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The Chicago Diner
Meat Free Since ’83
Newsletter Issue 61
August 27, 2009

2009 Market Days – Much ado over Tip Jar

The 28th Annual Market Days was as festive as ever, but also yielded controversy. This year, Chicago Diner’s tip jar, formerly labelled "George W. Impeachment Fund", was updated this year with a similarly tongue-in-cheek "Sarah Palin Retirement Fund" sign.

The 2 day street fair, which is billed as the largest in the midwest, brought tens of thousands of visitors together to celebrate summer fun, booze, music, great food, & shopping.

A self-described ‘log cabin Republican’ in attendance (who knew?), did not appreciate the humor of the jar and blogged about Chicago Diner committing ‘charitable fraud’ & called for revocation of the Chicago Diner’s business license and investigation by the Attorney General, etc.

The matter gained a bit of media attention (see links below), dare we say, for lack of sense of humor than any crime committed.

Chicago Diner staff would like to thank those that sent numerous supportive emails. Fortunately, the brouhaha did not seem to hurt business, which after all is Chicago Diner’s real agenda: Meat Free Since ’83. All vegetarian, comfort food: good for you, the animals & the environment.

More people are retiring from eating meat! And that is no joke.


NBC5 Chicago – Palin Joke Goes Wrong

CBS2 Chicago -
Blogger Peeved at ‘Palin Retirement Fund Tip Jars’

Chicago Tribune - Phil Vettel
"So ex-Gov. Sarah Palin walks into a bar…
You understand that’s a joke, right? "

Huffington Post (linked to NBC story)

Chicago Now


The Examiner
"Why do they call it “common sense” when it’s so friggin rare."

Associated Content
"I’ve defended Sarah Palin many times throughout the election. I never laughed at Tina Fey’s SNL skits, and I found David Letterman’s A-Rod joke tasteless and disgusting. Still, the Chicago Diner tip-jar is a case of much ado about nothing. It’s very clear that the tip-jar was the diner’s attempt at humor. If a private for-profit company wants to poke fun at Sarah Palin on its own terms it’s their right. Those who disagree with the company’s practices have the option to take their business elsewhere."

Brainz – (linked to Tribune Article)

Yahoo Answers

Would you donate to a tip jar labeled “Sarah Palin Retirement Fund”?
BEST ANSWER: Only if it guaranteed she never could return to public office.

The Village People at Chicago’s Market Days 2009

Fleet Foxes love Chicago Diner
Fleet Foxes visited
Chicago Diner while
in town for Lollapalooza
& a Metro show,
Aug 7 & 8.

During both shows lead singer Robin Pecknold told the crowd, “Chicago Diner is the best vegan place in the world”.

The 5 member band dined on Black Bean Burgers, the Radical Reuben, BBQ Wingz, shakes & Enchiladas, all vegan. Executive Chef Kim Gracen let them know she was a big fan, so they put her & their Server Julia Hendrickson on the guest list for the Metro show. Thanks guys, come back anytime you’re in Chicago.


For a limited time,
Featured Specials:

Caramelized locally grown organic sweet onions in a savory sage & thyme vegan broth with seasoned croutons.

Featuring organic, locally grown heirloom tomatoes, fresh garlic & basil, olive oil & balsamic vinegar on toasted sourdough.

Served until 3:30pm.
A pair of vegan griddle cakes with a fresh locally grown cherry compote with almonds.

Served after 4pm.
Crispy ginger panko coated tofu filets on a bed of brown rice with sweet & sour sauce and stir fried locally grown, organic vegetable medley.

Corn flax chips with carrot, beet, tomato, onion, olive, sprouts, cashew sunflower “sour cream”, “chorizo”, miso “cheese”, guacamole & pico de guillo.

Hansen’s, Natural fruit flavor, no caffeine, with Splenda.

Natural cola flavor, with stevia.

Vegan Bakery – Special

Special Cake,
for a limited time.

7 Deadly Sins: vegan chocolate layer cake, cocoa mousse filling, chocolate frosting, ganache, chocolate & white chocolate chips & cookie crumbs. $6.25


Twitter & Facebook


Search for
the chicago diner
on facebook

veggiedinerchef on twitter

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Featured Veggie Blog

Dear Chicago Diner,

I had a great experience at your restaurant during a short visit to Chicago. So good, I can’t wait to return. I wrote about it in my blog and my daughter said I should email you and let you know. Thank you for a wonderful meal that I still think about.


Featured Healthy Living Products

Multi Pure Drinking Water Systems and Eco Quest Air Purifiers
provided by Jordan B. Lome, The Pollution Solution, (773)274-8979,

Free on-site evaluation for residential or commercial applications.


OPEN LABOR DAY 10am-10pm

M-Th 11-10 pm
Fr 11-10:30 pm
Sa 10-10:30 pm
Su 10-10 pm

Free parking after 6 pm weekdays & 10am-10pm Sat & Sun.
Don’t forget our Award Winning Sunday Brunch (Saturday too)!
Chicago Diner is a member of the Green Business Network

190 North – abc7chicago

Chicago Diner was recently featured on ABC 7′s popular 190 North on July 5. The show featured unique Chicago diners.

The Chicago Diner, Meat Free Since 1983, is very unique.

Checkout the video podcast from July 5.

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