Pur et Simple, a restaurant review /// Critique de resto

This week-end really was the perfect summer week-end: warmth, sun, light breeze and clear skies. My boyfriend and I took advantage of this by exploring our area, and we stumbled across the Pur et Simple restaurant right on time for brunch. Perfect!

This restaurant is an organic and vegan place which focuses on serving whole foods prepared in the most delicious ways. What’s great about this restaurant is that they have a very nice terrasse which allows you to really take advantage of the summer. The inside of the restaurant is also very cute and has shabby chic vibes, but I recommend eating outside if it’s a nice day! As it was brunch time, we ordered the breakfast crepe and the burrito.

 

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The breakfast crepe in all its glory!

The breakfast crepe was delicious! Made with an amaranth flour blend, the crepe itself was soft and wholesome. It was filled with scrambled tofu and coconut bacon and covered with a rich hollandaise-like sauce. The flavours and textures were really well-balanced and the avocado topping and salad were the perfect complement to this nourishing breakfast plate.

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Look at this beautiful burrito!

The burrito was splendid as well: homemade tortilla, slightly spicy black bean filling and a glorious cashew cream topping. This cashew cream was really delicious and brought the right amount of tanginess to the whole plate. Served with guacamole and tortilla chips, this will keep your fueled up for a long while!

We really enjoyed our meal, and we will be back for sure! The service was friendly and attentive, and the prices were reasonable. I have to say that the main dishes were fairly priced; the smoothies and desserts seemed a little bit more pricey (but the cakes looked amazing!). So, if ever you are in the Bromont area, I would strongly recommend checking this place out!


Ce week-end était le week-end d’été parfait: chaleur, soleil, légère brise et un beau ciel bleu. Mon copain et moi en avont profité pour explorer notre région un petit peu et nous sommes tombés sur le restaurant Pur et Simple juste à temps pour le brunch: parfait!

 

Photo de Pur & Simple restaurant végétalien et biologique.

Photo prise sur la page facebook du resto

 

Ce restaurant biologique et végétalien sert des plats faits d’ingrédients sains préprarés de façons toutes plus délicieuses les unes que les autres. Ce qui est bien aussi, c’est que la terrasse est vraiment agréable et qu’elle permet de profiter du beau temps. L’intérieur du restaurant est également très mignon avec des notes campagnardes, mais je recommande la terrase pour l’été! Comme c’était le temps du brunch, nous avons commandé la crêpe déjeuner et le burrito.

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The breakfast crepe in all its glory!

La crêpe déjeuner était délicieuse! Faite avec un mélange de farine comprenant l’amaranthe, la crêpe elle-même est légère et moelleuse. Elle était farcie de tofu brouillé et de bacon de noix de coco, et recouverte d’une sauce de type hollandaise. Les saveurs et les textures étaient bien équilibrées, et l’avocat et la salade ajoutaient la parfaite touche de fraicheur à ce petit déjeuner bien nourrissant.

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Look at this beautiful burrito!

Le burrito était également splendide: tortilla faite maison, des haricots noirs légèrement épicés et une généreuse portion de crême de cajou. Cette crême était vraiment délicieuse et ajoutait la touche acidulé parfaite à toute l’assiette. Servie avec de la guacamole et des chips de tortilla, cette assiette était vraiment délicieuse et vous remplira d’énergie!

On a vraiment apprécié notre repas, et nous retournerons à ce resto sans hésiter. Le service était amical et attentif, et les prix raisonnables. Je dois dire que les smoothies et desserts m’on semblés chers (quoique je dois dire que les gâteaux avaient l’air fabuleux!). Si jamais vous êtes dans le coin de Bromont, arrêtez-vous-y!

 

L’Gros Luxe 100% Végé, a new staple?

This week-end is supposed to be one of the worst rainy week-end of the summer. What did we do to make it better? Easy: Brunch! This week, my friend Thao from La Végé d’à Côté wrote an amazing review on a new vegetarian and vegan spot in Montreal: L’Gros Luxe 100% Végé. It looked like they had really fun food, and so I was really excited when I saw that they were starting to serve brunch this week-end. Out we went!

