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Illinois: Machesney Park – Pigs Mind Brewing (Review)

Entering Spring is usually my call to action to get healthy and lose some weight. My go-to method to kick off weight loss is to fast during the day and have one daily meal in the evening. The first few days of this regime are the worst, and I usually spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about food! This is made even more challenging when I am travelling. So, after a long day of traversing from Oregon to Wisconsin, I was really in the mood for some comfort food. After fighting my way through the rush hour traffic from Chicago O’Hare airport en route to Madison, Wisconsin I consulted the trusty Happy Cow app on my phone and was excited to find a brewpub that had an exclusively vegan menu located just outside of Rockford, Illinois.

The warm, late-day sun tempted me to avoid the Interstate for the 70-mile journey, so it was nearly 9 pm Central Time (I had been on the road since 5.30 am CST) when I finally pulled into the parking lot of Pigs Mind Brewing. By now I was starving and in much need of food.

Being late in the day on a Monday night things were quiet. Not that I minded as it meant service would likely be quick. I love the atmosphere of a microbrew pub and get inexplicably excited in the presence of shiny brewing vats. I just get heady at the thought of it!

If I had not been driving I would have been tempted to imbibe several beers but alas I had to limit myself to a single glass. Luckily, Pigs Mind allows you to choose the size of glass for your drink; from 5 oz. to 12 oz. to 16 oz. I have a fondness for darker beers, especially stouts and porters so it was a pleasant surprise to see a couple of options on the beer menu. I settled on a 12 oz glass of McFlynn, an oatmeal Irish Stout brewed with raw oats and roasted malts. Delicious!

The beer whetted my appetite for some filling, wholesome food, so I thought I would start out with a bowl of house chilli, which turned out to be a little spicy and was just about the right consistency for my liking.

Normally, the chilli would have been enough for me but I had skipped a couple of meals and needed something more substantial, so I opted for the Impossible Burger. I have found the transition to veganism relatively easy and have not hankered for many foods (with the exception of cheese) that are no longer dietary options. This is particularly true of meat. Over the last few years, I have tried a fair number of vegan style patties from black bean burgers to squashed falafel but I had yet to try an Impossible Burger from Impossible Foods.

When my plate arrived I was not quite sure what to expect. As I took my first taste I was surprised by how close the texture of the Impossible Burger patty was to a beef burger. Now, I am not a reluctant vegan who typically seeks meat replacements but I did find the burger very tasty and it soon disappeared from my plate along with the generous helping of fries.

By the time I had finished, I was totally stuffed and extremely happy. I was so happy that I had taken the time to find this gem of a brewpub and its delicious menu.

Address:4080 STEELE DR., MACHESNEY PARK, IL 61115
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