Wednesday, July 19, 2006

478 Queen Street West,
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 2B2

You should know
Ok, so I told you about my trip to Canada. Chris and I went with a friend of ours and his girlfriend, who is a vegan. Now she had been great about going wherever the rest of us wanted to go for food, so we agreed to check out a vegan restaurant for dinner one night.

First of all, everything was overpriced. The waitress explained to us that the food was served tapas-style, so we could expect to buy several plates, but at C$9+ a pop, we weren’t especially eager to buy that many, and they were big enough that we didn’t have to. Chris and I were satisfied splitting two regular dishes and a small one (though we’d had a large lunch that day).

We started with cocktails. I had an apple-cucumber martini (C$9) that needed more cucumber. Chris had a mango martini that he found too overpoweringly alcoholic. We then split an excellent avocado salad, a decent potato gnocchi, and an unimpressive side of sautéed watercress that made us wish we’d opted for the edamame, thanks to an unpleasant aftertaste. Add the drinks and the taxes, and the bill was hefty – and tiny compared to what our friends paid for their full meals. The service was unremarkable, but competent.

Go -- if you have to.
Supposedly, vegan restaurants are expensive because they’re rare; no competition means customers won’t go elsewhere. And though we might have been able to find another place that would have catered to vegan eating habits, Fressen was the only place listed in our guidebook that really fit what we needed. I’m happy to recommend the avocado salad, but other than that, I would give this place a pass if you’re not actively looking for vegan cuisine.

The rest of the Internet
Five different recipes for avocado salad.
A cucumber martini.
Candy reviews the restaurant.
DragonSlayer at Cooking Delights was thrilled with the food, if not the service.

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