Veggie Grill sprouts in Chicago area

By Kristin McKee
Torch Correspondent

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Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ sandwich. Photo by Kristin McKee

According to the health blog Nutritiously, one reason to switch to a plant-based diet is to lower your risk of obtaining certain diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer. As more people convert to vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, the demand for satisfying food that compliments these diets grows. Consuming plain salads everyday does not entertain well with the majority. At Veggie Grill, consumers following any diet will gain the same satisfaction as they would at any other fast-food chain except with better health benefits.

Veggie Grill is a fast-casual vegan restaurant that with most of its locations in southern California. It is by far the biggest vegan restaurant company in the United States. In mid-February, Veggie Grill opened its first Chicago location in the Lakeview area (614 W. Diversey Parkway) and has a second location opening in the Loop (204 N. W Wells Street) on Monday, March 19.

Upon entering the establishment, customers are greeted by the highly active and friendly staff. The restaurant itself holds a trendy vibe that appeals to teenagers and young adults. Menu items include burgers, bowls, share-ables and much more. Everything on the menu is plant-based and free of antibiotics and hormones.

A common misconception with vegetarian and vegan diets is that they lack sources of protein. At Veggie Grill, they defeat these beliefs by using plant-based meat from Beyond Meat for their burgers and chicken made from non-GMO soybeans, wheat, peas and ancient grains. They also use Hodo tofu, tempeh and falafel to meet these protein needs.

Veggie Grill’s menu highlights fan favorites which includes the “Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ sandwich.” This is a vegan version of a classic sandwich containing a fried “chicken patty,” lettuce, tomato and an avocado spread on a wheat roll.

Veggie Grill uses the freshest ingredients for their products, and you can tell right off the bat from its taste. Although its food packs on calories like any normal fast-food restaurant, you get the sensation of eating a healthy meal as the restaurant steers away from cholesterol, trans and saturated animal fats. Overall, Veggie Grill sticks to its promise of satisfying food while remaining clean and cruelty-free.

Five out of five torches.

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