CLOSED: Cousin's Incredible...

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 13 Reviews
Chicago raw food restaurant serving food, fresh juices, elixir drinks, desserts. Daily all-you-can-eat salad bar ($9.95) and weekly food box delivery (no longer has lunch special). Has wifi internet. Reported closed to HappyCow. Price: Moderate more-less
All Raw, Vegan, Organic, Salad bar, Juice bar, Turkish, Mediterranean, International, Catering, Delivery
3038 W Irving Park Rd (Kedzie/Brown & Blue Line: Irving Park)
Chicago, Illinois 60618
773-478-6868

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reviews

Reviews

First Review by Kell Bell
kmlamb
kmlamb
  • vegan
Contributions
+28

Used To Be Good, Now It's Disappointing.

2
Posted on 09 / 05 / 2011

I went to Cousin's IV a few times around 2008-2009 and always enjoyed the experience. The complimentary tea was great, the meze selections were tasty, and you could have a nice, quiet, easy dining experience.

So, when I moved back to the Chicago area this summer, I was looking for a raw meal plan provider for health reason and thought of them immediately, despite being slightly out of the way. I had such great experiences with the restaurant in the past- how could it go wrong?

SO MUCH. First, don't think that you can just order via the Paypal links on their website. It gives them your money, but you never receive any confirmation from them. Their info@ email address goes to a full inbox and bounces and if you call, there's a good chance the person answering will be either clueless or hostile. And no matter what, they will give you grief for not knowing the exact procedure of how their plan works- something that is not documented anywhere that I have seen, in the restaurant or online.

Once I finally was able to pick up half of my food order (two and a half weeks after paying), I saw how disorganized they were. And when I went to get the second half, I had to stand around for 20 minutes for my food despite having called to confirm the pick up three hours before.

And the worst part? The food is no where near the quality of what I had from dining in a few years ago- despite most of the food being items off their restaurant menu. Bland, lacking texture, and when there is spice it's severely misbalanced. Proper raw food dishes should be all about bringing out the mixture of bright and interesting fresh flavors- which not the case here.

Something has obviously gone wrong recently. It's such a shame, they used to be the raw restaurant I always recommended to people visiting Chicago.

Pros: the tea is still good
Cons: Stressful to deal with, Food lacks interesting flavor, Severely disorganized
Nelson
Nelson
  • raw
Contributions
+34

raw vegan mainstay in Chicago

4
Posted on 05 / 12 / 2011

The chef/owner of Cousin's operated very successful Turkish/ Middle Eastern restaurants by the same name for many years, before himself becoming a raw vegan. While many of the menu options are standard raw food fare, the best are those that reveal his distinct Turkish and other MIddle Eastern influences -- especially the falafel collard wraps. The best bargain is the all-you-can-eat buffet, which is always fresh and varies from day to day, but the buffet is an amazing treat when it includes the falafel wraps. The Chicago-style deep dish pizza, however, looks perfect but is fairly bland and generally a big let-down.

Pros: affordable, large menu selection, some exceptional dishes
Cons: inconvenient location, often chilly inside
SynthVegan
SynthVegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+2502

Needs Improvement

2
Posted on 03 / 20 / 2011

The food used to be better here, it's not bad it just used to be better. The thing that kills this place for me is the service... It's bad, if not clueless. And I say that after numerous experiences with several different members of the waitstaff. Another issue is they're often out of things on the menu, for instance I've asked for the raw ice cream on 4 different occasions and they've never had it. I would definitely recommend other raw places over this one in Chicago.

Updated from previous review on Sunday July 27, 2008:
I generally don't like raw food, but I gave this place a try and really liked it. I ordered the Falafel Wrap and a piece of chocolate cheese cake. Everything is Vegan and raw, overall very good. The employees were very nice and the decor was well done.



b_fly1
b_fly1
  • vegan
Contributions
+35

Yuck...

2
Posted on 11 / 24 / 2010

Raw food just isn't for me I guess. I enjoy food that has flavor and this place def lacked flavor as well as good service. I went with the buffet so that I had many of options to choose from. Sadley the only thing I enjoyed was the cantalope. This place is also pretty pricey. Would not go back.


