I just saw this article linked from the front page of the Chicago Tribune. Was already aware, first heard about it on Twitter, and then on the blogs, but here's some more detail.
Heartland Cafe was closed for the following health code violations: mouse feces throughout; a slimy black mold inside its automatic ice machine that was dripping into the ice-forming tray; and 24 pounds of food that should have been stored at below 40 degrees Fahrenheit that was warmer, including shredded chicken, tofu and cut vegetables.
All together now.......EWWW.
Read the whole story here.
In the article, the owner complains that the city's response was harsh. I disagree. When somebody gets sick and the health department comes in and takes a look, it is standard practice to shut the place down until all violations are rectified. Why? So nobody else gets sick before everything is resolved. You don't get "a few days" to work that out while staying open.
Kate and I stopped going here long ago because the food never seemed to be hot enough, the silverware and glasses were always grimy, and the general environment of the place just wasn't clean enough to our standards. Is that related to the current issues? Hard to say, as I'm not an expert on these things. But, in my uninformed opinion, I guess this doesn't surprise me all that much.
Finally, I would point out that though I'm no longer a vegetarian, I was one in the past. I regularly eat vegetarian and vegan fare, and I really enjoy tofu. Ever tried a veggie burger with bacon and cheese on it? It's confusing, but delicious. So I really, really wanted to enjoy the Heartland Cafe. The menu seems right up my alley. So trust me when I tell you that I'm not trashing the place due to a dislike for the "granola nature" of this place. If they could actually pull it off, I'd be over there for lunch or dinner a couple of times a week.