Cheap Lunch

The Flaming Ice Cube

It took me a long time to act on recommendations to check out downtown's Flaming Ice Cube — the weird name was a little off-putting — but I'm glad I finally did. It's that rare restaurant where a vegetarian can order anything on the menu — and most of it is vegan-friendly too. And that menu is extensive, including soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, pizzas, and smoothies. The Asian wrap ($5.99) featured a crisp, flat, and easy-to-manage garlic-herb flatbread filled with carrots, onions, corn, and beans, plus roasted peanuts for contrasting crunch. On the side, plum sauce adds yet another layer of flavor. You also get a side dish (I opted for the black bean salsa) and a pickle, completing an eclectic Asian/Mexican/Jewish meal. Fresh-brewed tea, iced or hot, is only $1.25 with free refills. I was tempted by the molten-lava triple chocolate baby bundt cake — being vegetarian does not mean deprivation, after all — but the lunch was so sizable that it's going to have to wait till next time. — Anastasia Pantsios

140 Public Square, 216-263-1111,

Open through winter Wednesdays through Saturdays at 1148 Main Ave., 216-891-6900.

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