chi(and no)mofo

Portland, I vow on this second day of November, 2010—also known as VeganMoFoIV Day 2—to never take you for granted again.

I made a somewhat urgent trip to Chicago to check on some health-deprived family, so playing around the city and checking out awesome restaurants were not high on the list of priorities. And we didn’t have time to hang out anywhere long enough to cook a real meal, either. This means I ate a lot of fries, pizza-hold-the-cheese, and chips.

The trip started out well enough. My mom picked us up at the airport and we swung by Whole Foods on the way to her place, shopping as much for her as us. It was just like home! We found bulk nutritional yeast, Daiya, hearty bread, and coffee creamer. For dinner, we headed up to the North Side for The Chicago Diner, where I would have taken photos for you (see old trips here and here), but I had a crazy claustrophobic freakout and thoroughly embarrassed both myself and Tom. (Thank you, waiter whose name I don’t know but who recognized that I was truly freaking out and not just being pissy about sitting close to others!) I was so anxious that I couldn’t even manage dessert. Don’t you make the same mistake.

Later that night, a friend told me about Life on Mars. I guess they’re primarily take-out, but they’ve recently added some seating. Next time, I suppose.

From here we leave my parents and head out from the city, and the food part of the trip peters out into two, yes, two cheeseless pizzas, fries, Boca spicy chicken patties, and chips with Tofutti cream cheese. Total bummer, right? Here’s the thing, though, at one point we were in the far northwestern suburbs—where it’s not even really a suburb anymore and you can go 55 on almost every road and people have septic systems and no cable Internet—yet we were able to find Boca and Tofutti and Silk. Five years ago that would not have been the case. Sure, you’re still likely to get a funny look from the cashier when you buy the stuff, but at least you can buy the stuff.

So baby steps, my friends, baby steps.

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