Patio · Vegetarian

Vegan Street (Beltline)

To celebrate Summer’s successful internship, we went out to celebrate. I checked around, and most places couldn’t accommodate a group of our size. Sunflower mentioned Vegan Street is one of Summer’s favourite restaurants. I called, and they were happy to accommodate our group. For this post, let’s listen to “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams.

Vegan Street reserved two tables for us in one room. Our table was between the bar and the patio. It had just started to rain, so with the open door, the air was cool and fresh.

On Wednesday, wine by the bottle is half off, and appetizers are three dollars less. I ordered a bottle of Landlust Organic Dry Riesling ($39, HH $20) to share with Dalhousie. We debated a little as to if the wine was tart or sweet. As we are both pretty chill people, we decided we found the wine acidic and/or sweet.


Sunflower and Queen’s Gambit ordered a Virgo cocktail ($15, HH $10). Queen’s Gambit mentioned she always gets the featured drink because it is seasonal and won’t be on the menu for long. She remarked her cocktail wasn’t overly citrusy and nicely balanced with matcha tea’s flavour.


When the rest of the crew arrived at our table, I recited the specials and gave my recommendations: the kalamari and fish tacos. I mentioned the fish is made from heart palm, which gives it a creamier, smoother, superior texture than fish. I also said that I heard the Chickin Bites ($16.50, HH $13.50) were supposed to be very tasty, as well as the mushroom tacos and truffle mushroom burger. Field asked if I had shares in the restaurant because I knew the menu so well. I said no, I just had a deep love for delicious food.


Vegan Street makes its Kalamari ($16.50, HH $13.50) from local blue oyster mushrooms. The firm texture mimicked squid’s bounciness but without any fishy flavour. The batter was light and melted in my mouth. The best thing about the kalamari was the flavour of the seasoning and the creamy, zippy tzatziki sauce.

There were pops of flavour from the pickled capers, spiciness from the jalapenos, and aromaticness from the onions. This dish is so good that I could happily eat this vegan version over any other ‘real’ kalamari.


I tried Dalhousie’s sweet chilli chickin bites. I thought the outer skin layer of the tofu imitated the toothsome texture of real chicken. Lighty breaded and heavily sauced, the tofu bites were finger-licking good.
I want to take L here for the fish tacos and the mushroom truffle burger, even though I know he will resist. He’s a die-hard meatatarian. However, if Vegan Street can make a version of calamari and fish better than the real thing, they can convert anyone. Hitting the Sauce gives Vegan Street two phat thumbs

Happy Hour · Vegetarian

Vegan Street in Inglewood

After our wine tasting at Brick’s Wine Company, Sunflower and I wanted to grab a drink and bite to eat. As Sunflower is a vegetarian, I suggested Vegan Street. It turns out she’s already visited, and she’s a fan of the margaritas and food. Let’s listen to “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne for this post.

As I was lugging six bottles of wine, I walked slower than usual. Sunflower offered to take my bag partway, but I told her I could use the exercise as I neglect weights in my daily workout routine. She’s seven years younger than me, so she doesn’t know about the trials we older broads face.

We made it just in time for happy hour. Every day from 3:00-5:00 p.m., Vegan Street offers five-dollar draft beer and tacos and six-dollar margaritas, house wine, and tall beer cans.

Sunflower recommended the Charred Pineapple ($6). Oh man, these vegans don’t mess around with their cocktails. This margarita was even better than Anjeo. My drink was sweet but not sugary. I could taste the roasted pineapple and fresh citrus. I would order this again. This is easily the best margarita in the city.

I ordered two tacos. The No-Fish taco ($5) consisted of beer-battered palm hearts. The smooth, buttery texture and taste mimicked white fish so well that I couldn’t tell it wasn’t fish. I also enjoyed the burst of flavour from the ripe mango and sweet corn garnish. This taco is a winner.

The Korean Fried Chickin was huge, piled high with sweet deep-fried soy curls. This taco was messy to eat – the spicy aioli and kimchi would drip down and plop onto my plate. Of the two, I preferred the palm heart taco because I could still taste the soy in the chickin. The litmus test for vegetarian food is if it even better than what it seeks to imitate.

