiches.  As in, I adore them and want to have ten thousand of

I considered wrapping up leftovers to take home and place in a shrine, but I'd be lying if I said there was anything left

their babies.  I will inhale just about any vegetarian concoction put between two pieces of bread and even though I don’t incorporate lunch meats into my meals, I never feel cheated.  Peanut butter and jelly is good and bread loaded with hummus, spinach and other vegetable delights is better but I’m honestly happy with just plain cheese.  You can even ask my mom, because that’s what I ate for the first few years of my vegetarianism (this was back when my family assumed I was just going through a phase, like when I always thought I was getting left in a grocery store and would page my parents over the intercom…which I’m sure was annoying for my parents as well).  Okay the point is – I love me a sandwich.

So imagine how thrilled I was when I saw a BBQ Seitan Sandwich on the menu at the Pick Me Up Cafe (for those of you not in the know, seitan is wheat gluten…or wheat meat, if you will).  It came loaded with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, goat cheese, some sort of mayo sauce and lots of barbecue sauce.  Since I’m limited on the veggie-friendly meals I can order out that include that wonderful sauce made from vinegar, molasses and mustard, I took the opportunity to enjoy it while I could, and enjoy it I did.

Which might have had a little something to do with the mashed potatoes as well.  Gravy on mashed potatoes is something else I can’t order in the real world very often, as most of the restaurant gravy I’ve encountered is based in some sort of animal stock.  In another reason why I love places that really cater to us herbivores, Pick Me Up had a mushroom gravy that was a perfect complement to both the potatoes and the main course.

Tangent time: when I was in high school, I befriended a lunch lady who would make a plain white gravy for me almost every day, because she knew how much I loved our school mashed potatoes (they were legendary).  The lady in question stood by my side when I created a petition to get the cafeteria to sell vegetarian chicken patties and other meat alternatives and she even helped me pick some out when my petition went through.  Her name was Mrs. Bickwermert, she had cute hair and she made my high school years  better.

Tangent time over.  The meal I had was amazing and I was able to knock out my assignments with a full and satisfied stomach.  It was exactly what I needed – a little pick me up on a work filled weekend!

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A Little Pick Me Up

September 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Time for another restaurant review!

I went to the Pick Me Up Cafe in Lakeview for brunch yesterday.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I freaking love breakfast food, and I love love love that Chicago allows its residents to find it almost anytime, anywhere.

Just what I needed after a night drinking at GermanFest!

This quirky place is located not too far from Wrigley Field.  I met up with a new friend there and, as I waited, had ample time to peruse the menu.  I am appalled and ashamed that I’d never been there before, as it’s chock full of vegetarian friendly options.  For some reason I was only expecting a breakfast menu but apparently they serve everything from omelettes to sandwiches to pizza, all day long.  Most of this can be made vegan as well but since I have an everlasting love for all things cheesy, I pretended not to see the vegan stuff.

Fun, no?

I ordered a breakfast burrito, which had red and green peppers, onions, tofu, eggs, cheese and avocado all rolled up in a tortilla.  It was served with sour cream and some other sauce that I couldn’t quite place but devoured anyway.  There was also a side of home fries, which were little potato cubes covered with a spice that gave off a bit of a kick.  My food was delicious and the gal I was with ate the hell out of her pancakes, so I think they were pretty good too.

I’m going to have to go back, if for no other reason than to try their BBQ seitan sandwich.  Seitan is basically wheat gluten, and I promise it’s better than it sounds.  As a vegetarian, I miss eating things covered with barbecue sauce.  Sure, I can put it on my veggie chicken patties or my homemade pizzas (and trust me, I do) and I even make “sloppy joe’s” with a mix from the grocery, but nothing beats a pseudo-meat like product slathered with the sauce and on a big ‘ol bun.  Well, for me at least.  I almost had it yesterday instead of the burrito but my slightly-hungover self thought better of it.  Next time for sure.

Pick Me Up Cafe also has quite an assortment of beverages, from typical coffee-house fare like lattes and cappuccinos to milkshakes and other awesome looking desserts.  The cheesecake was especially appealing but I refrained, mostly because I was too full after my meal to even think about ingesting anything else.  I managed to walk my way home, barely.

I love that Chicago has so many restaurants that I’ve yet to experience, although it makes it a little more difficult to go try someplace new when I’ve already found so many spots I really enjoy.  I’ll continue to try brunch and food in general all over the city but plan on getting a Pick Me Up quite often in the future.

And on an unrelated note…in two days I’ll be eating and drinking on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta!

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