RAWsome Weekend

I just had a great weekend, but now I’m back on campus and have a ton of stuff to do. Boo!

Before I do some work, I wanted to fill you in on what I did these past few days. I don’t have classes on Friday, so when I’m able to go home I like to leave on Thursday afternoon so I arrive in time to watch Supernatural with my lil sis, just like old times. 🙂

Eatin’ Out

On my way home on Thu, I stopped by Noodles & Company on the recommendation of my roomie, stating this was a great place to eat and that there were vegan options! I decided to try the Japanese Pan Noodles, which is described as “satisfying and hearty, carmelized Japanese udon noodles in a sweet and spicy soy sauce.” I decided to add tofu and extra veggies to my order, as well. I never had udon noodles before, but the description alone was able to convince me to give this dish a try, and I’m glad I did. The noodles were pan fried and had a nice sear on them that complemented the dish’s crunchy veggies and chewy tofu so well. Mmm.. this dish was good! Definitely give it a try if you’re able to. I was not able to snap a pic, but I found a web image for your guys’ viewing pleasure.

japaneseudonnoodles2

Then on Friday, I asked my mom if she wanted to accompany me to try a new vegan restaurant I found that was uber close to our house. Normally, all the veggie eateries are located in the city, but I stumbled upon a review for this cafe that is located in the suburb town of Downers Grove. My mom was happy to take me there (she’s not too thrilled when I ask her to take me to Karyn’s Cooked or The Chicago Diner) and so we headed out.

There was one tiny little secret about the restaurant that I did not let my mom know until AFTER she ate her meal (which she happily gobbled up like there was no tomorrow)… every single menu item was 100% raw. Yes, you read right – I had a completely raw and vegan meal NOT in Chicago, but in one of its suburbs, and let me tell you, it was good!

I was a bit skeptical about going to Borrowed Earth Cafe, since I did not know what to really expect from a completely raw meal. Though, recently, I have been interested in the raw food movement, I still had my doubts, even after reading such rave reviews of the place. Let me tell you, though, my doubts quickly disappeared as soon as I entered the quaint, homey cafe. I was actually surprised to find the place was actually packed with patrons happily enjoying their meals. For starters, my mom decided to order one of the drinks called “Holy Cacao!”

dscn4577
Smoothie made with raw cacao nibs, banana, and agave

Umm, yea, I LOVED this drink. There’s just something about cacao (raw/dark chocolate) that I just love. This was so good, guys, and my mom and I thoroughly enjoyed every delicious sip.

Next came our meals! What was so cool about this place (besides the awesome owners who actually prepare the meals) is that you can get to see your meal prepared as the “kitchen” is open and there are monitors showing your meal being made. I decided to order the daily special – the Chili-rito.

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Spicy sunflower seed “beans” wrapped in a “corn tortilla” alongside three tasty side salads

This was RAW? Seriously, the sunflower seed “beans” tasted so eerily like their cooked counterparts, I was stunned! I don’t know how they did it, but it rocked my socks off! So good! And the side salads were phenomenal! I left that plate CLEAN and was shocked at how filling and tasty my raw meal was. Wow!

My mom decided to order a salad because she thought the name was funny – I Can’t Believe It’s Not Egg Salad.

Creamy eggless "egg" salad made with nuts, diced celery, scallions, served on a fresh bed of greens with flax crackers for dipping

Creamy eggless "egg" salad made with nuts, diced celery, scallions, served on a fresh bed of greens with flax crackers for dipping

Yea, my mom is not really a “salad person”, so I have no idea why she ordered this, but let me tell you – that dish was left clean. Oh, and yea, I was able to taste a bit of the “egg” salad and it was very tasty, I wish I could have tasted more, but my mom didn’t really want to share, haha.

Like I said, I did not let my mom know that the meal was raw until AFTER she ate it, and to my surprise, she did not react the way I thought she would. She was pleasantly surprised and said she would definitely come here again. Both of us were very content with our meals and we were STUFFED. Yea, stuffed.. whoever said raw food isn’t filling was seriously mistaken. I had been eyeing the dessert case all this time, but me and my mom decided it was best to take it to go. What did we get, you ask?

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

One bite and I was in heaven! My mom and I attacked this baby and kept yelling out “yums” and “mmms” as we took each bite. WOW.. this was the best apple pie I’ve had, hands down! And I’ve had my fair share of apple pie in my day. That frosting on top seriously tasted like the icing on cinnamon rolls. Most amazing dessert ever, period. It’s safe to say that we will definitely be back for more meals.. especially since it’s so conveniently close to home.

