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Vegan + Wheat Free Restaurants in NW 'burbs w/25 Mile Radius

Greetings, Chowhounders. I'm in quite a pickle, in that we've got some guests coming into town for Thanksgiving that have pretty special dietary needs: not only are they vegan, but they don't eat wheat, the food can't be spicy, and one of them doesn't eat any of the nightshade family veggies. We're in the NW 'burbs, and can hit any of the NW/Northern, Western burbs and will likely be in the city for at least one of the days after Thanksgiving. The other issue is that my BF doesn't eat any veggies AT ALL. He's very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I'm aware of Happy Buddah in Barrington, Chowpatie in Arlington Heights, Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston, and Native Foods Cafe in the city. I'm thinking that no matter what I recommend, someone is going to go hungry and require a second food stop.

Aside from insisting that we cook all our meals at home, does anyone have any suggestions? And in case this isn't fun enough, one of the nights we have to include my mother, who is 85, very set in her ways and opinionated, and just really intolerant. I can't wait for that evening. I think we're going to Big Bowl for that meal.

Anyways, sympathies appreciated! And any advice, too. Thanks!

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Blind Faith Cafe
525 Dempster, Evanston, IL 60201

Big Bowl
60 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611

Nov 17, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Chicago Area

Corned Beef Test Results.....Slow Baked and a Braise, For St. Paddy's Day.

Picked up 2 Vienna Beef brand flat cut briskets in the Chicago NW 'burbs last weekend and they were about $10.50 each, both were roughly 2.4-2.5 lbs. Not the cheapest but worth it for sure. Last year did a CB from Wegman's (at our VA house) and there was a noticeable difference...the Vienna Beef brand was fantastic. Granted, I added spices and boiled/simmered 2+ hrs on the stove and braised 3+ hrs in the oven at 275.

Mar 20, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Home Cooking

Corned Beef Test Results.....Slow Baked and a Braise, For St. Paddy's Day.

I'm a fan of the boil then braise method myself, though I don't add any kind of glaze (though I have had it, and it's good!). I boil and skim, then into the oven for about 4 hrs in total. The veg goes in at T-40 (carrots, potatoes) and cabbage in at T-20. I put the onions in at the beginning. And if I'm feeling particularly adventurous, I'll even take the lid off so the top can get a little crust. Depends where I'm cooking and how stressed I am. Happy cooking!

Mar 16, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Home Cooking

uhockey reviews Day 3 Las Vegas: Morel's French Steakhouse, Todd English P.U.B., L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Joel Robuchon

Just tried to snag the "desserts only" option at Robuchon for our trip in April, also got the "we don't do just desserts". Will try again. Any other thoughts for making inroads on this? If this is a no-go, suggestions for desserts/drinks around 9:30/10pm??? Our friends are going to a show, so it'll end up being sorta late.

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

LOTUS OF SIAM - MENU SUGGESTIONS

Thanks for posting this!! We'll be hitting LOS on the 4th. And I will be printing off your list and bringing them with me. Spice level 9, I cannot even imagine that. Bet the BF will give that a go.

I take it they get super busy, reservations definitely a must, right? Thanks!

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

UPDATE: M&S is averted, thanks to our later arrival on Sunday. Unfortunately Robuchon is off the table too as a group ($$$) but that will be our Sunday dinner. Lotus of Siam Monday night, and Tuesday looking to be an early, small-plates type of option (jaleo) or Bouchon, with dessert after their show.

Robuchon for dessert? Le Cirque? Any other suggestions for a good dessert option? 10pm ish. Not to be too touristy, but Serendipity III could be an option but I will have been at the one in NYC on March 30th with friends from the UK. But that certainly doesn't rule it out. :)

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Bouchon
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Le Cirque
Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

We'll have Lou's when we get in Saturday night, though Gino's is my favorite (we're a divided household). Skip Morton's, you can have that in many other places. Hit Chicago Chop House or Gibsons. Personally the Long-bone Tomahawk Ribeye at CCH was the best steak of my life. But seriously...so many great, great, great restaurants in Chicago. And we love our Chicago dogs!! :) No ketchup.

