HILLSIDE, Ill. - Now that Lent is underway, a lot of people are avoiding meat on Fridays, but it's also the time of year when people are trying to eat a little bit healthier.
Our Hungry Hound says a tiny cafe and carryout business in west suburban Hillside has made eating healthy a lot easier, especially if you're vegan, vegetarian or gluten free.
You know that cousin or sister you have; the one who can't eat flour or dairy or shellfish or meat or nuts...you get the idea. I've got the answer for you: The Eating Well.
It's a super-small kitchen along Butterfield Road, where you can satisfy pretty much anyone's eating requirements, and the best part is it doesn't mean sacrificing flavor.
The dining room may be small, but the ambitions are sure big inside the tiny Eating Well, along a sparsely-populated stretch of Butterfield in Hillside. If it's not locally-grown, it's organic.
"We buy from farmers and we make food for people," said owner Daniel Sikorski.
But it's more than a tagline, since Sikorski attempts to create dishes that appeal to all eaters, not just omnivores.
"Our menu contains all the buzzwords. A majority, about 80 percent is focused on vegan and gluten free. The other 20 percent is more paleo," he said.
His veggie burgers come in four flavors, and they're all quite good.
"Made from vegetables, that's one of the unique things about them, and they're all gluten free," said Sikorski.
"You can get them in a wrap with an egg if you like, plus vegetables in a spinach tortilla. And then we put organic mixed greens, our own homemade giardiniera if you like it hot, or signature mild sauce if you like it mild."
Avocado toast comes on gluten free bread with a basil-garlic aioli, plus vegan cheese, spiced up with a seven-spice togarashi and fresh lemon zest. A tofu stir-fry has a Thai accent, thanks to a homemade green curry with organic coconut milk.
"That's organic extra firm tofu marinated with our own chimichurri...served over basmati rice with organic peas, corn, fire-roasted peppers and organic broccoli," he said.
In Steve's Extra Course video, he talks about some of the great soups, chilis and stews they make at The Eating Well, including a Minnesota Wild Rice with chicken that reminds him of his childhood.
The Eating Well
Extra Course: The Eating Well
4848 Butterfield Rd, Hillside