One of my best friends from high school maintains a lactose-free and gluten-free diet, so for the 7 years I’ve known her I’ve taken advantage of being able to sample various gluten-free or vegan dishes that no one else really seemed interested in. Anyway, this pretty lady is getting married this memorial day so I’ve been trying to keep in touch more often to see where she’s at, what she needs, if I can do anything (I am bridesmaid, after all). So, last night I met up with her at The Chicago Diner in Lakeview (there’s also another location in Logan Square) to chat over dinner with the bride-to-be. Having been “meat-free since ‘83” and reppin’ awesome vegan and gluten-free menus I thought it’d be the perfect place to continue our alternative foodie tradition. Although I always try to steer clear of bizarre fake meat creations (the texture of bacün really freaks me out), I ordered the Soul Bowl, which was full of mashed sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, black beans, blackened tofu, and seasoned quinoa. Holy crap, it was fantastic and left my body feeling full and clean. Although next time I am there I am definitely saving room to try one of their vegan milkshakes that everyone was ordering.