I used to believe a “vegetarian” restaurant was missing something, along the lines of the old joke “vegetables–it’s what food eats.” But the team behind Garden Grille and Wildflour Bakery made me a convert, and now their new vegetarian restaurant on the West Side, The Grange, has taken it a step further. As they state on their website, they are “all about elevating diners’ perceptions and experience of vegetables,” and that they most definitely accomplish.
I’ve now been to The Grange three times–twice for lunch and once for dinner–and I haven’t met a dish I didn’t like. The tofu in their Sesame Tofu Sandwich is crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside and accompanied by assorted pickles, sprouts, chili, and shiso aioli. Their Po’ Boy would be worth it for the fresh pretzel bread alone, but it’s even better with ‘chicken’ fried oyster mushrooms, cabbage slaw, pickles and remoulade. Both are served with fresh potato chips, although their homemade fries are worth getting too.
For dinner, we loved the roasted cauliflower with sweet chili sauce, green onion, peanuts and cilantro ginger aioli and the crispy pan-seared tempeh with braised collard greens, root vegetable mash and smoked maple mustard. One of our favorites of the evening was the ‘everything crust’ seeded tofu with a curry broth and beet relish.
Don’t forget to save room for dessert. To me, it doesn’t get much better than their chocolate brownie topped with peanut butter ice cream and caramel corn.