Hours: Lunch, dinner: Sun, Wednesday-Saturday
Closed Monday, Tuesday
All-vegan restaurant featuring pizza, sandwiches, and salads.
A legit addition to the north-side veg kingdom ruled by the likes of Chicago Diner and Pick Me Up Cafe, this small all-vegan spot has the look and feel of a place unconcerned with any sort of pomp. A suspended chalkboard menu offers an assortment of tempeh burgers, dairy-free pizzas, and dishes made with house-made seitan, and while some may assume meat substitutes are bland and tasteless, Kitchen 17 is into getting spicy. Seitan satay with a peanut dipping sauce may have been the best part of the night, if only because it set the tone for the rest of the courses. The Asian burger, a chewy and grainy tempeh-and-brown-rice patty also made in-house, was topped with a tangy ginger slaw and slathered with a sriracha-like spread. Philly-style "cheesesteak," made with broiled seitan, had a kick too, nicely complemented by a dollop of herbed veganaise. But while it's a great take, no doubt, I do wish my cheesesteak had more, well, meat. My unqualified praise goes toward the vegan oatmeal cream pie, which uses cashew butter as the filling. Chill that thing and have it as an afternoon snack the next day—the wait makes it even better.
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