Friday, April 11, 2014

Dining Out in Chicago - Karyn's Cooked

Jerk Tofu Wrap - Karyn's Cooked in Chicago Veega Vegan
Jerk Tofu Wrap - Karyn's Cooked

I was in Chicago for a short time, but made every effort to find a couple vegan spots to try out. This one was a recommendation from a co-worker. I knew I would already be having dinner at another restaurant, but I was eager to try Karyn's Cooked and still made a visit after my "first" dinner. I somehow managed to make room for almost an entire second meal once I saw my options here (I do not endorse this type of gluttonous behavior! I admit it was too much food for one evening, vegan or not). The restaurant is casual with small tables for dining in with lots of pre-made packaged goods for sale like veggie chips, raw bars, juices, and even beauty and skincare items all part of Karyn's line of products. 

For my takeout meal, I went with the popular Jerk Tofu Wrap served with large potato wedges and coleslaw. The wrap contained spicy grilled tofu with a creamy garlic sauce, lettuce, and tomato, served on a tomato tortilla with jerk sauce on the side. It was definitely on the spicy side, but the sweet jerk sauce and creamy dressing helped cool it down a tad. You can see it was overflowing with fresh lettuce. I might order it again, but the large menu tempts me to try other entrees. 

Coleslaw served with Jerk Tofu Wrap
No room left for coleslaw!

Peanut Butter Cake
Karyn's Cooked 
Dessert was a very tough choice because I wanted to try everything and there was a huge selection! I even asked for a sample of the pastries because I knew they were about to close up and would likely throw them out anyways. I taste-tested the Cinnamon Roll and the Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish. I preferred the Cinnamon Roll, but it wasn't ooey and gooey like Chloe's Kitchen recipe, instead the dough was drier and more airy. The icing probably had a soy base to it, but it was sweet and delicious. I ordered the mouthwatering Peanut Butter Cake . It was heavy with dense, vanilla cake and a rich peanut butter frosting with chocolate drizzle along the sides. The slice was huge so I didn't finish it all. I would have this again, knowing it's better for sharing. What I enjoyed about the menu at Karyn's Cooked is that there are plenty of healthier options if you're in the mood for a clean, green, light meal, but when you want to indulge there is plenty to satisfy the junk food craving in a vegan way. 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish
Karyn's Cooked

Vegan Cinnamon Roll - Karyn's Cooked Chicago Vegan
Cinnamon Roll
Karyn's Cooked
Vegan Cakes - Chicago - Veega Blog

After learning more about the owner of this delicious eatery I am even more impressed. Karyn is 66 years old and beautiful - she looks like she is in her early 40's! She credits this to changing her diet and lifestyle; after being vegetarian for 12 years, she switched to a raw diet. Her other restaurants include a raw cafĂ©, a fine dining restaurant similar to Pure Food & Wine here in New York City. I can't wait to go back and hopefully meet the master behind these tasty treats!

Way too much food for any one person to eat!

Karyn's Cooked
738 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Storefront - Karyn's Cooked - Vegan-Friendly

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