Here we go! I just got home from Chicago so I’ve got some catching up to do. I don’t like doing big round-up posts, so you’ll see a series of posts covering vegan Amtraking, Chicago restaurants, and this one, Veggie Fest Chicagoland.
This is just a little slice. Even in 92° (and remember, with the humidity of a Chicago summer, you can usually add around 8-10 degrees to the heat index), the parking lot was jam-packed. The grounds were pretty big, and there was a lot to see, with a full schedule of talks and demos, and maybe 100 vendors. It was totally free, which helps bring out the just plain curious folks, so that’s rad.
My issue with it was that the vegans weren’t really representin’. The big in-the-door giveaway was from Nature’s Path, a reusable shopping bag (love it!) with some granola and a cereal bar. Of course I took the bag, but the cereal bar is useless. I handed it to my mom, so it wasn’t garbage, but it was a bit of foreshadowing on how the rest of the fest would go. Even the literature from the host, the Science of Spirituality, was very lactocentric. I feel like an a-hole even as I write this, but it struck me so I’m sharing. The food court vendors had little Vs on their menus for vegan items, so that helped, but I definitely asked or checked labels before sampling anything.
I was able to eat some sushi, from Sensei’s Veggie Sushi Parlor. As you can see, it’s a pretty simple one, but I got to eat it. Even my mom with her mystery no-eating disease was able to eat a piece, along with a pretty hefty smoothie.
Here was the highlight of my day, English toffee from Chocolate Inspirations. I have an e-mail out to see if there’s a store front or if it’s only online. They advertise classes on the website, so I’d assume there’s a store front, but there’s no address, so we’ll see. I didn’t try (and am kicking myself in the ass for it) the coconut candy they had. I can’t remember the last time I ate something like this. When I was younger, I’d totally push you in front of a car so I could steal your Heath bar.
My mom picked up some Foods Alive stuff: Mexican Harvest flax crackers and Green Gold hemp oil. The hemp oil is super buttery. I should have picked one up for myself; it’d be great on pasta or some other starchy thing, with a bit of nutritional yeast.
So that’s a quickie view of Veggie Fest Chicagoland. You know next year’s will be even bigger (although I probably won’t be there for it). And that’s volume one of Chicago August ’09.