Yup, I Would Drive 6 Hours (One-Way) for Vegan Deep-Fried Ribs

I was going to stay in Cincy last weekend, but my brother ended up texting me last minute and saying his plans got changed, so we decided to head up to Chicagoland to pay him a visit.  He mentioned taking me and Francisco out for a belated birthday dinner, so we had just the place in mind...

Before hitting the road, we grabbed some of Graeter's infamous Black Raspberry Chip ice cream to start us off on the drive Friday evening. Graeter's is the top ice cream place around Cincinnati, and this is one of their famous Signature Chip flavors. I've stopped into the ice cream shop down the street a couple of times, but I had yet to try this signature flavor. Why? I didn't think I'd like it. I'm not really a big fan of chocolate, especially in chunks in my ice cream. But it was good! The raspberry flavor was refreshing, and the chocolate chunks were soft and yummy, not chunks of hard chocolate like I expected. I can see why this is one of their famous flavors!

It's a four-hour drive to my hometown, so we were pretty hungry as we pulled into town.  I checked with my brother to see if he might be up to going out somewhere for dinner, and where he would want to go, cuz' he is far more picky than I am!  Picky, yet somehow his tastes can boil down to who has the biggest and cheapest beer, LOL.
We ended up at Texas Corral where he got this giant beer. I helped him drink a little. I'm not much of a beer drinker, but this wasn't too bad. We munched on peanuts from the table buckets, and I dug into the fresh bread with the yummy cinnamon butter.   

We made a meal out of appetizers and left much more stuffed than I'd intended.  :-P

We were up bright and early in the morning ready to fight our way through Chicago traffic to get some donuts for breakfast. 

Our destination was Do-Rite Donuts, which turned out to be this tiny donut shop in the theater district. Incidentally, it was right next door to Petterino's, where I had my wedding reception - literally attached to the restaurant!

These were some really good donuts - my favorite was the Toasted Coconut Bar (top picture). Which surprised me because while I love the taste of coconut, I don't usually dig the texture. But this was a-ok in my book - light, fluffy, creamy.  The Vanilla Bean Glazed Cinnamon Crunch is the bottom-left - it was HUGE! Finally, there was the Lemon Old Fashioned - my least fave. It kind of had too much of that "deep-fried" taste to it. 

 We were headed further north up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is only about another hour or so outside of Chicago. As we neared our destination, we realized we were still pretty full, so we pulled into Jelly Belly to kill a little time. 

Which is a brilliant idea, right? Too full? Pull into a candy shop with free jelly bean samples!

After some light shopping, we decided a better idea would be to stop by Lake Michigan and do a little walking to build up an appetite. This idea worked a little better.

Finally, we pulled into our destination of The Comet Cafe.We had stopped here on our 'Cheesy Road Trip' last year when we'd driven up to Wisconsin with the goal of sampling cheese from a bunch of different places.  I had had the most amazing vegan deep-fried ribs here, and I was looking forward to having some more.  
But someone (me!) did not do their homework very well, because Comet only serves brunch on Saturday until 3:00 PM. Here we were at lunch/brunch time - and there were no ribs on the menu!  Well, when bad timing takes away your ribs, have a 'Sconnie-Mosa (wine, champagne, and orange juice).  Almost everything on Comet Cafe's menu can be made vegetarian (or vegan), so I had the Cheesy Roast Beef sandwich, and Francisco had the Meat-N-Eggs. Mine was good, but a little too bread-y; Francisco's was super-good, and I kept stealing bites from his plate.  While we tried to eat slow, we still had an hour to go before we could place a ribs order...so, we drove away slowly and ended up going back to the lake, by a beach that we spotted.
After an hour of playing at the beach, we were able to place a to-go order of vegan deep-fried ribs.  Even though I wasn't able to eat them until the next day when we were back in Cincy, they were still amazingly good! 

On the drive back, we entertained ourselves with some, um, not terribly tasty confections from our Jelly Belly stop. Beanboozled is Jelly Belly's 'Dare to Compare' game, featuring look-alike jelly beans that may be Juicy Pear...or may be Booger.  You don't know till you try! From our experience, Rotten Egg has the worst lingering after-taste, and Canned Dog Food will totally stink up your car!



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