JamesFordIV
JamesFordIV
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Great Food/People

5
Posted on 01 / 20 / 2010

I came to Chicago for a corporate event held at the Hyatt out by O'Hare. I got pretty tired of hotel food so turned to Happy Cow. This place also got me about a mile walk from the Train Station, which was nice, considering it being winter. The neighborhood wasn't bad for walking and I saw a few runners. The restaurant isn't big, and they seem to focus on providing raw meal plans to local families, but the food was really good and the server and smoothie maker were really friendly. When you get tired of trying to explain what vegan means and dealing with the hotel (they did make an effort, though, and lentils weren't bad - after I got them to bring me one without sour cream!) this is an excellent option. Especially welcome when forced into windowless conference rooms near potentially sick people! If you live in Chicago, check it out and go to some of their events, and if you are visiting and need a green boost definitely check it out.
My meal: Raw falafel, Cacao Pow smoothie, Cheese-less Gogi-berry cheesecake

Pros: Menu has good variety, Food is good, Fixed price salad bar option
Cons: Service little slow, but not bad!
Guest
Guest

Amazing and Excellent Restaurant!

5
Posted on 08 / 21 / 2009

I am not vegetarian but I always eat in Cousin's restaurant. I am becoming a vegetarian day by day, thanks to cousin's. Also they make raw, organic, fresh and vegan food.
The restaurant's atmosphere, food, desserts, juices and stuff are really wonderful. I always can find different kind delicious food. They use organic, fresh and healthy things.
3 months ago I went culinary schools of the restaurant's. I learn very good things and i can make create new recipes myself for my family. I want to continue the culinary class for make food well. My children love eating cheese less cheesecake.
Now i eat meat less. I have discovered power of vegetables and fruits. I am so happy for meeting with raw food.
They do catering and I want to do a raw food party for the people meet raw-vegan food.
In my opinion the restaurant excellent and amazing. You must go:)

Pros: healthy life, delicious and organic foods, different taste
Cons: the world doesn't know about it so much
cinna_mon
cinna_mon
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

REAL VEGAN AND RAW FOODS

5
Posted on 08 / 07 / 2009

I think Cousin's Incredible Vitality is the most delicious and healthy vegetarian restaurant in Chicago.
There are peaceful ambiance, friendly and helpful waiters, very healthful and delicious salads, foods, juices and desserts. Also there are chef classes, detox and live box program, delivery and catering.
They use organic and fresh vegetables and fruits.
The restaurant is my favorite vegan and raw food place.

Pros: healthy life, delicious foods, peaceful life
Cons: losing weight
TRaeCH
TRaeCH
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+245

Great Solo DIning Experience

5
Posted on 06 / 14 / 2009

It's always nice to have another reason to love Chicago. After a great yoga class and a pleasant stroll from a subway station I went, alone, to check out the intriguing "Cousin's Incredible Vitality." The restaurant is nicely decorated in a kind of European style. After deciding to seat myself I was soon greeted and served a delightful light tea. While the service was perhaps a tad slow my waitress completely made up for it with her personable exuberance.

My lunch consisted of a smoothie which they call "Lymphatic Love," an entrée of their very popular (and rightfully so) flax pizza and an akdeniz burrito. The portions were fantastic, very filling, but it was all so good that I could have had more. I did order another batch of flax pizza to -go for a friend. I was also given a complimentary piece of their cheeseless cheesecake. I can't remember the name - something that sounded weird and tasted amazing.

All in all I cannot offer enough positives about this gem of a restaurant. They offer an all-live all-you-can-eat buffet at lunch, very inexpensive, which I would have tried if I had another opportunity to go to Cousin's during my stay in Chicago. I am very much looking forward to going back and sharing the experience with friends.

