Last weekend, we packed up the car and made a stop at one of the premier vegan events in the area: Chicago VeganMania. This year, the third Chicago VeganMania was held at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. One of the things that stands out the most about my experience is that they need a MUCH larger venue for this event! It was difficult to walk through the exhibit halls, and next to impossible to find seating and enjoy some of the delicious food offerings.
The first 100 people to enter the building scored a goody bag packed with mostly literature, but also some treats like applesauce, an energy bar, and Dandies vegan marshmallows from Chicago SoyDairy. I hope “Meat-Free” Mike enjoyed the sample I brought to last week’s show. It was just enough to make a snack-size rice krispy treat. Lance and I enjoyed our bag over a game of Uno.
There were some good samples offered in the exhibit area. My favorites were Tiny But Mighty Popcorn, and mildly-spicy nacho Teese from Chicago SoyDairy. And both Lance and I tried kombucha for the first time. For those of you unfamiliar with this beverage, it is basically an effervescent, fermented tea. Its benefits (or detriments) to health are somewhat controversial. (Thanks for the video link, Linda.) As you can see from Lance’s reaction, he probably wouldn’t drink it again either.
We made our way into the dining area early. Dave and Lance enjoyed lunch from Arya Bhavan. There was a samosa which disappeared too quickly to photograph,which contained black caraway seeds. I had just picked up some black caraway seeds, hoping the universe would show me how to use them. Once again, fate seems to put me where I need to be. There was also some of THE BEST channa masala we’ve ever had – also too swiftly devoured to photograph.
Lance managed to get an oh-so-flattering picture of me nomming on a huge cheesesteak from the Vegan Food Truck / Ste. Martaen. (Thanks.) They were selling some delicious-looking pecan pie too, but I didn’t have room.
Overall, it was a fun event, and I was pleased to see so many vegan and non-vegan people show up. No rides in the vegan rickshaw, though!