Can a chain restaurant that serves chicken, beef and fish wear the crown of vegetarian eateries? If that chain restaurant specializes in fresh vegetables accompanied by beans, rice and tofu, yes. Crazy Bowls & Wraps has been marching across the metro area like a, well, like a popular fast-food chain, and that's actually a good thing. St. Louis has one vegan deli and a small handful of vegetarian-friendly restaurants (especially in the Southeast Asian and Indian categories), but there's nothing here for vegetarians like Crazy Bowls & Wraps. The homegrown chain has ten locations, including O'Fallon (vegetarian options in O'Fallon!). CBW is convenient and seriously healthy. They serve brown rice. Four bowls zesty beans and rice, stir-fry, fajita and curry make up the core vegetarian menu. A Mediterranean wrap, a vegetable-and-feta wrap and barley-lentil soup round out the vegetarian options. Though chicken, which has become the default ingredient for all "healthy" fast food menus, dominates at CBW too, you can easily replace the ubiquitous bird with tofu (and top it with teriyaki). Perhaps the coupling of drive-throughs and a well-advertised low fat count is what it takes to sell vegetarian to St. Louisans. Maybe local restaurateurs will learn a few tricks from CBW's conquest and bring back true vegetarian cooking. Now that
would be crazy.