Cousin's Incredible Vitality

Chicago, Illinois

Reviews

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rating star

I don't understand why Cousin's Incredible Vitality has such a high rating. The food here is not the best raw food I've ever had, nor were the main courses even edible (in my opinion).

We started off with a "live pizza" ($6) which was, in fact, excellent. I've never tasted a raw pizza that good before. It was not only delicious and well-presented, but it actually tasted like real, cooked pizza.

The meal went downhill from there, though. We also had a falafel dish ($11) and a burger ($11). I hated the burger and couldn't stand the strong, displeasing taste that it had. The falafel was okay, but the falafel pieces themselves were not prepared properly and the spices were literally raw, which meant they were basically inedible. You can't put falafel spices in a dish and then not cook them; you'll end up with something awful. The only thing that made the dish palatable was the lettuce wrap around it and the vegetables inside.

Dessert somewhat made up for the terrible main courses. We had a piece of mango cheesecake ($7) which was well-done, though the fermented citric taste of it was dangerously close to being overpowering.

I'd return to Cousin's to give them another chance and try something else on the menu. Their live pizza was excellent, so make sure to try it. But I was extremely disappointed with the rest of my meal.

The service was friendly, if a little bit inattentive. Cousin's location is also a bit out of the way and the nearest CTA stop is about a mile away, which makes this a difficult place to get to.


rating star

I had a great experience here! Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I've been a vegetarian for 10 years but I'd never had raw food before today - it was excellent! It makes me sad to see the negative reviews, but I am going to chalk it up to their warped expectations of a raw food establishment.

The food was awesome. It was very Mediterranean inspired, at least at the salad bar, which is what I tried. The second super nice lady that helped me gave me a take out tray that I filled with little samples of every dish (AND a free cup of soup to try!). Wow. When I got home and tried everything, I was thinking about trying their month long carry out program and I still am. I didn't get sick, and in fact, I feel pretty satisfied!

Concerning the service, again, I didn't dine in, but this place has a real European feel to it, and if you've been to Europe, your cooks and servers aren't going to jump when you snap your fingers. Think about it, they're taking the time to serve you the purest of food, so relax and enjoy yourself. I will gladly exercise my patience to be the recipient of a great meal.

I love this place! In a city that prides itself on pizza that feels like a ton of bricks and other various processed meats, it is about time!!!


rating star

A place to get real wholesome food at a nice price. The vegan options are good and the service is polite and friendly. I always feel relaxed in this place and not rushed to finish my food and get out. A must place for all vegans.


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I have never been before to Raw food restaurant. But after visiting this place I really understand why do people become vegetarian. Food was really delicious and different. so I think it will be one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.


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"udivitel'noe mesto" mojno skazat'. vsem sovetuyu posetit', nadeyus vam toje ponravitsya


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Holy Moly, what an experience!

Cousins is a raw foods (none of the foods have been cooked at all), vegan restaurant. Those who haven't been to a typical raw foods restaurant should be aware that they will find many dishes attempt to imitate conventional dishes, but in name and shape only. I'm not talking about a veggie burger that somewhat tastes like a hamburger. I mean that you might order steak fries and received sliced, fresh avocado again. It's a bit absurd, and takes some getting used to.

That said, Cousins was something of an exception to this trend in that they have a large buffet that contains dishes familiar to those outside the raw foods community: hummus, tabouleh, bean/veggie salads.

My partner and I, however, chose instead the adventurous menu items. We ordered a burrito and burger. The burrito, which we agreed was the superior of the dishes, was a salty sunflower / sesame pate with avocado and mango slices, all wrapped up in tender leaves of chard. I could eat that rich, salty-sweet combo all day!! This was accompanied a corn-bean salad that seemed to exist to offer a respite from the burrito.

