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SAVOR Kal'ish Vegan
DISH: Weekly Dining Guide in Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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I remember going to a vegan restaurant ( that shall remain unnamed ) a few years ago—and it seemed that I had cardboard for an appetizer, entree and dessert.

How times have changed.

Uptown's Kal'ish Vegan ( 1313 W. Wilson Ave.; ), a fast-casual establishment, has shown the strides made regarding the cuisine. I wasn't sure what to expect upon entering Kal'ish—but was more than satisfied when I left.

As anyone who's tried vegan fare knows, finding the right taste and even textures can be tricky endeavors. However, co-owners Andy and Gina Kalish ( the names being a nice coincidence with "kale-ish" ) have done a nice job finding the right meat-like protein substitutes for popular dishes. ( Unfortunately, I went there before the Mexican dishes were unveiled—but I can't wait to return to try the "fish tacos" that actually employ hearts of palm. )

The K and G burgers are the basics here ( with the latter being a gluten- and nut-free garden patty ), but there are additional items like the Bad Adz Burger ( K Burger and bacon, cheese, beet-root mayo, etc. ) and the Woodland Burger ( K or G Burger with griddle mushroom, onion and provolone, sounding like the earthiest sandwich ever ).

My dining companion and I certainly liked the K Burger—but the sandwich known as the Avocado Mash-Up was my absolute favorite item there. It's a delightful mix of avocado mash, leafy greens, radish, red onion, peppadew relish and house ricotta. The clucker crisps ( vegan takes on chicken nuggets and sandwiches ) were also pretty tasty, even if my palate pushed me to the plain ones instead of the buffalo-style items.

Kal'ish also offers dessert items ( such as a memorable apple pop tart ) as well as all-day breakfast items. The spot also has Sunday brunch, with offerings such as chorizo quesadillas and French toast.

It's almost enough to make me consider relinquishing meat—almost.

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.

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