Last night was week 3 for the South Loop version of Meatless Mondays in May. Not that it's strictly a South Loop event. It's done worldwide. But thanks to South Loop green maven, neighborhood stalwart and all round getter-of-things done Gail Merritt, who heads the Alliance for a Greener South Loop, MMM is a big deal in the 'hood. In fact, we in the South Loop are in our second year of MMM.
On the first Monday this May I enjoyed a portabella mushroom sandwich at Epic Burger on the 500 block of South State--which is known for great burgers and fries; they offered a 20 percent discount to MMM-lovers if they chose the mushroom. Last Monday I joined a few South Loopers--including Gail and her husband Paul Brayman--at Tapas Valencia on the 1500 block of South State for several rounds of meat-free Tapas. And Spanish wine. All was good. We had everything from eggplant to goat cheese.
Last night, Bruce and I dined at a hightop table for two outside at Brasserie by LM. The warmth of the night felt good--and the view of the 800 block of South Michigan and Grant Park was fun to gaze at. Gail and Paul were a couple of tables away, also enjoying the night air and the two specials LM made up for MMM participants. We had watercress salad, carrot soup, veggie quiche, creme brûlée and rice pudding. Paul, I noticed, had a vegetable gratinee instead of the quiche, which looked very good. But for some, we heard it may have been a tad salty.
Next Monday--Memorial Day--Zapatista on the 1300 block of South Wabash is the place to be from what we MMM aficionados understand. If you don't have grilling at home in mind (portabella mushrooms anyone?). Although several other restaurants in the neighborhood have been and will be offering special meatless meals or special meatless discounts in conjunction with MMM.
Bruce wondered at one point during our dinner last night, when taking account of Gail's cucumber splash martini, that maybe meat production isn't the only thing we should all be worrying about in terms of energy consumption and carbon footprints and such. "I wonder how much energy it takes to produce gin," he said.