Posted on 09 / 15 / 2013
I tried Green Zebra 8 years ago and was so turned off by the experience, I just never went back, even though it is one of the closest places to my house in Chicago. A friend encouraged me to go, telling me that they are now a fully vegetarian restaurant, no longer serving chicken and fish and that they increased their portion sizes. I went with a client, who was open to trying vegan, so we went. I have to tell you, I am just not that impressed. Perhaps because I am a vegan. I find the place irritatingly vegan unfriendly. It's like vegan is an afterthought to this place. Almost like something they are doing because they have to. In most vegetarian places, vegan options dominate the menu. Either they are vegan or they can be made vegan. Green Zebra strikes me as being the opposite. On the night I was there, the tasting menu was all vegetarian, not one item on it was vegan or could even be made vegan. All of the items on the menu are small, but the vegan items seem more like the side dishes of the menu. Even my non veg client quipped, "This mushroom pate is good, but why isn't it vegan? Butter? Can't they easily have made this vegan?" The only dessert they had that was vegan, out of 5 items, was sorbet, which puts them as vegan dessert friendly as Smith and Wollenski's. I didn't find the service to be overly attentive, let alone helpful and friendly. $120 later, I left hungry and disappointed. I am just not a Green Zebra fan.
And to add to my dislike:
Jack Nugent: (edited for length) The Foie Gras Ban came into effect. I was excited about the progressive city that I had chosen and was passed by a 41 to 6 majority of city aldermen. They were educated on the issues and solidly against having restaurants serve this cruel dish. Then the Foie Gras Ban was repealed through some underhanded tricks by Ald Tom Tunney and then Mayor Daley, (as documented in the book Foie Gras Wars by Marc Caro) and the first Chicago restaurant to put the cruel diseased goose liver paste back on the menu? You guessed it. The Green Zebra owner's 2nd restaurant located on Congress Ave in the Loop called Custom House. I had the opportunity to speak with Sue while protesting outside the Custom House and she has absolutely zero empathy for sentient life.
Pricey, Not very vegan friendly