Author Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) comes to the Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State) tonight at 6 p.m. to promote his new book, Eating Animals in a free event. While he insists the book is not just about becoming vegetarian, we're guessing that after an hour or so of hearing about the meat industry, you're not gonna be feeling like grabbing a burger. With that in mind, here are some dinner spots around the library that go easy on the meat:
In addition to vegetarian-friendly dishes like spring rolls, Sichuan peanut noodle salad and several sides, the venerable South Loop Chinese kitchen offers a full vegan menu including eggplant quinoa with cilantro pesto sauce ($14), kung pao tofu ($16) and Hainanese-style Kaipong with twice-cooked coconut curry rice, stir-fried choi sum, forest mushrooms, peanuts and sweet peas wrapped in lotus ($14).
Thai is usually a safe bet for veggie eaters, and at Amarit you'll be able to subsitute tofu for meat in most dishes, or just spring for a light meal of spring rolls, miso soup and cucumber salad. Other Thai choices in the area include Tamarind and Thai Spoon.
For a quick Indian fix, you may want to stop into Chutney Joe's just down the street from the library, where you can top rice or naan with a variety of vegetarian entrees like red bean rajma, spinach paneer, gobi potatoes, garbanzo masala and kali daal for as little as $5.99. But if you want more of a sit-down meal, head a bit further south for a full slate of meat-free cuisine, including vegetable korma and bhindi masala (okra with onions, tomatoes and spices, $9.99). India Grill is BYOB.
For more vegetarian, vegetarian-friendly and vegan-friendly dining options around the city, visit Centerstagechicago.com.