Remember that cute little cafe that you loved before the big chain bulldozed it and now there is no charm?
Here’s your chance to support a great vegan cafe when it is still small enough to have its wholistic soul, genuine enough to have an organic sparkle, and healthy enough to call plant-astically unique!
Wheeling? Yes. Wheeling. I am from Chicagoland and I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever been to Wheeling until Sunday. But that’s why God invented Yelp, so we can all go to little idealistic joints like this one to support the Davids against the Goliaths of the restaurant worlds.
Hubby and I hiked at a nearby forest prior to our visit to Purple Sprout Cafe on Sunday afternoon and came in hungry. Located in a tiny strip of storefronts at 341 E. Dundee Road, the Purple Sprout sign says it is a cafe and “juice bar”, which I am sure it is, but I want to jump up and down about the food so I will.
Since I have gone primarily plant based in my diet, whole foods (real whole foods, not the just the stuff they sell at the store) taste so good to me. The server there told us that all the food at Purple Sprout is organic and vegan, much of it gluten-free and sugar-free.
We were starving and boy did we get stuffed with what we ordered!
I got the beet soup which came out piping hot, and had what tasted like bits of carrots and other root vegetables and herbs in it.
My husband got the lentil soup which looked like red lentil, and was so smooth and creamy with a delicate wholesome taste not overly adorned.
The house appetizer was served without us asking, and seemed to be a creamy black bean dip, with some very cool crispy gluten-free cracked pieces of wispy wafers for dipping.
The burrito was adorably adorned with the word “Happy” spelled across the top in pale cream drizzle, and boy did it live up to its promise. The wrap was homemade too, and the server said everything else in the place is too. Each soup, appetizer, meal, baked good and chocolate was created by the family who owns Purple Sprout.
I got the veggie stir fry with plant based chorizo which looked to be seitan, and tasted fantastic. All the vegetables were beautifully cooked so they were tender but firm, and the baby bok choy looked so cute cut lengthwise and placed at an angle on top the organic brown rice. I couldn’t quite identify all the flavors, but I think it would have cost me twice what I paid just to buy the herbs, spices and organic plants to go in this dish!
In the back of the restaurant there was a little girl twirling around who reminded me of myself at her age talking to the fairies in our family restaurant. She had a spring in her step that seemed plant-based and magically happy.
We took our desserts home, and were thrilled to taste the blueberries and chocolate standout flavors which didn’t have to compete with copious sugar and fat. Everything tasted so humble and REAL!
There were about a dozen delicious items to choose from on the savory menu, and about the same number of sweet treats.
In a fridge at the back of the cafe you can purchase prepared items and take them home.
I suspect the owners are still getting the hang of the ambiance, and are putting all their energy into the carefully selected vegan pulses and pure plants. Though the space is minimalist, it pairs nicely with the cuisine which is natural and abundant in organic energy.
We will be going back to Purple Sprout to try the many items on their menu like Chickpea Veggie Scramble, Braised Seitan, Hempburgers, Cashew Basil Pizza, and Mango Cream Smoothies.
The Coconut Raspberry Macaroon was a delicious way to end the meal, and had the passion for plants in each sultry bite.
Support this vegan and gluten-free gem, and you will love how you feel! I can’t promise you will be twirling and talking to the fairies, but the environment will thank you for trying.