Friday, December 9, 2011

Vex in the City: Part 16 Kale

Taste of the food >< >< >< >< Light, fresh, and tasty.
Look of the food >< >< >< >< I like the look of the food. It is so simple and vibrant and fresh. The greens never look wilted or unappetizing.
Environmentally-Responsibility >< >< >< >< I see an environmentally responsible approach with Kale. You can choose to place the food in a biodegradable take-out container or use dishware and cutlery. They also try to use locally grown produce whenever possible.
Health Savvy >< >< >< >< I am not sure about the answer to this one. I did not see signs around the establishment to describe the health benefits. The website describes Kale as a "vegan organic macrobiotic" eatery. They also are trying to offer customers "the opportunity to make good decisions quickly by serving fast and nutritious lunches and dinners". However, they are not overt or "preachy" about this message. They could use some literature or some small pamphlet about their philosophy.
Hospitality/Warmth >< >< >< >< The staff was friendly. The owner was made aware that I was reviewing her business but I don't feel like they went "out of their way" on my account. It is also a pretty independent experience since it is self-serve buffet-style.
D├ęcor/Vibe >< >< >< >< The decor was clean, bright, fresh, and simple. I loved the series of black and white photos featuring green kale. The large window welcomes light and a view of the busy street.
Added Perks >< I did not receive any perks or freebies for reviewing this spot.
Ethical and Community-Minded >< >< Kale offers a healthy alternative to its customers. Although this is an area of growth for them.

Price (for a main course including dessert and drink)
$ 10-19 >< >< Very reasonable especially for organic vegan food. For around $ 15, I had a meal with coconut water and dessert.

It's always nice to find a hidden neighbourhood gem. Tucked in the bustling and burgeoning neighbourhood of Yonge and Eglinton amid condos, office towers, and store-front boutiques and shops is the only vegan/vegetarian restaurant for miles-- Kale. I have passed this place countless times over the last year and a half without venturing in but once. Recently, I found out that the owners' of this restaurant are the same folks who ran Sunny Cafe located inside Noah's Natural Foods on Bloor. When I lived in the Annex, I loved to visit the family-run Sunny Cafe for their prepared vegan food buffets-- the steamed fresh kale and broccoli, the juicy beets, the baked tofu, the banana balls, and amazing rice salad. Mmmm... I love to savour those delicious memories. So when I found out the news that I could enjoy those same treats in a pleasant "sit down" atmosphere, I had to make my next lunch plans at Kale. I met my old college roommate and friend Amy for lunch. She is also a bit of a "foodie" and inspired me years ago when she would make the most amazing meals in our basement apartment. We were university students and my other roommates and I (there were five of us living in that basement apartment) tended to make quick and prepared meals with our short schedules. Not Amy, she would bake and cook comfort foods with standards beyond the typical "college diet". We had a pleasant lunch which was very delicious and affordable. The nice thing about a vegan buffet is that there is lots of variety and the foods are consistently fresh. The price was also quite reasonable for what you get and the place was bustling with a lot of clients coming in. You also get a revolving selection of items so there is plenty of variety and you never quite know what you'll get when you visit but one item is always sure to be there-- lots and lots of fresh kale.

The very famous Kale.

Vegan food buffet-style!

I got all this for about $ 13. There is coconut water in the glass. On the plate, steamed kale, beets, roasted potatoes, Thai rice noodles, potato perogies, baked tofu, curried tofu salad, and other items to taste and nibble.

This is what Amy got for about $7.

The dessert pastry was about $3. Amy let me sample some. It was an apple cinammon dessert and very tasty.

My all-time $ 2 favourite-- banana ball which is made raw from bananas, walnuts, carob, and dates (I think).

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