North Shore…Vegan?

So I love meat. Yes, that IS what she said. It’s true. I am the kind of girl you take to a steakhouse and actually eats a steak, not a salad or a side of chicken but a damn good filet. So yeah when someone mentions seitan (fake meat substitute), in my head “satan” pops right up. I love vegetables but i just feel like my meal isn’t complete without meat.
I was wrong.
Like really really really REALLY wrong. 
One of my best friends has been raving about Kitchen 17 in Lakeview. The thing is, lord knows I love Rick but he can pretty enthusiastic about things and I wasn’t sure if this was just another flavor of the week for him. The weeks went by, turning into months and I was like, okay let’s give this place a try. 
It’s in Lakeview, on Briar near Belmont and Broadway. It’s aesthetically pleasing from the outside, nice big window, wood trim, clean and elegant. It didn’t have some dirty hippie vibe or weird feel, so my #noshopo attitude was in check as I ventured in. The menu is written on a chalkboard, clear, easy to read and not overwhelming. 
Apparently the nachos were a must have and as you can see below, they look amazing. Honestly? Some of best nachos I have ever had. Fresh fresh fresh! The guac was awesome and the chips crisp. I really couldn’t tell that the cheese and meat weren’t “real”. I am a  *cough* little bit of a picky eater and am very visual so I really didn’t want to try them at first. Then I realized I was being a total weirdo and just decided to have one and yeah, so tasty. I think just the fact they didn’t taste greasy or over processed and just tasted fresh, made the difference. So after the nachos, I needed a main course and the decision was a bit daunting. I mean, there were options but I wasn’t sure how to order because I couldn’t see what it looked like.
I decided on a burger, the “california”, because I fully maintain anything with avocado has to be good. I don’t like kale so we omitted that and literally THE BEST BURGER EVER was had. It was fresh, tasty, crispy and soft. The ranch, and I am a ranch aficionado, was phenomenal. The “burger” was crisp on the outside, soft in the middle but NOT mushy.  Seriously, I didn’t want to share with Joey and I always give him a bite. Not this time boo, this burger was all mine.

Rick and Sarah had the pot roast and had ever last drop of gravy. There wasn’t much food sharing because we all became pretty territorial about our delicious food. Joey had the breakfast burrito and pretty much devoured it and then my tomato cucumber salad.

Don Clements is the owner and a truly wonderful guy. He doesn’t like spinach, I don’t like kale but we liked each other. He is funny, smart, and the brains behind this wonderful place. He made me crack up, made vegan ranch I could take home, and offers free coffee. Can you really ask for more? Truly, for a North Shore girl like me, I am not not the most open about things but with great friends who help me open my mind, I am becoming more adventurous. Hey, if the rewards are a meal I am still craving to this day, count me in for more shenanigans! Considering I’m writing about this because I think everyone should go and try this place at least once, go check it out. Feel free to invite me to tag along 🙂

(myself, Don Clements)
please ignore how awful I look and admire Don and also my dimple

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