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Next's Production Feels Unvegan-Like; More

Photo: Next

Next's Vegan menu is an impressive affair, but the steep price tag and "Next's trademark pageantry and its over-the-top flavors and executions" make it feel "inherently unvegan," according to Kevin Warwick. A mushroom cart course is "one of the night's best" and has an "earthy warmth and comfort-food heartiness" while the Swiss chard and douchi is capable of eliciting a "No way is this Vegan" reaction. An "adventurous" burned avocado puree is served on a rock but is "maybe a little roll-of-the-eye precious," and a house-made cider vinegar paired with fermented apple and reindeer lichen dish reveals a "bright but fragile tartness." It's clear that the vegetables are "killing it in the lead role," but the production has a "bigger budget" than Warmick would prefer. [Reader]

Smashburger's first Chicago location is a smash hit that puts itself ahead of the rest of the burger competition. The bun selection is "stupendous" with a "fluffy yet firm" egg bun and a pretzel bun that's "as pleasing as to be expected." Toppings are "more akin to a gourmet burger bar than a fast-food facility," and the Windy City burger is "thoroughly tasty." The signature Smashfries "stand out" and make for "a few especially delicious oil-drenched crispy potato morsels" with their dusting of rosemary and olive oil, while for dessert the Butterfinger milkshake makes for a "fine specimen of a shake." [RedEye]

Next Restaurant

953 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 312 226 0858 Visit Website

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