The tufted leather booths that line the perimeter of D'wan Hookah Lounge encourage not just sitting, but rather sinking into. The entire room, with its vaulted ceilings, dim lighting, and exposed brick columns, seems ready-made for leisurely socialization and casual conversation. And the hookahs only exacerbate the laid-back feel. Staffers bring guests freshly packed hookahs filled with aromatic blends of tobacco including safari melon dew, citrus mint, and tangerine dream. Customers can pick and choose blends??the menu features roughly 50 flavors??and then sink into their booths to chat about life between pulls from their hookahs, all the while blowing smoke rings that would make bubbles weep.
Classic diner breakfasts and lunches are the main order of business at Café Miele. But unlike the greasy spoons of yore, this spot boasts a modern menu that keeps dietary restrictions in mind. Buttermilk, multigrain, Belgian, or gluten-free flapjacks soak up streams of sweet syrups, while Kaiser rolls or gluten-free buns embrace burgers. Egg options include omelets and scramblers, as well as healthier items made with just the egg whites.
Though its Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine reflects some of China's oldest culinary traditions, Dragon Inn's Chicago Heights location also nurtures an evolving menu that includes sushi. Specialties include the 9-ounce hong kong porterhouse steak and the crispy duck. Accompanying housemade sauces are customized to guests' tastes, adding flavor to entrees and egg rolls that are folded by hand and filled with pork, shrimp, and vegetables.
Vetavia's Cajun Cafe and Bar has the ingredients for either a relaxed family dinner or a late night on the town, depending on your mood. In the afternoon or early evening, you might find tables laden with seafood po-boys, chicken wings, and bowls of jambalaya, and maybe even little ones digging into kid-size portions of catfish nuggets. As daylight dims and the many, many crystalline chandeliers grow brighter in contrast above the blue-velvet chairs, guests might be more likely to order from the full bar and indulge in oysters, prime rib eye, and grilled crab. At that point, live music might start playing from the corner stage?if it's not taken over by karaoke, a much cheerier way to get the crowd involved in the night's entertainment than having a ventriloquist hide in a corner.
Working in collaboration with government organizations, TeaGschwendner helped build a factory that processes tea for 130 small farmers. That's just one of the ways TeaGschwendner ensures social and environmental responsibility. Read more here.
Though the team at Earth's Healing Cafe strives to respect all diets with their organic, vegan, raw-foods menu, there's nothing they respect more than Mother Earth. Their highest priority is using completely natural, organic foods, even if that means opting to import produce from elsewhere in the Americas. Even so, they still manage to procure at least half of their ingredients locally.
The core of the menu is the juices and smoothies, each of which is designed to support and replenish various organs and body functions. For instance, My Digestion is Perfect settles the stomach with a calming blend of celery, carrot, fennel, ginger, and mint. The live, whole-food smoothies come in varieties such as the River Nile, a sweet mixture that includes coconut milk, mango, blueberries, dates, almond butter and vanilla. The entrees are plant-based as well, including pizza with marinated mushrooms, red bell pepper, olives, and spinach, a garden burger made with a savory veggie and seed patty, and a carrot pate sandwich with a side of coleslaw.