Now don’t let the title of this article make you curl up in a ball and revolt against tofu. I heard about the Chicago Diner from some of my crazy runner friends and I drove past it yesterday on the way to Joanna’s houses (my Polish friend who always finds herself in the midst of some kind of sh**t-storm, only to drink vodka and laugh her way out of it). I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands, but I decided to park with my hazards on and run in to check out. I knew I was in for a treat when I saw two boisterous, African American gay men sitting on the front stairs eating two pieces of cake. “Oh hey girl!!!” one of them bellowed at me loudly. I smiled and walked in. Inside I was greeted with vintage ads and neon lights, what I understood to be the atmosphere that owners Mickey Hornick and partner “Chef Jo” Kaucher were going for. They were quoted as saying they wanted to make the restaurant as “American as mini malls” Instead of French fries, they serve home fries. They offer vegan milkshakes and “not dogs” for kids. Most importantly…they have dessert.
When I walked up to the busy counter, I looked behind the glassful of cakes and promptly took the suggestion of the woman in front of me to try a piece of their carrot cake. I waited about 5 minutes, grabbed my piece, and walked out. The gay guys were still sitting on the stairs, and as I walked down they hooted and hollered for me to have a good night. I gave an exaggerated wave, smiled and said “bye boo.” The larger of the two laughed heartily and said “Ooh, I like this one. When I got in my car, I realized I had minutes to spare before I was to meet the Polish Party Girl. I opened the container and dug in. I was absolutely shocked at what the first bite brought..so I piled more into my mouth. I sat in my car and devoured that monstrous piece of carrot cake in less than 10 minutes, and it was by far the best carrot cake I have had in my life. This had to be a trick. Where was the butter, egg whites, and cream cheese No sir. This was vegan cream cheese frosting that was richer than any regular frosting I’ve ever tasted. These were all natural ingredients and cane sugar. And this was delicious. After I sat back and realized I was a closet eater (who eats cake in their car???), I also realized that if this was vegan…there might be a whole new world out there for me to try. Just not any non leather handbags. I will have to try dinner or lunch there sometime, but job well done Chicago Diner!! As a bacon and meat lover, you might be able to switch me over to the vegan world.. We will see, more to come as my adventures continue at the Chicago Diner..
The Chicago Diner
3411 N. Halsted Chicago, IL