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We adore chicken salad. But we?ve also been adding more meat-free days to our routine. So when we heard about the ?not chicken salad? sandwich at the new vegan restaurant Kitchen 17, we had to find out how it stacks up to the real thing. 

The casual, light-filled spot is tucked away in Lakeview off of bustling Broadway. There?s free Wi-Fi for work-on-the-go types, and if you want a drink with your meal--coffee, tea, lemonade or water--the serve-yourself selection is gratis. (Bring your own bottle of wine if it?s date night.)??

We asked owner Don Clements how a ?chicken? salad made with tofu competes, and he said the secret is his ?veganaise? of oils and herbs (no healthier, he cheerfully conceded, than regular mayo).

Though the crumbly texture of tofu is less firm than chicken, the sandwich ($8) satisfied thanks to its pillowy, toasted ciabatta roll, the bite of chopped red onions and the familiar crunch of celery bits. It?s pure summer in a sandwich. 

Also on the menu: a killer creamy potato salad (there?s that veganaise again) and standout garlicky hummus with a pool of cool tahini sauce in the center ($7) served with warm pita bread.

??Kitchen 17 even delivers--perfect for the lazy vegan who?s craving a non-pepperoni pizza, pronto.

??Kitchen 17, 613 W. Briar Place; 773-661-1757 or

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