November 1 is World Vegan Day, or as I like to refer to it, a convenient excuse to go hunting for a new Thai restaurant. It’s easy to pull together a vegan/vegetarian feast at most Thai places if you’re not fussy about certifications or techniques. Plus, there’s just something about hot and spicy food that beats fall weather into submission. A friend suggested we visit Jitlada Thai House so she could get a gluten-free meal while I satisfied my veg requirement.
We started with a standard order of edamame and a garden salad. The edamame was fine, however I was surprised at how good the mix of blanched broccoli, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and bean sprouts really was. I think I developed a mild addiction to the lime dressing that came on the side. I would definitely order this again, which is not something I’ve said about a garden salad, ever.
She got the vegetarian version of the Tom Yum soup, since I wasn’t entirely sure of the broth. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask for “American Hot” spiciness. We left the spice factor up to our waitress, who brought back enough heat in that bowl to warm up the entire month of November. I did try the soup and it hurt going down. It hurt so good. Each spoonful had a nice bite of lime and a heaping pile of vegetables.
For our entree, we split an oh-so-delicious tofu-stuffed curry, filled with pumpkin, corn, zucchini, and snow peas that represented each of the four seasons. Underlying all of it was savory-sweet coconut milk and the fresh bite of basil. While I loved it and didn’t miss the meat at all, I felt the dish could have used more vegetables! More, more!
I think I managed a vegetarian meal, if not 100% vegan, my friend stayed gluten-free, and we both walked away with a delicious meal. Next time I go out for a “vegan” meal, I’ll plan a little better, but I’m calling success and moving forward. Did you go vegan today?
Jitlada Thai House
3715 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60613