New Vegan Option in Evanston – Elephant and Vine

Francesca Menconi, Writer

If you are vegan and miss delicious fast food, or are just looking for a healthier alternative and want to try something new, Elephant and Vine is the place for you.

Elephant and Vine is a casual fast counter service restaurant offering a full menu of vegan foods. It opened in Evanston in early March and another location opened in Lincoln Park in April.

The menu offers a variety of options such as impossible burgers, chicken sandwiches, wraps, salads, bowls, wings, chicken tenders, and sides such as fries, sweet potato fries, and crispy brussels. They also offer shakes, cookies, and smoothies.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was very pleasant. All the workers were extremely friendly and they created a very welcoming environment. The place was very clean and has a modern artsy look to it. It was decorated with plants, had white walls and tables and a green neon sign. It screamed we are vegan and love the earth. The restaurant is on the smaller side, I can see myself dining in with a few friends, but definitely not a place to have a family dinner.

Upon my arrival, I viewed the menu online to see what I wanted. The website was very organized and easy to navigate. They included pictures of each item with a description, price, and it allows you to leave a review. I also found you can order online, dine in, or pick up. I was very pleased with how organized the website was and the inclusion of pictures for each item.

I ordered three items and a side and it took a total of 10 minutes to prepare.

The first thing I tried was the Ele Burger. All burgers are made with impossible meat and served on a pretzel roll, and all have the option to be gluten free. The Ele Burger came with American cheese, onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard. Unfortunately they switched my burger with an Uber eats order and I was given the BBQ Burger. At first I was a little annoyed considering the fact that I was out all day and just wanted my food. But after tasting it, the flavor made up for the mistake.

The BBQ Burger comes with lettuce, red onion, tomato, crispy onions, smoked gouda, and barbecue sauce. It was delicious. It honestly tasted like a normal burger and with all the add ons, especially the barbecue sauce, it distracted the fact that it was impossible meat, and the cheese tasted completely normal as well.

Next I ordered the Zero Ckucks chicken sandwich. It comes with hand-battered chik’n, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, and mayo. The sandwich was extremely flavorful and I enjoyed it very much. It didn’t taste like chicken, but I didn’t mind and I thought it was super good.

Lastly, I ordered the SoCal wrap. It comes in a spinach wrap, chik’n or sweet chili hand-battered cauliflower, mixed greens, roasted corn mix, pico de gallo, cilantro, and spicy cilantro lime vinaigrette. I ordered the wrap with the hand batter cauliflower and it was so refreshing. The mixed greens and vegetables were fresh and the sweet and spicy vinaigrette was a perfect balance. I am not a fan of spice, and I can’t handle it, but this wrap has the perfect hint of spice that won’t kill you to eat. The batter was lightly seasoned and not too overpowering, and the cauliflower added to the refreshing taste.

As a side I ordered the sweet potato fries and there was a perfect mix of crispy and potato. My only complaint was the portion size. For $4.50 I wanted more fries for the price I was paying. Each sandwich is around $10-11 which is a little pricey but you have to consider the quality of food you are receiving.

Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Elephant and Vine. The food was delicious, especially for being 100% vegan, it came out fast, and the environment of the restaurant was extremely welcoming and friendly. If you are willing to spend a little more money on good quality food I definitely recommend it.

Besides the one hiccup with the order mess up, the ordering process was extremely easy. Even if you aren’t vegan I still recommend giving this place a try.