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When we entered, I was really surprised by the cool vintage decor of this restaurant. It really has a cozy and comfortable feel. I was really excited to see the brunch menu: scrambled tofu eggs, benedict eggs, breakfast burritos, poutine and waffles… and fried chicken! Now, I had to try that out! So we ordered the waffles and fried chicken and the breakfast poutine. Our waitress was super friendly and casual. She was really nice! So we ordered, and then we waited, waited and waited. It took a while for our food to arrive, and our neighbors, who were there before us, were still waiting for theirs when we started eating.

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I have to say I was expecting a little bit more food for the price, but everything was delicious. The pear-bourbon maple syrup was really flavourful, and it is something I’d like to make again at home. The gluten-free waffles were good, but really dense. However, they were not too sweet, and so I got to enjoy the wonderful syrup with them. The real star of this plate was the vegan chicken: super crispy, perfect texture and amazing taste. It really felt like the real thing, while still being an incredible mix of soy protein and shiitake mushrooms. Delicious!

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Overall, we liked the food, but it was a bummer to have to wait so long for it to arrive. Would we go back? Well, probably if we had omni friends around because they do have fun veganized staple foods. I would maybe want to try out their evening menu which looks amazing. It’s also great that they offer vegan alternatives for most of their vegetarian dishes, and that many of them are gluten-free. It’s still great to see more and more vegetarian and vegan restaurant pop up around the city. Let me know if you went there for brunch or for diner, and what you thought of it! And don’t forget to check out La Végé d’à Côté for her review!

 

Pure Kitchen, a restaurant review

Sunday, after attending the Ottawa Veg Fest, we went to eat at Pure Kitchen. Apparently, this restaurant was launched by the Pure Yoga studios’ team. Their vegetarian menu includes many delicious vegan options, juices and smoothies. I really enjoyed their neutral decor: done all in black and white except for a very colorful wall, the space gives out a fresh and, well, pure impression.

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We started out with their Lavish, their loaded avocado. The avocado half is grilled and filled with pico de gallo (salsa), sprouts and coconut bacon bits. It was very cute and super tasty! It was also very fresh and spicy. The mix of texture was also quite fun: crunchy coconut bacon, creamy avocado and soft tomatoes. And because we wanted to keep things light, we ordered the starter poutine. Yeah, that’s an oxymoron.

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Fries, cashew cheese, bell mushrooms and gravy. Yup, that’s intense! Even though this was good, I didn’t feel like it was particularly exceptional: the fries were soft and the gravy quite salty. However, their cashew cheese was really good. It had little to do with the traditional squeaky poutine cheese, but it added a nice flavour to the mix. Even though we split this up in three parts, I must admit I was full at this point. But it didn’t end here…

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Now this was spectacular! Walnut burger, guacamole, cauliflower wings, coleslaw and greens! this was really great: tasty, textured, and slightly spicy. The fact that there was no bun was great too because this is clearly enough on it’s own. It’s also a lot more fun! This was served with a kale salad and some fries. I really liked the cauliflower wings: what a great idea! My boyfriend took the Awesome burger. The same walnut burger was served with mushrooms, coleslaw and bbq sauce.

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My friend had the Fantastic bowl which was really good! Compared to our burgers, her plate was smaller, but so full of flavours. The tofu was really well seasoned and so tender. Unlike any other bowls I had seen before, this one was served with rice noodles.

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Needless to say, after eating all this we crawled out of the restaurant, hating the idea of food. Except for my friend who was excited about ice cream..! I really like this restaurant: the food was incredible. I have to say that for a Sunday afternoon, it was really packed and noisy however. We also had a very crabby waitress, but considering the jam-packed restaurant, it was understandable. It was actually a little bit funny. Anyways, we all paid around 20$ which is pretty good. I’d probably recommend this place if you are in Ottawa. Plus, it’s right in front of MEC, so you can go browse all the fancy outdoor equipment after eating, and it might make you feel better or make you feel like you are the laziest person who has every walked the earth. On that note, let me know if you tried Pure Kitchen or what’s your favorite vegan restaurant!

Where would I take Aida Mollenkamp?

I love food shows.

It is truly a blessing that we do not have cable TV because I would be glued to the food network day and night. I would become a scary TV addict and morph into my couch. How do I get my fix of food shows then? Simple: Youtube!

