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Val’s Bites

by Archives November 4, 2008

Lola Rosa

545 Milton
514-287-9337
Major cards accepted.

At Lola Rosa you’ll feel like you’re eating in your grandmother’s kitchen except the food is probably much healthier, and of course there’s no meat. The dishes are vegetarian, but the chef is happy to make most items on the menu vegan upon request. Everyday there is a soup, panini, salad and quiche of the day. The constants are vegetarian chili, Indian curry, and Tunisian ragout. I tried the soup special, which was beet, dill and sweet potato, and I absolutely loved it. Then I had the chili, and thank God no one was there to yell at me when I didn’t finish because the portion was huge! The chili was mixed with fresh tomatoes, green and red peppers, shallots, rice, orange slices and tortilla chips accompanied by sour cream. I’m getting full just writing about it. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, the seasoning was a bit off but I enjoyed it, and on a cold day it’s the ultimate comfort food. The vegan chocolate cake is a must try; just take it to go because you’ll be full. Friendly and attentive service is also a plus. For Loyola students, Lola Rosa has a second location on Sherbrooke and Marlowe. Mains: $5-8.50 taxes included.

Pushap

975 Jean Talon West
514- 274-3003
Cash only.

Meat usually comes to mind when I think of Indian food. That’s why I was surprised when I heard of a vegetarian Indian restaurant. Pushap originated as a bakery, but has expanded into a restaurant with three locations; on Jean Talon, in the West Island and in Parc Extension. Although the restaurant is a tad grimy, the delicious, low calorie food quickly made it a favourite. And with generous mains costing no more than $6.95, the prices are simply too good to be true.
Pushap’s specialty is their Thali plates. A Thali plate is a metal dish divided into sections to contain different concoctions, which are usually two vegetable curries of the day, spicy chick peas or lentils, rice with vegetables, a protein rich dahl and a choice of Indian bread. I may have been sweating profusely from the spices, but I savoured every bite.
For dessert I sampled the Rasgoda, which is a white cheese ball served with cold syrup. It was a little too sweet for me, but good nonetheless. Pushap’s menu also includes a variety of vegetable curries, Indian breads and lentils. Many of the curries and other dishes are vegan friendly, just ask your waiter. Bottom line: if you can brave the spice, you’ve got to try Pushap. Mains $3-6.95 taxes included.

Spirit Lounge

1205 Ontario East
514-522-5353.
Cash only.

Different is the word to describe this vegan restaurant. For starters when you walk in you have no clue you’re in a restaurant. All that’s visible is a large piano, mannequin heads, and red velvet couches. You then walk through the tiny open-air kitchen into the dining area, which consists of several booths and features snakeskin walls, hanging Chinese lanterns and scattered Christmas lights. There are no menus because there’s only one appetizer, main course and dessert at a fixed price of $15. The catch is that if you don’t finish your meal, and when I say finish I mean if you don’t lick your plate clean, you get yelled at, and in my case you don’t get any dessert and are basically told never to come back. Scary no? There’s also only one waiter who doubles as a chef, so the service is slow to say the least. The menu changes daily, but always includes soup, a main course, usually a crepe, and cake. I had the white bean, potato, mushroom, coconut and sage soup, which I quite enjoyed. The main course was a crepe stuffed with grilled vegetables and a side of potatoes, carrots, rhubarb, sunflower seeds and almond shavings. The crepe was alright, but the potatoes were completely raw! The whole dish wasn’t my favourite, but I’ve heard of people loving it. Try Spirit Lounge if you’re feeling adventurous. It’s definitely an experience. Oh, and remember to turn off your cell phone. You may get yelled at for that too. Fixed $15 price plus tax.

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