Vegan Cuisine at It’s FINEST!
(Below is a short video of my visit to Majani Soulful Vegetarian Cusine that I thought you would enjoy)
Fresh off of a trip from the West Coast, I can understand why this vegan/raw trend is such the talk these days.
California, in general, is a much more progressive and trendy state where people are more open-minded and health conscious. Being health conscious in Cali means that no matter where you go–especially in L.A.–you are bound to find health food stores, products, and even vegan restaurants in abundance than anywhere else.
So for example, If you’re a vegan or a raw foodie then you’re most likely familiar with Karyn Calabrese–owner of Karyn’s on Green. Of course, true vegans and raw foodies–of which I am not–know all too well what I’m speaking of.
So although I am not the vegan connoisseur, tonight I did pay a visit to a newly opened vegan restaurant on the Southeast side of Chicago called Majani Soulful Vegetarian Cuisine.
Located at 72nd and Exchange on the East Side of Chicago, this restaurant is situated in an area of the Southside where you have a good mix of businesses and residents. It’s a very busy area, and I would argue one of the “up and coming” areas of Chicago.
Not to mention the Metra electric line that runs right by this establishment off of 71st street so it makes for an easy and very visible spot for everyone that passes by it.
So let’s talk about the food.
When we think about food and the Southside of Chicago some may think food desert, Harolds Chicken, Gyro’s and all types of other fast food spots that have become notorious on this side of town.
The hunt for convenient and healthy choices, the likes of which you would find in more diverse area’s of Chicago–like the Northside perhaps–presents a very common challenge for those that live on the Southside or other areas of the city where these options are not so available.
The fact is this: There aren’t many choices.
So while I mulled over what to eat on this particular evening, the only thing I could think of was to drive to the Hyde Park area of Chicago and visit Roti–a mediterranean fast food restaurant. But after getting my haircut my barber mentioned that he wanted to visit a new spot that someone had mentioned to him.
He’s diabetic so I trusted his judgment.
I don’t dine at Vegan restaurants often but this was definitely better than my other choices and I’m glad my barber recommended it!
There was also a Moroccan dinner dish with Couscous, greens, and something else that I can’t recall–that was quite good from what my boy mentioned. Needless to say, we both cleared the plate! I didn’t get any pictures of his dish, but trust me–it was good!
What I did order however was the Jerk Tofu Burger, BBQ Cauliflower, and the Jerk Tofu Taco.
The Tofu Burger didn’t really stir my pot much, although it was good! I completely get the idea that you want to replace meat with something healthy–therefore insert something that feels like meat (tofu).
It’s also supposed to give you the same affect as if it was meat but for me it just didn’t do enough to fool my tastes buds.
But keep in mind, vegan cuisine is for your health and not so much necessarily for taste. Although, they do as much as they can to make vegan food taste good, but in a society where salt and sugar have dominated our diets for years–it takes some getting used to.
The BBQ Cauliflower which is pictured above was ABSOLUTELY delicious! It came with a garlic sauce almost like a ranch sauce equivalent that really complimented the taste quite well.
The Cauliflower appeared to be breaded with BBQ sauce glazed on the outside and very sweet and tangy just the way you would expect BBQ to taste.
The Jerk Tofu taco pictured below was wrapped with lettuce, tomatoes, and a sauce that complimented it very well.
Both the burger and the taco came with “sweet potato fries” that were delicious with the BBQ sauce and the garlic sauce. Either way, you couldn’t lose as the food was all around good and definitely worth a second, third, and even fourth visit!
The decor and layout of the restaurant felt really great and the open concept of the kitchen made for a feel that the owners truly invested into the buildout of the space. It was clean and well organized and not some pop-up style hole-in-the-wall establishment where it’s obviously clear shortcuts were taken.
I understand and can respect black entrepreneurship all too well but I’m very particular about restaurants on the Southside and how they service their customers.
Customer service and customer experience is key and Majani’s is off to a great start!
Majani will definitely be a staple on the Southeast side of Chicago and I plan on spending a lot of time there well into the future.
Visit Majani Soulful Vegetarian at 72nd and Exchange on the Southeast Side of Chicago!
You can find more information by visiting their website here.
You can read my previous blog post below.