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

For sure! It's all ironic, actually....we're heading back to Chicago for a week and will end up taking my mom out for dinner to M&S on Sunday....4:30 seating. She's in an assisted living facility so going out is a big treat for her. And it's perfectly good enough, we'll have a decent meal. But I will let you know how our Vegas dining turns out! It's still a few weeks away. Happy eating!

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

Omigosh your stories are hilarious!! Way worse :) No M&S in KY, but the good thing is that they are definitely open to trying someplace with us like Robuchon (yay!), Savoy or Sage. And in the end, if I can get them to Robuchon, then I will go to M&S for them. They're like family, and that's what it's all about, right? Finding a happy medium. But I would love to introduce them to something like Robuchon (fingers crossed, I already made the reservation tee hee hee) and see how they react. It's just a few days...we get in Sunday night, leave Weds morning. They've got shows scheduled, so I'm just waiting to get their thoughts so I can fine-tune my dining agenda (no shows for us, I'd rather eat). Sadly, e is closed Sun-Tues (I am crushed) but we have plenty of other choices!! It should be fun!

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Photography in restaurants [moved from Las Vegas board]

I do have too many gray hairs, so you're probably right. One blue-hair special please! I do love the reviews too, and try to imagine what it would look like, but I'm a very "visual" person, so that really adds to the experience. And blogs with pix (uhockey and ulteriorepicure)...they take such great photos (almost professional, really!)...it's truly a pleasure. But you're right about the book/movie thing. Hopefully everyone has some great dining ahead this weekend!

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Not About Food

Photography in restaurants [moved from Las Vegas board]

Well said!! It's all about courtesy and respect, which it usually is, right??? Happy eating!

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Not About Food

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

jackattack, thanks! I have never been to Joe's despite millions of trips to Miami and Chicago. I just might float that up as an alternative.

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

Eric and monku, thanks for the additional details. Much appreciated!

Mar 11, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fine Dining Quandary

Cool, thanks! Good to know for our dining pals, small eaters and not really seasoned "tasking-menu" diners. This should assuage their fears.

Mar 10, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Photography in restaurants [moved from Las Vegas board]

Completely agree with the crackberries/phones, as a wicked old hag at 42. :) HA! However, photographing amazing meals is not only fun for me, my friends and family love the photos. Many people won't get the opportunity to experience meals like this, but they do like hearing about it and seeing the photos. So I'm bummed when I can't take photos (I always, always ask first) or my photos don't come out right (too much wine, bad settings, etc). And looking at other people's photos of their meals (and the descriptions) helps me decide where we're going to enjoy our next blow-out meal. This is just totally my $.02. Komi in DC prohibits photos, as does Momofuku in NY, and I'm sure others that I am not aware of. When we go out in groups, our friends already know in advance that I'll be whipping out the big camera....though I do also ask them if they mind if I take photos as well. Anyways. Let the debate rage on! We should start a new thread!!!

Mar 10, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Not About Food

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

Thanks juno, appreciate it. Their mission is crab legs, specifically M&S, so I was hoping to present them with better alternatives. The crab legs are key though, and there is no M&S in their hometown. I have read good things about Todd's as well, and that's definitely going into the "other restaurant suggestions" pile if it turns out Robuchon is too over the top and we need to hit that by ourselves. Thanks!

Mar 09, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

uhockey reviews Day 2 Las Vegas: MoZen Bistro, Julian Serrano, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

Yeah, it's about 4 hrs from DC as well, and we pass by when we drive out to Chicago with the dogs. But we can't stop....cuz we have the dogs! Anyways, looking forward to trying it as well. Take care!

