Smile Politely

Try some vegan food this June

A cropped photo of vegan caviar with avocado slices, corn, black beans, and tomatoes in a white boat on a plate with tortilla chips on a black napkin for the Vegan Chef Challenge Champaign. Photo by Silvercreek Restaurant on Instagram.
Silvercreek restaurant on Instagram

If you are strictly vegan or even into eating vegan occasionally, then get excited. Thirteen Champaign-Urbana restaurants are participating in a month-long Vegan Chef Challenge. While all of the participating restaurants regularly have a vegan menu item, some restaurants will have special menus for the whole month of June. Here are a few dishes that sound pretty good.

Common Ground will offer a mock duck curry, but I’m eyeing the house-made lemon cake with strawberry lemonade frosting.

Downtown Champaign’s Neil St. Blues has a dessert that sounds good, too: vegan sweet potato pie. Pair the dairy-free, egg-free pie slice with a dinner of the restaurant’s special Creole mushroom étouffée.

Siam Terrace created four dishes for the challenge: a crispy tofu salad with avocado and peanut dressing, grilled portobello with a curry sauce, mock duck in a spicy sauce, and coconut ice cream with jackfruit.

I want the cowboy caviar from Silvercreek with black beans, black-eyed peas, avocado, onion, corn, and jalapeños with house-made chips. The restaurant developed three other dishes: stuffed pepper with vegan lime-crème fraîche, spicy marinara portabello stack, and blueberry-peach cobbler.

Martinelli’s Market has a rainbow chopped salad, a chickpea smashburger with made-in-house red pepper aioli, wild mushroom Italian beef, and an eggplant Milanese sandwich on Central Illinois Bakehouse focaccia.

Nando Milano has an Italian salad with white wine vinaigrette and pickled red onions for the Vegan Chef Challenge. The trattoria also has two vegan pastas: penne with roasted eggplant and truffle sauce rigatoni with mushrooms.

Find all the info about the event here.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

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