Mana Food Bar, Wicker Park

I spent this passed weekend gallivanting around Chicago with one of my best friends, Josh. Chicago is my family’s go-to weekend vacation spot, but we rarely stray from Michigan Avenue, so I had a great time exploring Wicker Park this time around! We had dinner on Friday night at Mana Food Bar, a popular vegetarian spot. We opted to sit at the bar and forgo a wait, and had a great time chatting with the bartender about the food and drinks on the menu. One of my favourite ways to indulge in LA was getting a juice at Pressed Juice, and the drinks here reminded me so much of those fresh, delicious juices- the pineapple & ginger and watermelon & mint cocktails were our favourites. We split a handful of small plates, and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Josh’s favourite was the Mana Slider, which was made out of mushrooms and brown rice, and was the most moist veggie burger I’ve ever had! My favourite had to be the Baja Corn, deliciously grilled corn with chili-lime salt- so simple but so great. Since I first looked at the Mana menu last week, I had been looking forward to the mushroom sauté over creamy polenta (two of my favourite things), but was sadly disappointed with this dish. The polenta was not creamy at all, and instead was quite dry and a bit hard, and the mushrooms seemed overcooked and also dry. I was expecting luscious mushrooms and a soft, smooth polenta, and was very disappointed with the results. But I couldn’t even spare a few extra moments to be upset because everything was so wonderful! And I don’t think I once thought about the fact that I didn’t have the option of eating chicken, that’s how well done and thoughtful the menu is. You cannot come to Wicker Park, or even Chicago in general, and pass over Mana- the ambiance, food and drinks were all top notch, and I think the poor polenta just had a tough day. Looking forward to going back next time I’m in Chicago!

- priya

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drinks on drinks

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pineapple & ginger, watermelon & mint cocktails

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Sesame Noodles in spicy peanut sauce

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Baja Corn

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Mushroom Sauté over Creamy Polenta

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Mana Sliders

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Sweet Pea Ravioli

Mana Food Bar on Urbanspoon

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