Tag Archives: puffs of doom

Vegan Chicago – Puffs of Doom and a Trip to Green Zebra

On May 10th my family and I threw a beautiful bridal shower my one and only sister. When we were planning the food the one thing I was sure of was to have Puffs of Doom which are the most amazing vegan cream puffs ever. Really, if you are ever in Chicago go out of your way to find these, they are so light and delicious it doesn’t even seem possible. The ones pictured about were strawberry basil but the strawberry champagne ones were incredible too. Here’s another whole post about my Puffs of Doom obsession.

The shower was champagne themed and I was really excited about the favors that we made.

The next day was my birthday and my family took me out to the Green Zebra, an elegant vegetarian restaurant in Chicago that I have been dying to go to for years. They really focus on seasonal vegetables and when I first saw the menu I was a little disappointed. All the hearty protein heavy options had eggs or cheese and they don’t substitute tofu or anything for vegans, they just remove the cheese or eggs. In reality, it turned out to be a non issue and I was very well-fed. Even though the restaurant is small plates style the portions were ample and I ordered more than enough food.  I started with the “Chilled Somen Noodles, Hawaiian heart of palm, edamame, shiso, ginger-soy” which also had an avocado mouse. 

It actually reminded me quite a bit of soba noodle dish with seaweed and sesame oil that I make often at home. Obviously, it was a bit more refined and everyone at the table loved.

Next I had the  “Acorn Squash Potstickers, soy caramel, carrot sesame purée, shaved radish

I was a little less wiling to share these with anybody because they were amazing. The potsticker wrappers were more like fried raviloi than typical potstickers and just delightful. The squash inside kind of exploded with flavor when you bit into it and the caramelized soy was just delicious.

Next I had the “Salt Roasted Yukon Potato Hash, jalapeño relish, fried egg, pistachio chimichurri ” with no egg.

Although I loved the potatoes and the fresh green and chimichurri I did feel like this dish was lacking without a replacement for the creamy egg which would have balanced the salty potatoes. It ended up tasting like a damn good breakfast side.

We also tried the maitake mushroom dish that had lots of orange citrus and fresh scallions. They were delightful and perfectly prepared.

Finally, since it was my birthday, we shared the “Malted Banana Ice Cream, banana bread, salted caramel, macadamia nut tuile” for dessert. 

I loved the crispy wafers, what can I saw I’m a total wafer girl. The banana ice cream was so rich and banana-y I was wondering if it was just frozen bananas processed with a bit of cream. The whole thing was delicious.

I’m thrilled that I finally got to try the Green Zebra and would highly recommend it even if the vegan selections are a wee bit lacking for an all veg restaurant. Everything that I had was very well prepared, they had a great wine list, and it’s right down the street from my brother-in-law’s awesome wine store The Noble Grape. I’ll be back in Chicago for more wedding this summer and I am excited to go back to the Chicago Diner and other favorites next time.

vegan cream PUFFS OF DOOM

A while back one of my oldest friends told me she was starting a small cream puff business in Chicago called Puffs of Doom. When she told me she was going to have vegan cream puffs I was really excited and thought there would be a token puff I would one day get to try on a trip to my home state. I followed her new company on twitter and on the facebook and I watched her business grow and get recognition from all kinds of fancy foodie press, even the Today Show covered them! The many different kinds of vegan puffs all sounded unique and delicious, she has creamy chocolate ones and noochy savory ones like potato curry. Seeing the puffs filled me with longing but it wasn’t until last spring when my other friend was having a bridal shower that I finally got to try them.

I was blown away.

So was Amanda who ended up having them at her wedding (along with a cake from Capital City Bakery)

I started begging Becky to ship some out to me but she was only selling them at farmer’s markets and coffee shops in Chicago. Finally, this Valentine’s day it happened, I got a giant package of puffs in the mail.

I wanted to save them to eat with Dan when he got out of work late but I had to take photos while it was still light out… and then I couldn’t resist. I tried the Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso and I had to close my eyes and let the world just stop. It was kind of like a cross between a Boston cream pie doughnut and a rich flaky croissant. The best of both worlds.

I thought, “I should really bring some to Kristen she would love these” quickly followed by “That would mean less puffs for me” and “I wonder how many I could eat before Dan noticed some were missing”. And they were his Valentine’s Day surprise!

The puffs brought out the worst in me!

And in Dan too. He tried them late when he got home from work and then, the next day told me to leave work early so we could eat them together. I mentioned our friend was coming for the weekend and he said “hide them!”. When I got home he told me I would love the chocolate peanut butter…and I did.

He said, “I didn’t think I’d like the Strawberry Champagne but it is amazing and has, like, a whole strawberry in there”… it does…

And the Oreo…oh the Oreo

and, oh yeah, Espresso Chocolate

We talked about joining the “puff of the month” club and knew that would never be enough. Maybe a Puff of the week club? We talked about moving to Chicago. Dan said they were the best dessert he ever had. And this kid loves his dessert more than just about anything.

I recommend you try them.

Or, maybe be better off for never having known true puffed out bliss.

I’d rather have the perfect moment.

Chicago, you win this round.