“Peddling fine food & drink” is the mantra at this mellow spot, which doubles as a hub for bicycle- and veggie-mongers alike. Unique touches manifest themselves as more cool than kitsch, from the bike tire rim barstools to the paper mache tow truck and car made from infamous orange parking tickets. Go intimate and grab a table on the elevated platform or opt for chatter at the bar. Either way, you won’t be able to let much time pass before tearing into the unique but approachable menu.
You’ll pay less than $10 for excellent dishes like West African ground nut stew (sweet potato, coconut, zucchini and kale served over rice) and wasabi baked tofu (stir-fried with Portobello mushrooms and snap peas, served with brown rice). The sandwiches are truly money, however. The grilled tofu sandwich packs a burst of flavor behind its simple name, while the BBQ seitan is a gooey mess of tangy sauce and caramelized onions. Choose a gratis side with your sandwich from a great roster that includes soysage patties and freshly cut French fries and specials like grilled plantains. Keep a little green in your wallet, too, with drink specials like $5 pint-size margaritas on Saturdays and $3 Goose Island pints on Wednesdays.
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Schwartz