What is this blog about?

I've been a lacto-ovo veggie for 15+ years and for almost every week of those years I've found myself going out to eat with my meat loving family or friends. Tired of finding myself at restaurants were I'm left nibbling on a very uncreative salad I've created this blog to help others like myself find the best options when eating out, and what restaurants your better off staying away from if you're looking for a fulfilling veggie meal.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Julius Meinl

Article first published as Restaurant Review (Chicago): A Veggie Girl Reviews Julius Meinl on Blogcritics.

3601 N. Southport
Chicago, IL  60613
Menu Creativity:  Good
Ambiance:  Upscale coffee shop
Overall Experience:  Great, one which I cannot wait to repeat
Rating:  Good for vegetarians and vegans
Mocha Latte
Julius Meinl is a European style coffee shop that offers a wide range of coffee, tea, pastries and cafe food.  I had been here before and fell head over heals for their quiche, so I wanted to come back and do an "official" review.  On a Sunday afternoon I grabbed one of my pals and headed out to grab some, hopefully, great food.

We wanted to start things off with one of their pastry specials; we had our eye on either the caramelized onion & Swiss cheese danish or the sweet potato.  Unfortunately, we got there too late to be able to snag one of these scrumpcious delicacies.  Not only does the early bird catch the worm, but apparently it also catches the Meinl daily pastry specials.

What I ate:  
Egg Brioche Sandwich
Meinl Egg Brioche Sandwich (cheddar cheese with quiche style eggs on a brioche bun without the meat) and a mocha latte.  The latte was delicious, with a thick creamy foam that had a lovely toasted flavor.  Overall the sandwich was delicious. The eggs were light and creamy and the flavors were complementary and yummy, but the portion was minuscule (though it was priced accordingly). While the brioche bun was a great flavor profile, it mostly served to crush the delicate egg causing the bun to be the primary flavor versus the egg.

What my friend ate:  
Roasted Vegetable Crepes
Roasted Vegetable Crepes (portabella, zucchini, red peppers, and cheese) comes with a small side salad and cole slaw with a macadamia nut latte.  Once again the latte was great and the macadamia flavor was strong but didn't overwhelm the coffee.  The crepe was a menu superstar, it was scrumptious, fresh veggies snuggled inside a perfectly golden crepe with a tangy sauce.  The vegetables were a great textural contrast to the crepe.  The only downside on this plate was the cole slaw, which was drowning in a vinaigrette that was way too sour.

The desserts we shared:  
Black Forest
Mozart (a chocolate cake with pistachio cream, chocolate mousse, pistachios and a chocolate glaze). This is billed as one of their specialties and boy is it ever!  Everything about this cake is yum on your tongue; it's moist and chocolaty without being too sweet.  The delicate pistachio flavor hits your flavor buds at the end and lovingly, lingers for a moment.  Black Forest (chocolate cake, brandied cherries, chocolate mousse)  let me start by saying this is a very good cake, but be prepared for the very alcoholic taste of the brandied cherries. I've been eating Black Forest cake since I was on solid foods and for just about every birthday since.  Each time I visit Germany it's on my list right after a good beer, but before the pretzel.  So I'm a bit of snob when it comes to this cake; with that in mind let me continue.  The brandied cherries were too much and the alcoholic taste didn't belong. In every other version I've had, the alcohol has been more in the cake itself and very subtle.  The cake was too dense and wet for my liking, not the moist fluffy heaven I was familiar with.  In other words, there are better Black Forest cakes out there so please consider having one of their other fabulous desserts...like the Mozart.

Do you have a recommendation for veggie girl?  If you've eaten at Julius Meinl what was your experience?  Post your responses in the comments below.

Check out my other blog at: http://thininvisiblesteel.blogspot.com/


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