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On Saturday I trekked to McCormick Place to check out Green Fest--and I'll admit up front that my experience of the ginormous event was colored by the crushing irony of celebrating Earth Day, the first hands-down gorgeous day in months, in a loud, crowded, windowless convention center. So, well, I didn't last very long.
There was a lot to see and do, and buy: hemp dresses, organic cotton baby clothes, yoga mat totes, some very cool reusable water bottles with a filter built into the cap. But frankly the highlight was the vegan mac and cheese from Soul Vegetarian East, a heaping $4 plate of creamy pasta and soy cheese. I generally like my mac and cheese with a heartstopping amount of melted dairy, but this version was revelatory. Apparently whipped within an inch of its life, the cheese bore no relation to cheddar or gouda and was a slightly off-putting beige, but it had a smooth texture and a rich, surprisingly complicated, totally addictive flavor. My friends and I sat on the convention center floor with our biodegradable plates and forks and wolfed it down. Later, I went back for seconds.