One of my favourite shows these days is Off Menu hosted by the gorgeous, knowledgeable and articulate Aida Mollenkamp. I love this show because it is only 15 minutes long, meaning that I don’t feel too guilty taking “Aida-pauses”. It is also great because every week she explores a different city with a local guide (huge food crush on Copenhagen… the city of course!) and gets to have three meals in very different settings ranging from street food to high-end restaurants.

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As I was watching different episodes something terrible dawned on me: nothing (or almost nothing) on her show is vegan! This realization made me think about where I would take her if she were to come to Montreal and choose me as a guide (a girl can dream, right?).

Without further ado, here is my script for her eminent visit (still dreaming…):

  1. We would start off our day at Café Venosa for their wonderful latté art and great cupcakes. Plus, I mean, the cats! Who wouldn’t want to start the day sipping a nice hot beverage with some fluffy friends around?
  2. Second option for breakfast, of course: Brunch at Aux Vivres. I don’t need to say anything else.
  3. We would then go up Saint-Laurent avenue and move to Kem Coba for a nice exotic fruit sorbet: soursop or mango ? Maybe both!
  4. Why not continue walking to get a nice lunch at Invitation V? My heart has something for their hot pot tray because the rice is seriously yummy, and it is so much fun to eat!
  5. Finally, why not end the day at the new Sushi Momo location? I am seriously super excited that they have a bigger place now because it means even more people will get to try out their amazing vegan sushi! Their creations are so unique and wonderfully packed with flavours, they seriously deserve all our attention!

So, this is where I would take Aida if she were to come to Montreal. It really sounds like an amazing and fun vegan day, so I might just experience it and pretend that I’m the fabulous host of my own exceptionally fun cooking show. That could happen, right?

Anyways, let me know where you would take your favourite cooking show host and why!

Perfect Brunch, an “Aux Vivres” review

Aux Vivres is kind of a no-brainer for Montreal based vegans. It holds a special place in my heart as I remember going in there a few months after they had opened and being amazed by their Dragon Bowl. Then, I remember my fun lunches with friends. I also remember multiple birthday celebrations, meetings and fun dates with my boyfriend.

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Romantic roses for Valentine’s Day!

This restaurant has changed so much since its opening. The first time I went to Aux Vivres, it was a little more that a hole in the wall. Now, they have three big sections, a terrace in the back and a separate store. You can also find their products all around the city (and even outside of the city) in different stores and cafes. Quite the success story!

So, on this very cold day (-35C… winter is definitively here!), we stepped out with my amazing (and sadly just visiting) sister-in-law for a nice vegan brunch.

Brunch at this restaurant is quite the event for me: special dishes, chai tea, but still access to all their regular meals. Amazing!

My sister-in-law went for the Huevos Rancheros plate which looked amazingly good with the great sweet potato wedges and black bean puree. She particularly liked the guacamole, but the silence coming from her corner is proof that this was particularly scrumptious.

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The amazing Huevos Rancheros plate

I also went for a brunch plate: The Polenta. I love this plate, and I have to admit that I always take this when we come for brunch. The polenta triangles have a great crunchy texture on the outside but are still creamy in the inside. I also am completely in love with their black bean puree and guacamole. I really enjoy this plate: the flavour combinations and freshness of the tastes are just amazing!

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The Polenta plate

The brunch plates also come with the choice of coffee or chai latte which is really spicy and comforting. Perfect for this cold day!

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Chai Latte

Finally, if you’re not really in for brunch, you must try their Dragon Bowl. This is the go-to option for my boyfriend. He really loves the sauce which has a great salty and slightly sour flavour. Filled with fresh veggies, sprouts, rice and topped with tempeh or tofu, it is very filling and also very satisfying.

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Dragon Bowl

If you are still hungry after this, I recommend trying the uncheesecake. A complete dupe for non-vegan cheese cake, this has a great creaminess and flavour. The berry topic is also quite nice and the crust is very satisfying. Beware that it is not gluten-free, but my sister-in-law still enjoyed it entirely.

If you are in Montreal, you have to try this restaurant out. It is a little bit pricey, but the food is amazing, the service is very friendly and the number of options just great!

