As the first all-vegetarian restaurant at which I ever ate, Blind Faith still holds a special place in my heart. I first tasted seitan in their seitan ceasar salad and thought they were brilliant. After becoming vegan and travelling a little more, my opinion of the restaurant has lessened a little. What passes for gourmet vegetarian food has changed dramatically in the last few years, and it's about time Chicago gets infused with some of the culinary brilliance that has appeared in New York, San Fran, and the Northwest these past few years.
The menu hasn't changed much in the ten years I've been eating there, save a recent subtraction of my favorite dish (a wonderful Thai curry with tofu and jasmine rice on the side). I heard rumors the new head chef was trying to make things a little more elegant there, but I'm still waiting for these fabulous new additions to the menu.
The menu is varied, with a healthy dose of tofu and seitan (with which they are indeed gifted) thrown in. Lots of different ethnic flavors are available, especially for ovo-lacto vegetarians. The lemon seitan and the seitan marsala are very good, although the side dishes are a bit bland; steamed broccoli, pureed squash, and plain rice seem to prevail at the cafe. The fajitas are great and filling. The Indian curry was tasty, but nothing special. The cheese ravioli is very good (but what about us ravioli-deprived vegans? Why not stop serving the butternut squash on the side and make us some ravioli with it?).
One reason to go, though, is the multi-tiered, super-rich vegan peanut butter chocolate cake. If that won't satisfy your chocolate cravings, nothing will.
The Blind Faith Cafe is a good local restaurant where I can reliably find something good to eat, but I'm hoping that in the future the cafe succeeds in elevating itself to something more. It's about time for Chicago to get some gourmet vegan food!