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I have a vegetarian son and two vegan daughters.  I might have been a bit of an influence since I’ve dabbled in both eating lifestyles over the years.  However, it seems to be the other way around now as all three are having a strong influence on my eating decisions.  Lately, I’m mostly vegan at home, for health reasons, but on the outside I eat whatever I feel like so it’s probably a rough 80/20 ratio.  And I DO love to eat out! My husband is even more interested than I am to be strictly vegan, also for health reasons, but at this point I would say that we are veganish.  It reminds me of a favourite line on Big Bang Theory when Penny says, “I’m a vegetarian. Well, except for fish, and the occasional steak. I LOVE steak!”

One of our daughters is finishing up her schooling in Montréal and we just had a celebratory weekend which kicked off with a Habs game (bien sûr) and then included shopping, and some really great vegan dining to suit her preferences.  You know I love non-vegan Montréal options from an earlier post (click here) but let’s see how I made out with my plant-based dining.  Click on the headings to go to the restaurant websites.

Invitation V

I had not dined here before but will definitely go back, again and again.   For starters, the V could also stand for vibrant, because our server Jimi, exuded good health and vibrancy.  You could tell that he really believed in what he was “selling”.  He started us off with a bowl of flavorful popcorn, maple and something else?  Then I had a small salad on Jimi’s recommendation.  It wasn’t so small but man was it good with quinoa, hummus, greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  Yummm!  I was actually full after that but had already ordered the crispy “crab” cakes with cajun rice, basilic sauce, and asparagus.  Really great.

My daughter and husband both raved over their tofu bourguignon and mashed potatoes.  Again, large portions and my daughter took leftovers home.  I had the banana tiramisu which to me was more like gingerbread than tiramisu and the banana was really subtle. It was really good, just not what I expected.  DH had a reportedly yummy mocha coffee (Jimi’s recipe) while I ate my dessert. He took away a serving of kale chocolate fusion cake which he devoured later.

 

Resto Végo

At  Resto Vego (we went to the the downtown location on McGill College Avenue), they offer a huge vegetarian buffet with soup, bread, salad ingredients, prepared salads, loads of “hot” dishes and a large selection of desserts.  Foods are marked as to whether they are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. I think this was my third time here and while I love the concept, I just wish that the hot dishes were hotter.  If you want a big salad with lots of ingredients then you’ll have great fun creating it, but if you want a hot plate then you might be looking for a microwave.  Perhaps they have one; I should have asked.  Tasty food though.  Cost is determined by weight.

Aux Vivres

I’ve eaten at Aux Vivres on Boulevard Saint-Laurent several times. My son introduced me to the place (he lives in Montréal but was away on this weekend) and I’m so glad he did.  On this visit we showed up for a Saturday brunch and had the odd combination of starting with the daily soup (dahl) that was great and then shared the blueberry pancakes.  They brought us two plates which I appreciate so much when restaurants provide this added service without being asked. And,  these were the best vegan pancakes I’ve ever had that rose to spectacular with the addition of cashew cream.  When I got home I just had to try to repeat the experience.  Here’s a recipe that I found online for my home experience and I would highly recommend it. Click here.  I halved the recipe for breakfast this morning with the addition of blueberries.  Next time I’ll make some cashew cream to go with it.

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Of course I had to taste my daughter’s plate; she had the Assiette Kosmos which had souvlaki style seitan, roasted potatoes, rice, tzatziki and salad.  I have got to figure out how to make that tzatziki; really creamy and garlicky.  I’ve given up on making seitan when you can eat a great one like this on the outside without all of the time involved.

Hubby enjoyed everything so much, including his local beer,  and he got a brownie and two cookies to go.  Yes he has a sweet tooth.

I could go on and on about this place.  Just go.  Oh, and a shout-out to our server.  So sweet and fabulous service.  She mentioned that she loves to see her regulars come in on the weekends for brunch, in particular the families.

Mural on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montréal

Nearby mural by Kashink on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montréal

Sushi Crescent

Our daughter introduced us to the Japanese all-you-can-eat experience here at Sushi Crescent.  It’s not a vegetarian restaurant but there are lots of vegan options and we ate . . . . a lot.  The tempura was particularly good (we had sweet potato and also eggplant tempura) and my other favourite item was the vegetable fried udon.  Go hungry!

Reuben’s

Not to be confused with Reuben, also on Rue Sainte-Catherine, this couldn’t be farther from a vegetarian restaurant with all of their proudly displayed smoked meats and mile-high desserts like classic New York strawberry cheesecake.  But . . . they were game to serve me a skillet of fried vegetables and hash browns  for breakfast that was supposed to be topped with cheese and eggs but I had them hold the animal protein.   And, they served my toast without butter as requested.  It was still a huge portion of food for $8.49 and included coffee. (It was so good I went back a second morning for a repeat performance.)

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Picks

Well, you probably wouldn’t find this burger joint if someone didn’t tell you about it.  It’s a  tiny little place popular with those in the know on Rue St. Marc.  At a little counter you take a form and highlight your “picks” including menu items and desired toppings, some of the latter at an extra charge.  You pass in your little forms, and the twosome behind the counter work swiftly to keep the orders flowing.  We got  three veggie burgers to go with lots of fixings, and a couple of sides of fries.  The great variety of burger toppings is what makes for a really personalized bun, then carefully wrapped up in red and white paper and secured with a toothpick.  The spot is VERY casual with just a few tables and chairs. We got ours to go and warmly embraced our paper sack the few blocks back to the hotel.

At Picks doodling is encouraged on the back of your order form

At Picks doodling is encouraged on the back of your order form

 

Crudessence

I didn’t go here on this last visit but I would be remiss not to mention what a great job Crudessence does at preparing raw vegan food.  So clever to make preparations that look like traditional items (for example lasagna, burgers, sushi, or nachos)  but are completely raw!  My other daughter prefers a largely raw vegan diet (here’s her blog at www. carperaw.com) so we had to give it a go when she came with us on another trip.

And I hear that the falafels are great next door at La Panthère Verte .

 

There are lots of other vegetarian/vegan options that you can read about online.  Click here for the Happy Cow listing.  Of course, any great chef or kitchen will provide a meal to suit your preferences and Montreal has loads of great options. Again, more about that here.

And a shoutout to vegan-friendly Cafe Cagibi on Rue St. Laurent where you can sometimes find my son when he’s not being a rock star (en route to a music festival in Austin, Texas as I write this), and the home of my favourite cookies – their Russian Tea Cakes.

Where do YOU live and do you have a favourite vegetarian/vegan restaurant there?

 

Side note:  We found it amusing that our complimentary wine, nuts, and Terra chips on our Porter flight were a perfect plant-based snack.  Did anyone else on the plane realize that they were enjoying a lovely vegan snack?

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Footnote:  If you have read this far perhaps you are interested in plant-based eating?  Here’s a great lecture on some of the research as it relates to the healthfulness of a vegan diet by Dr. Michael Greger.  Click here.