Mar 09, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fine Dining Quandary

minibar in DC was pretty amazing. Right up there with wd~50, but a step below Alinea, and a small hop above Moto (last dine at Moto was '09, as was minibar). IMHO.

Mar 09, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

Thanks lvnflyer, good info. We have MAG in Chicago and DC area (it's a LEYE group production, which are traditionally good but not fantastic unless you're talking L20 or Everest, but Gras is gone now, so who knows about L20 now), and personally am keen on a Keller restaurant or something different than I can get at home. Thanks for the details on the seating as well, that's helpful and appreciated. And love the info about the gov! Didn't know that.

Mar 09, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

Thanks, I will definitely offer this up as an option!

Mar 09, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

uhockey reviews Day 2 Las Vegas: MoZen Bistro, Julian Serrano, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

Cool, thanks for the additional info, this helps in the decision making process. On a side note, do you have any plans to head out to Oakmont, PA to visit notion (Dave Racicot)?

Mar 09, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

uhockey reviews Day 2 Las Vegas: MoZen Bistro, Julian Serrano, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

uhockey,: big fan, love your blog. So you really dug Twist. All the other mentions of it on many of the pages (I just started really researching LV today, so I haven't scoured all of them) all give Twist a "meh" or "pass" review. Compared to Alinea and Lautrec (Nemacolin Woodlands Resport in PA) both when Chef Dave was there and after he left (Chef Kristin), how would you place Twist in that particular mix? Curious, and as always, appreciative of your thoughts.

Mar 08, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fish Restaurants, Help!! Our friends want to eat at McCormick & Schmick's in Vegas. Noooooo!!

Heading to Vegas to catch up with some friends for a few days. About 3, exactly. So we'll have 3 dinners. But they're excited about going to McCormick & Schmick's. Um....I can eat there any day of the week, and it's a decent enough "take my 84 year old mom out for an early-bird dinner" kind of place. And I do love their Alaskan King Crab legs. But in Vegas? Really? I guess the answer is "maybe" because they don't have M&S in their state.

Can fellow CH-ers recommend a suitable alternative? Though I may have to conceed on this one as I may at least get them to Robuchon one of the nights. Which will probably blow their minds. And mine too I hope!

Any other options for fresh fish and excellent crab legs? I don't mean to be a total snob (ok maybe a little bit) but I don't get to Vegas all that often (last time=2004) and want to maximize my time there, but I also do want to make sure we get to see them as much as possible. And at least offer up alternatives when I present my dining recommendations to them. Thanks in advance for the recommendations and/or condolences.

Mar 08, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

é by José Andrés

FYI Just emailed them today....found out they're closed Tuesdays now too, in addition to Sun/Mon. So sadly this is a no-go for us this trip. And if it's anything like minibar here in DC....it's not to be missed. Hope you get your res!

Mar 08, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Fine Dining Quandary

brandygirl did you do the full 16 or just the 6? From a quantity of food, did you feel overwhelmed?

Mar 08, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Las Vegas

Dubai recommendations

Hi....Glad you posted this, I was just about to! We've just booked Verre, and were wondering what other hounders suggest for Dubai. Rhodes & Indego seem to be quite popular. Have you heard anything on Reflets? Thanks!

Jan 31, 2011
Galaxy Girl in Middle East & Africa

Gross Holiday Foods You Put Up WIth?

Your Nan must have known my Mom! The fruitcake was always bathed in B&B or whatever happened to be in the bar downstairs (one year it was Jack...wasn't as good). I'm making the fruitcake for the first time in 30 years (I used to help my mom make it while I was growing up). She actually has 1c. brandy as an ingredient for the cake. Don't get me started on the "bourbon balls". Those WERE made with Jack.

c oliver: still costs a fortune today...I'm upwards of $45 and still missing the green pineapple rings. Turns out they've been replaced by green pineapple chunks. Still need to find them out my way (DC area).

Dec 08, 2010
Galaxy Girl in General Topics