Pros: Really put health first, Amazingly friendly staff, Delicious food
Cons: Service was a bit slow
katie_b
katie_b
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+52

my soup is cold

5
Posted on 03 / 18 / 2009

i loooooooooooooove Cousin's IV!!! Even their water is yummy!! The flax crackers are addictive, Everything on the menu is tasty. I enjoyed the buffet...because I love to eat way too much, but towards the end of the day it is sometimes slim pickins. I wouldn't reccommend the guacamole, it was pretty much plain avacado. Every time I eat here I leave feeling energized.

Pros: delicious & healthy food, good service, reasonably priced
Cons: i have few friends who enjoy raw food, don't deliver, "cooking" classes are out of my budget
Guest
Guest

WOW!

5
Posted on 09 / 01 / 2008

This is a wonderful place. The Turkish style window seats look very cozy and inviting. For an appetizer we ordered the hummus. It was very delicious and flavorful. I was surprised to find out that there weren't any chickpeas in it. WOW! They truly had me fooled. My husband ordered the Moussaka and I had the Zoom Burger. The flavors and textures were just right. For dessert I actually got to try the infamous Durian fruit; definitely an acquired taste. The Longetivity Tea was very good and slightly sweet.


Guest
Guest

Great experience!

5
Posted on 08 / 31 / 2008

I had a great experience here! Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I've been a vegetarian for 10 years but I'd never had raw food before today - it was excellent! It makes me sad to see the negative reviews, but I am going to chalk it up to their warped expectations of a raw food establishment.

The food was awesome. It was very Mediterranean inspired, at least at the salad bar, which is what I tried. The second super nice lady that helped me gave me a take out tray that I filled with little samples of every dish (AND a free cup of soup to try!). Wow. When I got home and tried everything, I was thinking about trying their month long carry out program and I still am. I didn't get sick, and in fact, I feel pretty satisfied!

Concerning the service, again, I didn't dine in, but this place has a real European feel to it, and if you've been to Europe, your cooks and servers aren't going to jump when you snap your fingers. Think about it, they're taking the time to serve you the purest of food, so relax and enjoy yourself. I will gladly exercise my patience to be the recipient of a great meal.

I love this place! In a city that prides itself on pizza that feels like a ton of bricks and other various processed meats, it is about time!!!


Kell Bell
Kell Bell
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+48

Raw food tastes.. not bad. Not bad at all!

4
Posted on 08 / 26 / 2008

It was my first time eating at a raw restaurant, and it looks like we picked the right place to start. Chef Mehmet welcomed us when we were seated and invited us to sample from the buffet bar. We had just ordered the three appetizer sampler, so we refused at first, but he was persistent. I think this was because he knew we were first-timers. I'm glad we did because I found several dishes that I really liked and wouldn't have minded having a whole meal around it. The dishes were mostly Mediterranean based, but I did eat some fabulous seaweed salad...not the fake sushi seaweed salad either. We also sampled "ravioli" made with a very thinly sliced vegetable instead of pasta. The filling inside was very tasty. That's the thing that I noticed right away about the dishes...everything is plentifully seasoned. Nothing needed salt or pepper, and we were always trying to figure out the seasoning he used for the dishes. I'm still stumped on a few of them. The pizza was delicious, and highly recommended. We both got different wraps, and finished almost all of it. With the appetizers and sample from the buffet, we were stuffed. I also drank about 10 cups of their house tea - delicious - if you like cloves. We left just enough from for desert - a chocolate "cheesecake" made from cashews...Heaven on a plate. You MUST order the chocolate cheesecake!! The decor is cute...like walking back in time to a 70's cafe. The waitstaff are very knowledgeable and attentive. I'm glad to learn that dishes at a raw restaurant can taste good!

Pros: tasty food, good selection, reasonably priced
Cons: all the food is cold (to be expected!)
Guest
Guest

Cousin's

4
Posted on 03 / 08 / 2008

The raw vegan buffet was not very good, in my opinion, although it was fairly priced and had a lot of options. Just not too many I wanted to eat. The flax seed pizza, tea, and desserts were all excellent however. I would defniitely reccomend going here and ordering off the menu, though I don't reccomend the buffet.

Pros: Healthy, Excellenet Desserts, Friendly Staff
Cons: Subpar Buffet

 

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Last updated: 2011/11/12

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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