Chicago Eats & Treats

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ellen and I went on a little road trip. She’s a vegan too, so that made eating while traveling a lot easier!

Armed with Traveler’s Trail Mix, Tofu Two Ways, and assorted fresh fruits, we left early Friday morning for the 5+ hour drive to Chicago.

Our main objective for the trip was to attend the Self Work-Out in the Park, which was on Saturday, so of course we had to go a little early to enjoy the vegan-friendly parts of Chi-town.

Before we left, I researched places to eat that were either close to our hotel or easy to get into and out of on our way home. Coincidentally, our hotel was within view of Karyn’s Cooked, one of the three Chicago restaurants owned by Karyn Calabrese.

The inside of Karyn’s Cooked was quaint – clean and friendly. Craving comfort food, Ellen ordered the sampler meal, which included a choice of three side dishes. She chose potato wedges, mac-n-cheese, and chili with cornbread. And, for dessert, lemon meringue pie. I went with the raw plate, which included broccoli with aminos, red cabbage sauerkraut, half of an avocado, almond hummus, sunflower seed pate, and a couple of raw nori rolls. For dessert, I chose gluten-free carrot cake and a raw cranberry-almond cookie bar for later.

I originally ordered the green enchiladas, but it didn’t make it to our takeout order, so when I called to find out what happened (somehow my order didn’t get added to the ticket), I changed my order to the raw plate, and the staff threw in a couple bags of raw crackers.

Throw in my new favorite drink – kombucha – and I was a happy one-night Chicago resident.

Saturday morning, Ellen and I got up early and headed down to Butler Field in Grant Park for the Self Workout in the Park. The weather was perfect, and the crowd wasn’t too bad.

After we got into the event, we waded through the excited exercisers and visited all of the vendor booths before spotting what we came for – Dolvett Quince.

Ellen originally asked me tag along on this trip because she’s a huge fan of Dolvett and really wanted to meet him. (She attended the Self workout last year in Chicago and got to meet Jillian Micheals – her idol.) I was pretty skeptical that we’d get to actually meet Dolvett, but she was determined.

It worked!

We accidentally stumbled upon the media area where Dolvett was taking photos with Self staffers and some fitness models. I was surprised how close we were able to Dolvett, and Ellen was ecstatic. She kept trying to sneak in for a photo, but after a few minutes, photo ops were offered to everyone in line (about 10 people). With cameras ready, gleeful ladies got to touch the rock-hard abs of Dolvett. Giant smiles for miles!

After the excitement of the photo op of the year, we headed to Lincoln Park to grab some goodies from the Chicago Dinner before making our way back to Ohio.


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