Blind Faith Café Review - A Chicago Restaurant You Should Know

Inside the Blind Faith Cafe


My family and I have dined at the Blind Faith Café in Evanston, Illinois periodically since it opened in 1979.At that time it was a unique addition to very limited dining opportunities in Evanston.  It’s website www.blindfaithcafe.com tells us, “The Blind Faith Story starts in 1978. It is about three people, Ivan Newell, Fran Welch, and David Lipschutz, who didn’t know each other then but who, within two short years, would create what has become an Evanston landmark -- the Blind Faith Café.” In 1982 David Lipschutz purchased Blind Faith Café from Fran and Ivan, eventually changing its location and then, “Ten years later, in October of 1992, the Cafe expanded again to include the Blind Faith Bakery.”

Deciding what to get from the bakery


 I especially remember the vegetarian carrot cake that I ordered whenever I went there.  Over the years it’s food and character have taken many twists and turns.  Visiting recently, I noticed its new look and new menu and realized it is, “A Chicago Restaurant You Should Know”.  And so reviewers Anna, Ann, Julie and Barbara went to check out the reinvented “ Blind Faith Café”.  Only one of these reviewers is vegetarian.

Everyone noticed the pleasant ambiance. Julie loved the music and liked that it was jazzy and at a good volume.  All of us thought that the fresh olive walls, sculptural row of sansilvria (Mother in law’s tongue), the overall fresh, contemporary look and homey quilts contribute to a very pleasant warm atmosphere.  The tables are nicely spaced for comfort and contribute to a relaxed dining experience and easy conversation.

Server Raymond Kramer and Executive Chef, General Manager, Jona Silva


To begin our dining we enjoyed a lovely organic white wine from Spain, Burgans 2006 Albarino that proved to be a perfect accompaniment for our appetizers. Julie described it, “like a party in your mouth”.  

Chewy tasty baguette and dense, moist cornbread


The most creative creations of Executive Chef and general manager, Jona Silva, are to be found on the weekly special menu and we ordered all three choices but relied on our waiter, Raymond (Joe) Kramer, to suggest the fourth dish in each category.  His suggestions were terrific!  We concluded it’s a good idea to trust your server.

Appetizers:

Ann selected the Grilled Tofu “Crab” Cakes on red pepper with a balsamic reduction.  She loved it and appreciated that it wasn’t soggy but very crispy and she enjoyed the blend of flavors.

Grilled Tofu "Crab" Cakes


Anna ordered the Avocado Salad, mixed greens, frisee, and ripe avocado tossed in cilantro-line dressing and garnish with finely shaved red onion.  She thought it was a superb salad and that the fresh, lively dressing enhanced the avocado and decreased its richness.  This was the group’s favorite appetizer.

Avocado Salad


Julie tried the Watercress Salad, topped with julienne of mango and orange, shaved fennel and raspberry vinaigrette.  She liked it very much and thought it was light, fresh and very pleasant.

Watercress Salad


Barbara requested Lentils on Carpaccio, warm lentil salad wrapped in savoy cabbage served on a beet carpaccio dressed with a Dijon-flax olive oil.   She commented that the lentils had a lovely texture and the Dijon mustard had a “wake you up” flavor and the beets were wonderful.

Lentils on Carpaccio



Main Courses:

Ann found the Quinua, Shitake escabeche topped with braised baby carrots and garnished with plum tomatoes and cucumber, lovely.  The contrasting flavors and textures were pleasant and delicious but she felt that it would be better as a side dish.

Quinoa


Anna had an item from the regular menu, Shitake Gorgonzola Biscuits, crispy sautéed Shitake mushrooms and melted Gorgonzola atop a homemade biscuit served with roasted squash puree and a vegetable demi glaze. Everyone had a taste and the group agreed this was the best main course.  The biscuit was flaky and the Shitake, onion and cheese flavors were rich and delicious.  The squash was outstanding.   This dish is so good; we think it deserves to be a Blind Faith Café signature dish

Shiitake Gorgonzola Biscuits


Julie had the lasagna, which was very pleasant and got better with each bite but just couldn’t compete with the dish described above.

Spinach Lasagna


Barbara found the Poblano Crepes, roasted poblano pepper and Oaxacan cheese rolled inside fresh crepes topped with a poblano-corn cream au gratin amazing.  The group agreed that they were fresh and zippy with a mild spiciness.  It was interesting, delicate and very unusual and the runner up as a favorite.

Poblano Crepes



Desserts:

We wanted to taste the wonderful desserts listed but being quite full, the group decided to order two desserts and share them.  Orange-Ginger Crème Brulee and Vegan Chocolate Mousse were the choices.  The crème brulee was delicious- light, flavorful, and satisfying and definitely something to order again.  As for the Vegan Chocolate Mousse, Julie said it was the best chocolate she’d ever had.  Anna thought it was smooth and chocolaty without being too rich.  Barbara and Ann just loved it.
 

Orange-Ginger Creme Brulee and Vegan Chocolate Mousse



Mark Schab , who has a background that includes travel and training in Europe, is Blind Faith Café’s wine expert.  He told us that Blind Faith Café is the only restaurant in all of Chicagoland that will be exclusively featuring organic and biodynamic wines.

Blind Faith Cafe also has a full coffee bar, a bakery and a delicatessen.  It is possible to order all of the food available on a given day in either the dining room or the take out section. Catering is available and private parties can be accomodated.

The dining experience of these reviewers exceeded their expectations for a vegetarian restaurant and they were left believing you don’t have to be a vegetarian to love the food at Blind Faith Café.  We can’t wait to return.

Blind Faith Cafe serves 3 meals a day, 7 days a week
525 Dempster Street
Evanston, Illinois 60201, USA,
(847) 328-6875
www.blindfaithcafe.com


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