Earthsave Veg Directory, Edge Bars, and [in the oven]

While I strive to keep my list of restaurants here up to date, local veg-advocacy organization Earthsave has updated their Veg Directory for Metro Vancouver, which is probably more complete, and features nifty sorting & search options. Check it out, and think about supporting this great organization!

Matt Ciolfi writes in about his vegan energy bar company, The Edge Food Energy Company, based in Qualicum Beach, BC. “Our products are made locally and with organic ingredients. We are using the best raw food material available and building bars by hand to deliver the highest quality nutrition possible.” – Matt. Currently available at their bakery, they’re looking to make their products available at retail soon.

[in the oven] is a new 100% vegan bakery starting up here in Vancouver. They’ve recently shown at the Baker’s Market, and will be at the Great Canadian Craft Fair December 15/16.

Fancy new vegetarian restaurants

Recently, The Acorn opened on Main street, a vegetarian restaurant serving upscale, original dishes, and which has been receiving excellent reviews. Now another newcomer is joining them in attempting to raise the bar for vegetarian fine-dining in Vancouver: Heirloom, located in Vancouver’s South Granville district. Scout Magazine has a story on the principals behind the new restaurant and what’s planned once they open. Vancouver has long had fantastic local vegetarian & vegan restaurants serving our large veg*n community as well as welcoming adventurous omnivores, but choices for something fancier to bring friends or a date have been limited. It’s great to see local entrepreneurs making an effort to fill this void.

Veg Fest Vancouver 2012 – August 4th

The 2nd annual Veg Fest Vancouver is happening on August 4th, 2012 (Saturday). This year, the event moves right into the center of downtown, at Robson and Granville. So come down anytime between 11AM and 7PM to check out the food, vendors, and advocacy groups! Those interested in volunteering can sign up at the Saving Animals Canada site. There’s also a Facebook page for the event so you can add it to your social calendar.

New restaurants, Capers vegan barbeque

More belated updates, sorry to everyone who sent these in a while back!

Whole Foods on Robson is having a vegan barbeque this Saturday, June 9.

New vegan/vegetarian restaurants in the Vancouver area include: Tera V Burger in Kitsilano, Organic Connections Café in White Rock, Chomp Vegan Eatery in Port Moody. One that I’ve recently learned about is Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House in Burnaby.

Karina Inkster is offering vegan personal fitness training.

Green Earth Organics Bin

So I entered a contest at VegFest, and won $20 off a bin of organic veggies from Green Earth Organics. Yay! I signed up on their website (which was a little difficult; their signup form needs some improvement, which I let them know about), and made some adjustments to the content of my first bin.

The bin showed up today. The delivery guy, Steve, was very friendly and helpful, and I appreciated that they showed up at 5:30, when I was at home. However… I certainly looked at the list of items I would be receiving while on the website, but I suppose the actual quantity of food didn’t register with me. The contents of the bin were as pictured:

This is great looking food, and I’m all for supporting organic growers… but there’s really not much of it. At $20 off, it’s a good deal. But I must admit I have a modest income, and certainly can’t afford to spend $27 every two weeks on an arm-full of organic delights. I would normally pay less than $10 for this amount of food at Kin’s Farm Market… admittedly, not organic.

I’m sure if you’re one of those purchasing larger bins it might be more cost-effective, or if you’re one of those people too busy to shop, it may be worth it. But while I look forward to enjoying this food, I don’t think I’ll continue as a customer.

Vegfest!

I attended VegFest on Main Street yesterday, which was awesome. Vegetarian, vegan, and animal-rights related booths stretched for over 2 blocks, and there were thick crowds of Car-Free Vancouver Day attendees sampling wares, checking out goods, and picking up literature.

I picked up a great new non-leather belt from Nice Shoes, enjoyed dim-sum lunch at Whole Vegetarian, and ran into Janna of Astrosatchel Accessories. There’s also several new vegan/vegetarian bakeries in town: The Gluten Free Epicurean, Sprout Vegan Bakery, Sustainably Sweet, and a chocolatier, Zimt Artisan Chocolates. Of course, Edible Flours had a booth as well, and were so popular they sold out. Oh, plus a shout out to Karmavore for being there as well! I’m so glad to see so many vegan businesses starting and thriving in Vancouver!

Goodies from Edible Flours

I attended a party last night, and picked up some delightful goodies from Edible Flours: gluten-free banana bread & cupcakes, and an assortment of other vegan cookies & donuts. They went over well!

“Vegan Pizza House” – opens near Victoria & Kingsway!

Reportedly from the ashes of Loving Hut, a new all-vegan pizza place has arrived in the East Side, a block east of Victoria on Kingsway.

Edible Flours bakery now open in Kitsilano!

Edible Flours has opened their new shop, on Broadway between Vine and Yew in Kitsilano. Stop by for some incredibly tasty baked treats, including gluten-free options.

VegFest Vancouver coming June 19

I’m delighted to learn about the upcoming VegFest Vancouver, happening June 19, 2011 on Main Street at 19th Ave! It’s going to feature numerous local vegan goods and food vendors, as well as performing artists and info booths for animal rights organizations. The event is put on by Saving Animals, a local animal rights and vegan advocacy group.

New Vegan Shoe Store in Vancouver: Nice Shoes

Nice Shoes is a new store specializing in vegan footwear and accessories, located near Mount Pleasant at 20th & Fraser.

Po Kong – New Chinese Buddhist vegetarian restaurant

Last night I visited Po Kong (1334 Kingsway, 604-876-3088) for Valentines dinner. This is the spiritual successor to the original Bo Kong, owned as I understand it by a member of the same family. The food is delicious as ever, the staff friendly, and the place is bright and clean. The bean curd skins in black bean sauce remains a favorite dish, the jai (wheat gluten) is juicy and succulent, and I also had the deluxe chow mein (the waiter assures me the noodles have no eggs). For something exciting, try the sizzling shishkabobs or a hotpot.

