Monday, December 10, 2007

I had a fantastic Christmasy weekend! Maybe fantastic is a bit of a jump - I admit to not feeling 100% - a little tired, a little tummy twinging, a little grumpy, but I had some amazing food and started some face to face Christmas shopping (This year I must admit to jumping on the online bandwagon - but where else are you going to buy vegan eggnog for your friends in Nepal?).

Dinner on Friday night was amazing. For some reason, while walking my many walks around Chatelaine Square I have failed to realize that I live ridiculously close to a great VEGAN (not all vegan, but the word vegan is actually on the menu) restaurant.

Located right next to the not so great CHINE, is TAN. They have a crappy website, whether you are reading in English or French, but the restaurant, the food and the atmosphere more than make up for the shitty web hosting. We went all out - we were celebrating - and our Friday night couldn't have landed us in a better place for a celebration.

You walk into what looks like a space that has the potential to turn into a little snack shop (but the menu posted suggests a different story) and you find yourself standing in the middle of a great little bio shop - with a high end flavour, and a specialty for raw/japanese and wine accoutrement's. I was already impressed, and the cute little hippie guy who took our coats only increased my delight with our find. The upper floor is an open concept, fairly high end, feng shui designed restaurant. The chef is located off to the right of the dining room and is protected by a thin layer of glass - so he didn't dare let the pork knife slip into the quinoa.

We started with an avocado puree and a marinated fennel dish. Our mains consisted of a tofu rolande pour moi and some fish for my dinner companion - but we won't touch on that option so much. It was all really great, and the demi of wine we shared was great for a house red. Great night. I raided the shop on my way out. Who doesn't love organic banana purchases at 10 pm?

Earlier that day I had also finally gotten around to visiting Shanti - another bio shop on my tram ride home. They have BULK food - so there was so mad cookie making on Saturday. I made a rendition of my dad's favourite vegan cookie - I had to crush up some really good vegan belgian chocolate (in lieu of finding any chocolate chips).

After a slow start, a quick trip through the Lakes market, Sunday afternoon resulted in another great new find - we had the best of intentions to make it to the art gallery to see the alchenski exhibit - but instead we found Sucre Sale. This little eatery is in the middle of Place F. Cocq and has some amazing looking sandwiches, quiches and ice cream. I opted for a vegan salad that was some not-that-exciting salad leaves topped with some wonderfully grilled veg and an olive tapenade. Really well done. I quite enjoyed the green tea with cactus leaves. After such a great meal I was left with no other option than to head home and spend the whole afternoon cleaning the house.

The weekend ended with a phone call from my mom, and me killing off some veg that needed to go (I made turnip and parsnip chips and tofu steaks). Oh....and we ate the rest of the cookies and drank a whole bottle of wine. I was surprisingly wide awake this morning???

11 days left until I find myself in vegan heaven. I have been here long enough to know that I will miss my new home for the fortnight I find myself sleeping under Canadian skies, and there will be something missing in not having to hunt and gather for my vegan treats; the bevy of Toronto delights and my life long love affair with La Luna await me. yikes.

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