Want to give your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier a boost? Feel guilty about eating warm and fuzzy little farm animals? Overcome with loathing for all the hormone-laced dairy products you eat? Then try The Blind Faith Cafe. You have plenty of options at Blind Faith. Whether it’s vegan tofu scrambled eggs for breakfast, a barbecue seitan sandwich for dinner, or a grab-n-go gluten-free cookie, you can satisfy your appetite and your social conscious at the same time.
To be honest, it wasn’t my appetite or my social conscious that lead me to Blind Faith Cafe (BFC) on this past visit. BFC happens to be a favorite compromise spot that my friend Joan and I hit whenever we head into Evanston. We know they will have something we can both eat at a price point that we’re both comfortable with — that, and I think that Joan is a bit smitten with their sauteed greens. They are yummy!
Many of the dishes at Blind Faith Cafe have an ethnic cast to them, but there are attempts to recreate American classics. On my last visit, I tried their tofu crab cakes and was surprised by the results. The crab cakes had the flavoring down and the sauce was fantastic, but the texture? As my friend Dave would say, it could have benefited from some actual fish. I was also a bit disappointed by the enchildas verde which lacked anything resembling verde sauce. They were delicious but not very spicy. However, Blind Faith makes magnificient salads and does not skimp on those ingredients. We enjoyed the eponymous salad that could have substituted for a main course – it had loads of avocado, nuts and dried fruit over a huge platter of mixed greens. On past visits, I’ve also enjoyed the Blind Faith burger, which is a rich and tasty vegetarian classic.
In addition to an extensive list of teas, shakes, smooties and healthful drinks, Blind Faith Cafe has a decent wine and beer list, which they rotate periodically. They make a point of marking places that pay attention to environmental practices or avoid additives to their products. I like the attention to detail. However, the healthy vibe at Blind Faith Cafe has never put me in the mood to drink there. Maybe I would enjoy it more if I did, but I can’t bring myself to hoist a glass.
Service is slow at the Blind Faith Cafe. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve waited for service after being seated. This time it took over ten minutes to get glasses of water delivered to our table and another ten before we could place our order. The place is always busy and if you go during prime dining hours you can expect to wait for a table. Knowing this, we made a point of eating early and were still disappointed by the attentiveness of both the waiters and the support staff. However, I am impressed with how knowledgeable the wait staff is about their food and the attention they pay to the special dietary requests of their customers. Dietary concerns are, after all, their bread and butter.
If you find yourself in Evanston, the Blind Faith Cafe is a good choice. However, for the price, execution and attention to service, there are better options to be found in nearby Chicago. My recommendation is to spend a few more minutes in the car and head to either Alice and Friends Vegetarian Cafe or the Chicago Diner.
Blind Faith Cafe
525 Dempster Street
Price: You get a huge amount of food at Blind Faith for less than twenty dollars a person.
I give Blind Faith a 5/10.