Home, Home On The Range

As you know, we live in a world where using shit ingredients like canola oil (in almost EVERY good on the shelves) , aspartame (in gum), food dyes, sodium nitrates (in normal bacon, sausages, etc.), and man-made ingredients is socially accepted. Why? A part of society doesn’t 1. read the ingredients, 2. doesn’t care about the ingredients, or (and the worst) 3. can’t afford to eat better. Sure, all of these foods in grocery stores AND in the majority of restaurants have super tasty food, but are they beneficial for our current and future health? EFF NO. Okay, I’m done ranting about the foods in our country (for now) and am veering back to the true purpose….

Although Chicago has started to jump on the clean-sustainable-ingredient-restaurant wagon, the gears are still slowly turning. The main struggle I (and everyone else with food issues) have is finding places to eat out where you can trust the quality. Unfortunately, I can count the places where I can “safely” eat in Chicago on one hand — which is extremely sad. However, after much research, I learned that I can now add Range Chicago in Lincoln Park to my inventory.

Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, a.k.a. the DePaul Neighborhood, Range is a health-conscious, environmentally friendly, & locally involved restaurant that opened in October 2013. Range focuses on providing farm to table food as a lifestyle, not a trend. Executive Chef Luis Pindter has a network of local, organic farmers he uses to source all of the restaurant’s honest, responsible food & drink.  Serving comfort food classics and craft cocktail favorites, Range of course adds their own signature spin on everything that is served. Its menu changes seasonally, about every three to four months depending on which ingredients are freshest & in abundance. Best of all, Range is PALEO friendly, almost 100% gluten free, and accommodating to most health issues– Can I get a hells yes?

Photo Courtesy of Range Chicago

Alcoholic Alternative

I’m not that much of a drinker anymore (shocking, I know), so I opted for the house rosemary lemonade. Although I’m not a huge fan of lemonade because of the usual unidentified added sweetener, our waitress said their drink used real cane sugar.  Cane sugar isn’t technically allowed on Paleo, however, I decided to deviate. why not, I jumped. One sip had me “holy shitballs” reaction. Although it was semi sweet, it is a lemonade; but the best part was that infused rosemary. The subtle woody herb cut though the sweetness and lightened up the drink.

Paleo Friendly Favorites

Again, just to disclaim myself, it’s very easy to eat Paleo at Rage ( just let them know beforehand), however, because I was willing to deviate that day , I did eat a few non-Paleo items. FYI on the days I allow my body to deviate, I eat few dairy products, including eggs. However, no matter what, I will avoid soy, corn, preservatives, and canola oil at all costs. My first Paleo friendly dish that we had was:

Beet Fritter Benedict 

(FYI the menu was recently changed and now has a new seasonal cauliflower fitter Benedict)

In my opinion, the best part of any eggs benedict is hands down THE drip (Aka when the egg is is cut and pours down) and Range’s beautifully poached eggs did not disappoint. One slice with a knife and the luscious golden yolks poured over the crispy beet fritters. Melting down the plate like lava, the yolks were a perfect sauce to dunk the pan fried house potatoes in. Side note, those crispy golden house potatoes were incredible.

Chilaquiles 

While I strayed away from corn, the hubs LOVES a Mexican style type of brunch. I wasn’t surprised at all when he chose the chilaquiles. Sitting on fried corn tortillas, the two eggs (over medium) were topped with a chipotle tomatillo salsa, grilled citrus onion, pulled pork, chihuahua cheese, and cilantro sour cream. Add on a side of crispy house potatoes and this dish is super hearty. Although the hubs has never been a fan of sour cream or cilantro in general, the man licked his plate clean. This rarely happens! The hubs mentioned that the earthly flavor of the cilantro helped cut thru the heavy cheese and creaminess of the dish, hence why he enjoyed it a lot more. Although it was a lot of food, he wasn’t overly full…or at least he played it off like he wasn’t.

Although I didn’t eat strict AIP or Paleo, surprisingly my skin and stomach barely reacted. Why is that? The quality of the ingredients, duh. Not only did I add Range to my list of clean-food date night options, but I left Range feeling (very) full and happy. Food issues or not, Range has the perfect meal away from your kitchen.

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