Making a plant-based dining experience memorable can be tough, especially since marijuana affects the…uh…oh man, what does it do again? For veggie-based vittles you don't need recreational plants to enjoy, check out Native Foods Cafe.
A brightly appointed Cali chain that's been Chicago-fied with local artwork and reclaimed wood from a century-old Chi residence, NFC is the brainchild of a surprisingly-well-revered-even-by-meat-eaters chef whose childhood bond with her cat prompted a lifelong aversion to eating animals, so she totally pussed out. The menu sounds meaty, featuring seitan-fueled sammies from a "meatball" sub topped w/ caramelized onions, roasted sweet peppers, and pumpkin seed pesto, to the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger (w/ BBQ and ranch), to the Chicago Dip Au Jus, a nod to the Italian Beef sandwich with their "giardiniera extraordinaire" atop thin-sliced seitan that's been peppered, which also happens in Miroslav's nightmare when he becomes a goalie. The menu rounds out with familiar-sounding pub grub (chili cheese fries, buffalo wings), variously filled "Earth Bowls" with themes like Greek Gyro and Rockin' Moroccan, and wheat-crusted pizzas like the creamy pesto'd, balsamic-drizzled Very Voluptuous Veggie, surprising given its lack of melons.
Beverage-wise there's a small but mighty selection of organic vinos and local craft brews from the likes of Two Brothers, Metropolitan, and Bell's, which nothing rings anymore because of all that…that…wait, what was it again?