Sunday, July 24, 2011
Vegan in Toronto Again: Rawlicious
Seeing as an extended summer vacation is not in the cards for me this year, I decided to take a quick trip to Toronto this past weekend for a bit of a relaxing change of pace. Part of the trip was spent in the company of my friends Nicole and Alex and their rather amazing 2 year old son, Jacob. I got to check out their brand new apartment, discuss farm animals and the sounds they make with Jake, and eat lots of good food. Not bad at all.
Nicole, who is always good at making sure I am adequately fed when I visit, had mentioned Rawlicious when I was first planning the trip. I'd never actually been to a raw food restaurant, so I was excited to try it.
Nicole and Alex and I decided to check it out for lunch one afternoon when Jake was off being admired by a different adult. It was boiling, weather wise, so the first things we ordered were the drinks you can see up there in the first picture. Nicole's was chocolate almond milk, mine was a chocolate mint smoothie, and Alex's was a blueberry iced tea. My smoothie was so minty I was initially kind of startled by it, but the taste grew on me quickly. It was certainly refreshing. I forgot to ask how everyone else liked their drinks, but all cups were emptied quickly, so that's a good sign.
For my lunch I ordered the "zuchetti" with basil pesto. The portion seemed huge when it arrived. I was slightly daunted by the idea of eating that much raw zucchini. But I cleaned my plate. It was tasty and fresh and light. The nice thing about raw food is that it never makes me feel uncomfortably full. It actually makes me feel kind of like a mega-healthy, clear-headed superhero, but don't tell anyone that or they'll think I'm a bit bonkers.
Nicole had the raw taco wrap. I was considering ordering this instead of my pesto, so I was glad she ordered it so I could at least get a look at it. Truthfully, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about raw collards. Nicole liked it, but she said the almond cheese was a bit sharp tasting. She also commented that this would not be a meal to present to a meat eater who was trying vegan food for the first time. "Because this tastes good, but it is definitely not what I'd think of when I think of a taco." Agreed. Adventurous eaters only.
Alex had the "Rawitch" which was served on onion bread. He said the bread surprised him with its sweetness, but seemed to like the food regardless. I am a hater of sprouts, so I would never have ordered this, but if you like that sort of thing, I'm sure it would be delicious.
Since I was technically on vacation and attempting to experience my slightly unfamiliar surroundings to the fullest, I did not hesitate to order dessert. Without too much dithering I chose a strawberry custard tart. With three forks.
Holy, this was amazing. The nut crust had a great texture, the strawberries were fresh and bright, and the custardy cream was better than any raw cream I've ever made at home. And I've tried quite a few raw creams. Because, as I said to a coworker drinking some kind of mocha-choco-latte-thingy at my office the other day, "Whipped cream is the best reason not to be vegan."
Nicole and Alex had been unenthusiastic about dessert, but once they made use of those two extra forks the tart was gone in no time. We were all delighted by it. I spent the rest of the day thinking about it. I wonder how they make that custard. Someone find out and e-mail me, please.
Oh, and did I mention the restaurant is adorable? Cosy and bright and cute. If I lived in the neighbourhood I'd stop in as often as possible. Especially for dessert.