On Sat, my sister decided to invite the fam over to Karyn’s Cooked. Yay! I decided to order the Stuffed Eggplant dish.

Thin grilled eggplant stuffed with a homemade faux ricotta cheese topped with marinara sauce

Thin grilled eggplant stuffed with a homemade faux ricotta cheese topped with marinara sauce

This was tasty, but I thought the filling could’ve been even better.

New Finds

Guava Kombucha

Guava Kombucha

I had seen these drinks featured on Kristin’s and Jenna’s blogs and after their good reviews I decided to give it a try, too. It was definitely not love at first sip. I was surprised to find that this drink is quite fizzy (I’m not a huge soda fan..) and that it had a hint of alcohol-like undertones to it. Very different from what I was expecting, but as I kept drinking it, the taste grew on me. I tried the Strawberry one also and it also took some time for me to like it, too. The nutritional info on this is pretty cool, so I totally suggest trying it out (though they can be expensive! Right now, though, WF is having them on sale for $2.96).

New flavor Larabars (for me, at least)

Cocoa Mole

Cocoa Mole

I LOVE mole.. it’s such a delicious dish and after seeing this bar get positive reviews on Amy’s and Brooke’s blogs, I just had to try it. It is muy delicioso!

Cinnabon .. I mean, Cinnamon Roll

Cinnabon .. I mean, Cinnamon Roll

The first time I tried this flavor I was not a fan. Umm.. was I crazy? I decided to give this bar a second chance and was blow away at how good it really is. It really does take like a cinnamon roll. Another awesome flavor! 🙂

COOKIE!

Of course, what post would be complete without my quintessential cookie dessert?

Coconut Chip Cookie

Coconut Chip Cookie

YUMMY in my TUMMY! I was a bit apprehensive in trying another Nana’s cookie variety (my first one was a total downer), but I’m so glad I’m a believer of second chances because this cookie was out of this world. Sweet, “coconutty” with a hint of chocolate.. it was like a Coconut Cream Pie larabar with chocolate chips in them. I loved this cookie, but I think it would’ve been so much better had it been sweet, plump raisins instead of chocolate chips.

Well, that was my weekend.. time to get some actual work done, now. Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

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13 thoughts on “RAWsome Weekend

  1. I’ve always been curious about that restaurant because it’s close by me too. I keep bugging my mom to take me to chicago to eat, so far no luck! =( haha

    The apple pie looks phenomenal! And so do those Larabars!

  2. I’d knew there would be a cookie in there somewhere. Sounds like you had an amazing weekend with the fam. and some great eats. I think I would Borrowed Earth Cafe. I’m going to have to get Chris to take me there the next time we’re in Chicago! Thanks for the review Evie and have a great week!

  3. i always love your restaurant eats!!! the raw ”egg salad” look delicious. and your smoothie! i love raw cacao.

    yes! kombucha! [only my favorite drink, ever] coco mole and cinnamon roll larabars! so yummy, im glad you enjoyed them 😀

    i must try a nana cookie! i have not been able to find them though. boo! coconut chocolate is my favorite.

    have a great week love!

  4. foodsthatfit says:

    That pie looks delicious! I agree with CCV and would go raw just for the dessert! Looks like you found some awesome meals!

  5. So they had an open kitchen the whole time, and your mom still didn’t figure out that her entire meal was raw?!? Hahaha, so awesome! The Holy Cacao looks so yummy! I tried the raw plate special at Karyn’s Cooked last weekend and it was awesome — I’ll be blogging about it sometime soon! Of course I want to tell you every detail now but I’ll restrain myself. But I will tell you I had a fab time in Chicago! You are so lucky to have access to Chicago vegan goodness so frequently.

    Anyway, I love Nana’s cookies! You must try the No Wheat Chocolate Chip one though, because that’s my fave. For some reason it is a bajillion times better than their with-wheat cookies. The Coconut Chip is pretty good. I had one myself last Thursday, hehe! And I go to Noodles & Co every once in a while and the Japanese Pan Noodles entree is what I always get. They usually do their tofu pretty well, although I have had some off experiences.

  6. EVEY,

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for the cookies! I’ve eaten almost all of the chocolate chip one so far and it is amazing! kudos for picking up on my love of cookies–they’re by far my favorite treat!
    I’ve never had any vegan baked good before either and this was a great first experience! Thanks again, girl.

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