The burger, which also came with some respite salad, was tasty and chewy, but small. Curiously, it was served with an evil-twin burger sitting right next to it! This evil-twin was the complete opposite; mealy instead of chewy, bland instead of tasty, white instead of brown. I don't know if this was supposed to be the 'bun,' or what... My partner was unimpressed with the burger, and thought the pickled beets that garnished the plate were nasty! (I liked 'em)

Before I get to the gamechanger of the review, I'll say a few more things. We were struck by the choice of water or house clove tea as our complementary beverage. Classy! Our waitresses was friendly and helpful. The prices are lower than I expected $10-14 per entree, $12 for the buffet. One of our desserts--strawberry cheesecake--was outstanding.

OK, so the other dessert we got was durian pudding (consistently spelled 'darien' on the menu). As Cousins prepared our pudding close to our table, we thought there was a gas leak, and then as the pudding was brought to our table, the gas leak seemed to travel along with it--it was the pudding! Apparently, durian is a fruit from Southeast Asia that is prized for its creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor. However, it carries with it a little secret...it smells like rotten eggs!!!! So pungent smelling is this fruit, that it is banned from some airports in Asia--not kidding! Eating this pudding was like eating the tastiest, creamiest thing you've ever had in your life, which had unfortunately been left sitting in the fridge in an open container right next to a pile of dung. Every single bite was imbued with equal parts greatness and rankness. Whether you love it or hate it, you will never have an experience quite like this.

Cousins is a wonderful and filling restaurant. Their logo seems to accentuate the I.V. of 'incredible vitality'--appropriate, considering how dense and rich much of their food is. There areplenty of exciting dishes to warrant repeat visits, and their environment is equally suitable to both intimate and large gatheringas. Go now and enjoy!


rating star

I am pleased to report that our recent visit found food standards in line with our high expectations and we were welcomed as usual by pleasant staff. Cousin’s IV offers a unique and imaginative menu. We always go for 6 appetizers as it is too difficult to choose a single starter, and then share two main courses. (We don't like to miss anything).It is absolutely worth the money. The food is delicious. The salad bar is a good option if you want to spend less. The desserts are fantastic-especially chocolate cake! I really enjoy the food at Cousins IV, a lot of it is very original and there is plenty of choice. Service and atmosphere are good and the staff couldn’t be more friendlier. Everything was just great!


rating star

Great location, great prices, and best of all: great falafel. It can get crowded at lunch and in the evening, therefore, the staff are quick and ready to serve. Bring your friends here and they'll love falafel, too. :)


I must say this place is pretty excellent. There is a cozy, organic kind-of atmosphere to the place. I had the zoom burger, which was pretty good. What I found particularly amazing, and wasn't expecting, was the cheesecake. My non-veg dinner partner was also surprised by how good it was. Even better were the organic strawberry and pineapple on the side. I swear you not, these were the two BEST FRUITS I have ever tasted! I don't know when restaurants started to trade with the fruit farmers in heaven, but what matters is that you don't need to be saved to have some in this material world. Karyn's has got some new competition.


rating star

This place is a great addition to the veg restaurant profile in Chicago. I had never had raw food before, so Cousin's IV was a great introduction. The food was quite excellent all around - our party had the Cousin's platter (hummus plate w/ seasoned veggies and goji berries), the lasagna, and the zoom burger, all of which were fantastic. We also tried three desserts (two cheesecakes and the coconut ice cream).

The only thing I was caught off-guard by was that the servings were generally much smaller than your typical restaurant where one generally tends to gorge oneself. The smaller portions may just be a part of the raw philosophy that I'm not aware of. It's not really near the center of the city, but it's definitely worth the trip.


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Finally, Chicago has a GOOD raw/living foods restaurant - -- a full menu, with a lot of variety & innovation... Food tastes great and has that "spark" (Mehmet brings a "chefly" set of tastebuds & creativity to raw food, and the result is awesome!)
Full range of appetizers, entrees, salads, desserts, smoothies, caco/goji drinks, etc., all prepared according to cutting-edge living foods principles (hummus has no garbanzo beans, all nuts are sprouted, menu is mostly organic ingredients, etc.).

And they make the BEST RAW CACAO DESSERTS EVER!!!

:-)

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