The classic Reuben sandwich has slices of corned beef topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing, grilled between two slices of marbled rye bread. There’s several variations of the Reuben, each typically featuring a different meat in place of the corned beef. There’s also a meat-free version, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, most commonly known as Chicago Diner’s Radical Reuben. Chicago Diner, with locations in Logan Square and Lakeview in Chicago, is known for their extensive menu filled with vegetarian and vegan options, from pancakes and burgers to milkshakes and cakes. It’s definitely not just a place for vegetarians and vegans. Their menu can surely impress meat lovers and omnivores as well.
What’s special about the Reuben sandwich at Chicago Diner is their in-house corned “beef” seitan, a doughy “meat” derived from wheat gluten. The seitan is marinated in a beet juice and pickling brine to absorb its flavors and also gives it a nice red color. The seitan is then sliced and topped with grilled onions, peppers, sauerkraut, vegan thousand island, and dairy-free cheese. Just like the traditional, all that hearty deliciousness is placed between two large slices of marbled rye bread. Not in Chicago and want to make this at home? Chicago Diner has an awesome cookbook filled with some of their diner favorites, like the Radical Reubin.
Chicago Diner is located at 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave in Logan Square and at 3411 North Halsted in Lakeview/Boystown. Location hours vary.