Vegetarians still trust in Blind Faith
David Lipschutz, owner of Blind Faith Café in Evanston for 33 years. | Lee Litas~Sun-Times Media
Blind Faith Café
525 Dempster St., Evanston
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Closed Monday
(847) 328-6875 or see blindfaithcafe.com
Updated: August 9, 2012 4:34PM
“We’re not interested in telling people what to eat or how to eat. We believe food should be fresh, healthy and wholesome,” said David Lipschutz, who founded Blind Faith Café in Evanston 33 years ago.
He grew up in Evanston and just “loved the idea of opening up a vegetarian
restaurant in my hometown,” he said. Today, what literally started as an act of blind faith — for eating vegetarian was not exactly in vogue 33 years ago — has become a North Shore destination.
“We’re definitely part of the landscape and I’m very proud of that,” said Lipschutz.
Realizing as a teenager that he had an issue with eating slaughtered animals, the health-conscious Lipschutz says it quickly became a question of nutrition and health as much as any kind of ethics.
“Whether you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, or you’re just looking for good, fresh meal you can come here and find something on our menu, because in a vegetarian format and it all works well together,” he said.
Case in point, Blind Faith’s kung pao, made with just the right amount of spice. The main ingredient is “gardein,” an interesting product made of a blend of wheat, soy and vegetable proteins. While not as soft and crumbly as tofu, it replaces the meat in a traditional kung pao, lending itself perfectly to absorbing the savory sauce.
Blind Faith’s executive chef Doris Alford sautés it with shiitake mushrooms then garnishes the dish with crunchy peanuts and serves it with a refreshing sunomono cucumber salad and jasmine rice ($14).
“If there’s anything that I have tried not to do over the years in my restaurant (it’s) never be the place that’s trying to fake meat. The faux hot dog, or bacon or pastrami sandwich, it has its place but it’s not what I am trying to do. I want to explore what we can do transcendent of meat,” said Lipschutz.
He insists that all styles of cooking can be applied to any kind of food. Thus, the Blind Faith menu, is broad and eclectic incorporating elements of Italian, French, Asian, Latin and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Blind Faith bakes all its pastries and breads in-house serving up a killer vegan chocolate cake, for example, which has flour and sugar but no eggs, no milk and no butter, though, bet you can’t tell. And the apricot torte comes with a traditional butter cream frosting, but the fact that it is gluten-free makes the cake melt in your mouth.
BF also serves macrobiotic meals and has a full drinks menu ranging from chocolate martinis with Godiva liqueur to Chambord ($10) and wines.
“The defining values of the restaurant, besides vegetarianism, have always been fresh, natural and whole foods,” said Lipschutz.
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