The Beet Organic Cafe and Market

For those of you that don’t know, I’m in Toronto for the rest of April interning at the National Post.  Due to this, and the fact that my commute gets me home well after a regular person’s dinnertime, I think I’m going to be eating out quite a bit.  Luckily I’m living in a great Toronto neighbourhood.  It’s called The Junction and, from what I can tell, it seems like a trendy, up-and-coming neighbourhood with lots of great culture and food.  There are worse things.

Anyways, I’ve decided that as part of my next few weeks in Toronto, I’m going to do my best to explore the city and be a shameless tourist.  I desperately love exploring new places, and can’t wait to walk around and check out everything that Toronto has to offer.  My eager touristic desires will hopefully take me to loads of great restaurants, of which The Beet is the first.

(PS: Whatever I write about restaurants is not meant to be a review, but rather my overwhelming need to share with the world the awesomeness of my experiences.)

(PPS: Yep, I plan on taking all photos with my Hipstamatic iPhone app until further notice. Deal with it.)

SO The Beet

The Beet is located within a short distance of where I’m staying.  Toronto currently has this “Veggielicious” festival (try hard not to judge the name) which is organized by the Toronto Vegetarian Association.  As part of the festivities, several Ottawa eateries are offering a special vegan dish.  One of these restaurants just happened to be The Beet.  Lucky me.

Here’s what I got:

Organic Island Roti Special
– Tonica Kombucha Mimosa: tonica kombucha with freshly juiced apple ginger and beet
– Organic island roti: chickpea, potato and spinach curry in an unbleached wheat roll.
– Spring greens with beets, carrots and tamari roasted seeds
– Mini raw vegan cheesecake (gluten and sugar free)

Grand total: $15.  Vundabah.

This was such a great start to my restaurant trying mission.  To me, the juice resembled a beet smoothie, and I was surprisingly not turned off by the thought of juiced vegetables.  My mouth was beet-red by the end of my meal.  The roti was warm and comforting.  For those of you who go to Carleton, it reminded me a lot of a vegan version of one of the naans they serve at Mike’s Place.  The cheesecake was absolutely adorable and served in a small plastic dish the size of a shot glass.  I shoveled each spoon full of cheesecake and a single strawberry slice.  It was creamy and tasted whipped to perfection.

The restaurant itself also had a great vibe.

Decoration bulbs hung suspended in mid-air and upbeat music poured out of the high ceiling.  From my seat (which was an old church pew), I had a good view of the extensive list of teas, all written neatly on what appeared to be a gigantic chalkboard.  Tacked to the counter was a sign that said “we’re voting CBC.”  The journalism student inside of me rejoiced.  The table decor was cute and clever – pink and white daisies sat brightly in organic milk bottles that were filled to the brim with water.

Considering the restaurant isn’t that big, there was a lot to choose from on the menu.  I plan on returning within the next few weeks to try one of the following:

– Buenos dias wrap: avocado, spicy black bean spread, quinoa, pico de gallo, raw Quebec cheddar on a brown rice gluten free wrap ($13), or;
– Huevnos rancheros: two eggs with Quebec raw cheddar, sweet potato mash, topped with sour cream, pico de gallo and avocado on a Canadian corn tortilla (also $13).

An all around delicious and friendly experience.  I love my adopted neighbourhood already.

The Beet Organic Cafe and Market, 2945 Dundas St. W.  Click “more” to see the rest of my pictures from today’s meal.

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