 

Poutineville, a restaurant review

If you are outside of Quebec, Poutine might not rhyme with delicious, yet caloric, potatoes and gravy. And cheese. Yes. As a vegan, I was very disappointed to say goodbye to poutine.

That is until I heard about Poutineville during Montreal’s poutine week. You see, unlike most poutine places, this restaurant gives you a pre-made menu, but also the option of making your own mix, and they even have vegan cheese (of the Daiya family, I suspect) and gravy. Yes!

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I was very intrigued by the crushed potatoes as poutine is usually made with fries. Well, crushed potatoes are amazing! They were deliciously seasoned and oh-so-crispy! As for the vegetable add-ons, they are a way of making me feel better about eating this very, very, very comforting dish, but they also bring a nice variety to the mix.

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I tried this with the pepper gravy, which is vegan and gluten-free. This sauce was rich, had a great taste and was at the perfect temperature to melt the cheese. This last component of the poutine was really the weakest: the cheese has a very artificial taste, which I expected as vegan cheese often have a slight after-taste.

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Still, the potatoes were really amazing! I just can’t get over how crispy and flavourful they were.

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I will definitively go back to Poutineville as I loved making my own unique poutine. If you are in the Montreal area, give it a try!

Copper Branch, a Restaurant Review

As we were downtown, we decided to go try out Copper Branch. We didn’t know anything about it and so, we came in with an open mind. The first thing that surprised us was that it is actually an ordering counter that could fit in any food court, and not a “restaurant”.

We were however awed by the number of choices that the menu proposed. I was also happy to see that any bread could be replaced with a gluten-free option.

My boyfriend went for the Mushroom Galaxy burger on the kamut bun. It was indeed packed with a lot of sauteed button mushrooms as well as one portobello steak.

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I decided to go with the Shiitake Teriyaki sandwich on a gluten-free bun. Wrong choice: I was really disappointed to see that it was not in fact shiitake mushrooms but seitan. It was a little counter productive to take seitan in a gluten-free bun, and I was not happy that the menu did not announce this. Beside the seitan, there was alfalfa sprouts, tomato and lettuce. The bun was very tender and had a great texture. (After contacting Copper Branch to see if it was really seitan, it turns out that it was soy protein mixed with shiitake mushrooms. Better than seitan, but I wish the menu would indicate this.)

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Overall, I was happy to try Copper Branch out, but I don’t think I’ll go back any time soon. Besides the burgers and sandwiches, they also have bowls with various vegetables and proteins. Another point that was a down for us was the prices. Our sandwiches were almost 10$ each, but I don’t feel it was worth it. So, if I were to go to a mall and stumble upon a Copper Branch, I would probably eat there, but I wouldn’t make the trip especially for it.

Sushi Momo: a restaurant review

 

Today, I went to school, had fun with my first class, and then… everything kind of dropped down from there. So, what do you do when life gives you lemons?

You go eat sushi, of course.

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We had tried to go to Sushi Momo (which is an all vegan sushi restaurant) once before, but we were unlucky enough to choose a day when they had an event booked. Sadness overload.

Tonight though we were really happy to be seated at one of their tiny table in their tiny, but cute restaurant.

We were greeted warmly and quickly served complementary edamame beans. Yum! We then ordered their “For 2 Formula” (44$).

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Soon a white miso soup came: not too salty, the broth was rich and soothing.

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After that, we had some gyoza to share. The dough was very crispy and not chewy, and the stuffing light and savory. Served with a spicy soy sauce, this was perfection!

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Then, to our great excitement, the sushi came! 25 pieces, all unique and with a special look to them. We were thoroughly impressed. The best was yet to come: full of flavours, texture and freshness, these are probably the most delicious sushi I have ever had. They really have nothing to envy to traditional fish sushi.

After all this, we each received a scoop of coconut chocolate ice-cream with a peanut butter center. Yummy!

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Over all, the sushi combinations are well-thought, creative and really well executed. The presentation is clean and simple, with a touch of sophistication. The service is quick and friendly. And really, these are the best sushi in town!

 

Sorry for the slightly yellow pictures. As this was a “let’s get out of here” outing, I had to rely on my phone. But I went back there and took better pictures you can see here