Hyde Park Bites – Meat-free at B’Gabs Goodies

By Yasmine Laasraoui

As a vegetarian, I’ve found my meals out to be repetitive and unoriginal. In an effort to spice things up, I headed to B’Gabs Goodies, 6100 S. Blackstone Ave.

Although I’ve committed myself to vegetarianism for years now, I’ve always been skeptical towards raw veganism. How can something taste good without being cooked above a certain temperature (118 degrees to be exact)? However, B’Gabs proved my skepticism wrong with tasty, fresh and creative ingredients.

Priding itself not only in raw vegan meals, the two-year-old establishment is also gluten-free, soy-free, processed sugar-free and peanut-free. Everything is made in house and most of the produce is bought by Larry Damico, co-founder of the Hyde Park Produce Market.

The restaurant itself is rather hard to find. Once I located it at the corner 61st Street and Blackstone Avenue, I questioned whether it was open or not. The windows are dark and the door shut, but the sign printed above the door reassured me of its hours.

The earthy tones, chalkboard menu and friendly greeting I received upon entering gave the restaurant a cool but casual atmosphere.


I was recommended the Chipotle Burger, which I ordered with a house salad and a side of jicama fries for a pricey 12 dollars. When my meal arrived, I was overwhelmed by the amount of greens: the house salad consisted of a few handfuls of kale, which dominated my plate.

 

Despite the unbalanced plate, my lunch was crisp, light, and flavorful. The vinaigrette redeemed the salad, and the spice level of the burger was on point. The patty, made of seeds and nuts, was stacked with avocado, tomato, and spicy chipotle cashew cheese on onion bread. The jicama fries were crunchy, and accompanied nicely by the chipotle.

Raw veganism is not a “mainstream food type,” explained owner Gabrielle Darvassy. Many of her customers “use food to heal themselves,” may it be physical, mental or spiritual. Describing the restaurant as a “judge-free zone,” Gabrielle expressed her “non-elitist” view, stating that “every person should have access to healthy food.”

Whether you’re a veggie or not, B’Gabs Goodies is worth a shot. If you’re not hungry enough for a whole meal, you can also check out their large herbal selection, cakes, and bite-sized desserts.