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I was home over the weekend, and my mom planned an afternoon excursion to Chicago on Saturday to see my cousin and eat at one of my favorite restaurants, Karyn’s on Green. It’s a vegan restaurant, which is perfect, since my cousin is a vegan, and my whole family enjoys vegetables. My mom and I (and Sarah and her mom) have been to Karyn’s once before while we were switching trains in Chicago on our way to Boston. It is definitely within walking distance of Union Station. Our train was delayed, as Amtrak always is, so we did not have as much time for shopping and exploring Chicago as we had hoped.

We walked around a bit and then just decided to go sit at the bar in Karyn’s before our 5:30 pm reservation. My cousin ordered a TREEtini, which helps plant a tree. I ordered a weird sounding kombucha drink from the non-alcoholic section. It was very sweet, but refreshing, and I loved the blackberry on top. As a college student, I really miss berries. They are just way too expensive though.
We began our dinner with two appetizers, a smoky mushroom dish and roasted beets. The mushrooms were so good, I can’t really even describe them. They were smoky, chewy, and squeaky all at the same time.

The beets were really good too, and they came with some sort of nectarine jelly squares. It was an interesting combination.For my entree, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and ordered something raw, the zucchini pasta. There were only two gluten-free large plates, and my dad ordered one of them. I didn’t want to order the same thing as him, so I decided to go for the zucchini dish. I ordered some caramelized brussels sprouts on the side for something warm. I also don’t remember ever eating brussels sprouts in my life, and they are coming into season at the farmer’s market, so I wanted to try them out. The zucchini pasta was actually very flavorful and was topped with a sundried tomato sauce. I was scared that the zucchini would be hard since it was raw, but I think the marination did wonders for it.I cannot say enough about the brussels sprouts! They were amazing and I am now inspired to go buy a bunch of brussels sprouts and caramelize them. These ones were slightly smothered in grain mustard. So good, and good for you too!My dad got the portobello “steak” that came with some root vegetables. He thought it was awesome, which made me happy because he can be very picky about restaurants. I got a nice picture of my parents too. They look so happy!

But of course, mom always has to mess up one….

My mom ordered one of the brand new menu items, a romanesco cauliflower dish. We definitely were not expecting purple cauliflower, but it was a nice surprise. It was on a bed of black quinoa with a sourdough puree. 
My cousin got the seasonal risotto, which came with lobster mushrooms! Karyn’s really knows how to do mushrooms well.
Dessert time! My favorite time! I couldn’t get a picture of all of the desserts we ordered because it was starting to get dark out, and my camera took blurry pictures, but I did manage to get a nice picture of mine, a chocolate torte with hazelnut foam and molasses ice cream. It went well with a nice big cup of coffee with soy cream.By the time we were done, it was night time in Chicago and time to catch our train back home.
I seriously cannot wait for my next train adventure, which will hopefully include a few days in one of my favorite cities, Portland! Winter break, please please please come faster.