Midwest Vegan, Day 5

Midwest Vegan, Day 5

With this midwest jaunt winding down, it was time to head back to Chicago so check out some of their great vegan options before time runs thin. We returned to Chicago by way of Madison, Wisconsin, hitting two spots we missed on the way out west. First, Bloom Bake Shop in Middleton, WI.DSC_0017

It is now evident to me that a “vegan option” in a midwest bakery means many vegan options, not just one selection. In Bloom there is a whole section devoted to vegan goodies, most if not all that were gluten-free.  DSC_0006

Including pretty cake donuts. I really wanted to try these but they turned out to be opportunity costs. So I took a picture, eating them with my camera.DSC_0008

My selection (in the foreground) the “Be Classic,” a traditional blonde on blonde that presented so delicate and lovely I just had to try it, and the “Cookie Wookie,” a take on a whoopie pie with two gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. In the background, CP‘s boysenberry cupcake and blondie. Beautiful and delicious.  IMG_9271

What is also lovely is this little sign from Madison Vegan, which helps vegans find options in the cute city. There aren’t many options in Madison (I think) considering it’s a big university town with sustainability values. C’mon Madison! DSC_0004

Another vegan option in Madison is Green Owl, a cute space covered in vintage owl bric-brac. The spot is mostly veagn, save for some clearly marked items on the menu. That’s right the non-vegan options get the labelling. Heh.DSC_0024

The restaurant was a bit empty, as was most of the places we hit on our trip. Or maybe that’s just how it is when you live in a city of less than 8 million. You don’t need to rub elbows with anybody. I like it a lot. DSC_0019

I got the Vegan Schnitzel because I liked the idea of eating a traditional German meal in Wisconsin. But I was a bit disappointed they used a frozen texturized soy protein patty. It’s hard for me to eat these but I do on occasion.  And I can’t help but think of it in it’s frozen form. CP and I both left with entree regret. DSC_0020

When we finally arrived in our weird boutique hotel in the northern suburbs of Chicago, we did not want to treck back downtown in the terrible rush hour/construction traffic. So we explored an offering in the upper crust Highland Park. We had to hit Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan’s teahouse that offered vegan sandwiches, Madame Zuzu’s Teashop.DSC_0026

There was a self-love support group meeting in the space, which really dominated the entire interior. Which was a bit odd. But we ordered over the commanding voice of the woman leading the discussion. We ordered a sweet sandwich and a savory sandwich and split them. The sweet, a banana chocolate hazelnut spread. The savory, their daily special, arugula and hummus. Both sandwiches were very simple and basic–not very exciting–though their twitter had announced they were utilizing a vegan cheese spread we had not heard of, Nary Dairy, but our server didn’t know anything about it. The stop was a bit of a novelty. Having grown up in the 90’s, we had Smashing Pumpkins nostalgia.DSC_0030

Next, we decided we had to see downtown and, despite some major event related to Taste of Chicago, we headed to Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate, the selfie capital of the city, to see the city and take some pictures.DSC_0033

Our selfie skills were nothing compared to the millenials who crowded the structure and had all sorts of strategies of capturing themselves with their phone… it was disturbing and fascinating at the same time. DSC_0043