The menu is very similar to what is found at Whole Vegetarian, but both represent traditional Chinese Buddhist cuisine: I saw many of the same dishes when I visited Buddhist restaurants and a monastery in Hong Kong. The portions are large, and you’ll likely want to take your leftovers home.

Vegans/vegetarians needed for online research study

Tessa Cheng, a psychology student at UBC, is doing a study on “personal food choices and backgrounds”. There’s a draw to win $300 for participants, so if you’re interested, go take the survey! Tessa can be reached at: animal.perceptions@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Truth Belts coming to Circle Craft Christmas Market

Truth Belts, a Canadian maker of non-leather belts, will be here in Vancouver at the Circle Craft Christmas Market from November 17 to the 21st. Good time to pick up a nice looking animal-friendly belt for someone special!

“Meatless Mardi” at the Provence Mediterranean Grill

At the kind invitation of chef and proprietor Alessandra Quaglia, my “plus one” and I attended the Provence Mediterranean Grill’s inaugural “Meatless Mardi” last night. While Vancouver has a plethora of fantastic vegetarian restaurants, generally none of them offer anything resembling traditional fine-dining. Provence’s tasteful and cozy environment and Tuesday night menu changes that, providing an authentic upscale French dining experience.

Meatless Mardi is an experiment for proprietress Alessandra, but one she seems passionate about, expressing a genuine concern about the environmental impacts of meat production. She has taken the concerns of vegans and others with specific dietary needs to heart in selecting the foods and ingredients used for the evening: the breads are dairy-free, and the main course can be veganized on request. She mentioned the possibility of making everything vegan by default in future.

Meatless Mardi features a three-course prix fixe menu for $25. The meal begins with olives & focaccia, baguette and balsamic vinaigrette. The appetizer was a plate with Shaved Fennel Carpaccio, Fennel Seed and Lemon Marinated Carrots, and Chickpea Crouton. The fennel was a bit of an unusual experience for me, but the carrots and topping were good.


The main course was Roasted Artichoke, Bell Pepper, Spinach and Goat Cheese Open Ravioli
with Tomato Basil Coulis, and with Daiya mozarella substituted for the goat cheese on request. The presentation was excellent, and the robust melody of flavours was fantastic. This is absolutely a dish that anyone can surely appreciate. We had organic herbal teas, and then dessert was Pear Ginger Tarte Tatin with Chocolate Sorbetto. Absolutely delicious.


Overall, this was a fantastic dining experience, and I think Provence’s Meatless Mardi is going to be a great way to show people that vegetarian meals can satisfy even the most demanding and discerning foodies. The portions were generous, the service friendly and professional – they seemed to take dealing with the concerns of picky vegans in stride, albeit being a little new to it – and it is clear that Provence is making a sincere effort to reach out to Vancouver’s vegetarian & vegan community.


Provence Mediterranean Grill
4473 West 10th Ave.
604.222.1980

Taste of Health 2010

Earthsave’s Taste of Health festival is happening this fall on October 23, at the Masonic Hall, 1495 West 8th Ave. Tickets are only $5, and it’s free for Earthsave members. As with previous years, the event will feature numerous food vendors showcasing their wares, cooking demonstrations, workshops, and an evening keynote by John Robbins, who started Earthsave. For more info, visit the Taste of Health site.

July 19, 2010

What was formerly the Bo Kong is now Whole Vegetarian, seemingly barely changed, with some of the same staff as well. Still wonderful Buddhist Chinese cuisine.

Edible Flours started up earlier this year as a new specialty vegan bakery in Vancouver.

I’m adding a section to the site called “Veg-Friendly”, to list those restaurants that make a sincere effort to cater to vegetarians & vegans. It’s going to be fairly restrictive however. Nuba, sure! Chill Winston, not so much.

The Vegan Spoon is a blog exploring Vancouver’s vegetarian restaurants.

Daiya Cheese is now available from (of all places) Dussa’s Ham & Cheese at the Granville Island Public Market.

Vegan Bake Sale, Bo Kong

Vancouver vegans are hosting a Chile Bake Sale Benefit on Friday, March 12th at Radha Yoga and Eatery on Main Street, from 6:30 to 10. Bring vegan goodies, or your own containers to bring home your delicious finds! Proceeds are going to help survivors of the Chilean earthquake.

Very sad news for lovers of Chinese vegetarian fare: the Bo Kong on Main Street has closed down. Their Richmond location is still open though, and the nearby 3G Vegetarian, at Cambie & 18th, has fantastic Chinese veggie food!

Karmavore

I have been terribly remiss in not mentioning Karmavore before now. Karmavore is Vancouver’s latest all-vegan store, located in New Westminster on East Columbia street. The shop offers a wide selection of vegan food, clothing, health and other products, and offers online ordering as well. You can also join their Facebook Group and follow them on Twitter. Karmavore is a vibrant addition to Vancouver’s vegan scene!

March 16, 2009

I’ve just learned about Daiya non-dairy cheese, made by Daiya Foods, a company in North Vancouver. It’s free of common allergens and is touted as shredding and melting like the real thing. I’m told that it’s now being served at The Naam as an optional replacement for dairy cheese.

Chicake is a healthy, vegan cheesecake made by a local baker. It’s available at numerous locations throughout the Metro Vancouver area.

Saje Natural Wellness is a chain of Canadian-owned stores and boutiques specializing in all-natural, animal-product free health and beauty products. They have locations in Metrotown, Kitsilano, Robson Street, Surrey, Langley, West Van, White Rock, Coquitlam, and elsewhere in BC and Alberta.