Sunflower tried three tacos – the No Fish, Asada Portobello, and the Pulled Porque. Of the three, her favourite was the Asada Portobello taco. I’ll have to come back and try this one. I noticed the tacos were all generously stuffed. What makes these tacos stand out are the creative ingredients, such as the grilled pineapple salsa, watermelon radish, and lime crema. When vegetables taste this good, you don’t miss the meat.

Thanks, Sunflower, for treating me to this delicious vegetarian experience. I’m keen to come back again and check out their other dishes. Hitting the Sauce gives Vegan Street to phat thumbs up.

Indian · Vegetarian

Veg-In YYC

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A fellow staffer in my department recommended Veg-In YYC, a relatively new vegetarian take-out place near our office. The unit is small with a handful of spots for singles or pairs of two to eat. For a new place, the cafe sure has caught on with the locals. Whenever I walk by, there are two to three people waiting for their food.

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I asked for a recommendation, but the male employee working at the till couldn’t offer any suggestions and just shrugged his shoulders. After hemming and hawing, I picked the lunch special, a pakora naaco with rice and vegetables ($10.00).

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It took about ten minutes for the staff to assemble my order. You can tell everything is prepared and cooked with care. I was pleasantly surprised with the flavours of the vegetables, curry and potatoes. I don’t know how healthy the dish was, as quite a bit of it was deep-fried.

I plan to go back to try a burrito or something that isn’t fried. Most dishes are around the ten-dollar mark. For the quality and flavour, I’d say the food is worth it. If you haven’t already, check it out.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Veg-In YYC Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vegetarian · Vietnamese

Tamarind Vietnamese Restaurant

My buddy Jaime is leaving Calgary. She wants to hit up some of her favourite restaurants before she leaves at the end of this month. On a chilly Wednesday night, she suggested we check a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant in the downtown core, Tamarind.

Before I talk about the food, I’m going to set the mood with a song to show how I feel about my friend leaving me. If the ever so melodramatic Celine Dion depresses you while you read along, you can blame Jaime. Sadly, I’ve become attached to the little vegetarian.

Tamarind is tiny and near closing time, was still packed with customers. The food takes a long time to arrive as it is so busy and the homemade food is plated with care. For example, the tofu is house made with non-GMO soya beans and without calcium sulfate. I noticed the colours were bright and  the food artfully presented.

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When Jaime opened the menu, she let out a happy little squeal and said, “I can order anything off the menu!” I take it for granted that I can go into any restaurant and choose whatever I want. Well, except the really expensive stuff but that’s my choice as I want to stay within my budget.

Jaime and I wanted to try the Veggie La Lot Rolls ($9), but the restaurant was sold out. Instead, we tried the Tofu Mini Pie ($8.50). The tofu is mixed with mushrooms, bean thread noodles, peas and carrots. As instructed, we poured the fish sauce on top and spooned the warm tofu mixture on sesame rice crackers.

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I ordered the Sate Tofu Noodle Soup ($11.00) sans cilantro. The broth here rocked. Spicy, clean, flavourful but light. The tofu was particularly good, sweet with a pleasantly firm, silky smooth texture. The bowl was filled with broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms. I added some fresh basil leaves and sprouts. Usually I’m still hungry after eating vegetarian food, but here I was more full than a regular non vegetarian restaurant.

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Jaime ordered Laksa ($12), which came with similar vegetables and noodles. I tried a sip of her broth, which was lighter and more fragrant than my sate soup. I could detect the lemongrass and the coconut milk. Jaime enjoyed her dish but preferred the sate tofu soup over the laksa.

I found the prices reasonable for the portions and quality. If I was a vegetarian, I would come here every day. I plan to return but I will likely opt for take-out. Next time, I want to try  Tamarind’s fresh Paradise Rolls ($7.50), Veggie La Lot Rolls ($9.00), Pad Thai ($13.00) and any dishes with tofu. Tamarind’s tofu is delicious.

 

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Tamarind Vietnamese Grill & Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato