Kitchen 17, a vegan restaurant in Lakeview, makes its own seitan and focuses on American and Middle Eastern flavors.
Photo: Martha Williams
Kitchen 17 is a vegan restaurant that opened in Lakeview this spring. It’s become a neighborhood hangout, and while I was there with just my book, a couple was there on a date, and a table of three guys brought a bottle of red wine to drink over their Mediterranean veggie pizza. There is absolutely no ambiance and it’s tucked down a side street off Broadway, but the food coming out of the kitchen is so flavorful, like the house-made seitan, which is used in the Philly cheesesteak, the burger and the gyro. For the gyro, a pita is wrapped around slices of well-spiced seitan, cucumber, onion, tomato and a tangy tzatziki sauce. It’s a filling sandwich on its own, although I added a side dish of lentils, which are simmered in a mix of spices and are warm and aromatic. While East Lakeview already has solid vegan restaurants in Vegetarian Express, Chicago Diner and Native Foods, I’m going to go to Kitchen 17 over all of them—there may be less in the way of ambiance but more flavor and fresher ingredients.