Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

Eating Our Way Around Montreal

A recent 2-day, part-family visit, part-honeymoon trip to Montreal turned mainly into a tour of a few of the many excellent vegetarian, vegan, and veggie-friendly restaurants. Montreal is a great place to be in early June – warm, but not too hot, and everyone is outside, enjoying a drink on the patio, even in the middle of the day on Monday.

Aux Vivres
Aux Vivres BLT

Aux Vivres BLT

A fantastic place for a lunch when you’re really hungry. The portions are huge, and the service is quick. We had the gyro and the BLT, and both were amazing. I’ve never had vegan sour cream before, and they did a great job, and the coconut bacon in the BLT, while not something that would be mistaken for real bacon, was really tasty. If I lived in Montreal, this would be a frequent destination until I’d tried everything on the menu.

Zyng

Not a solely vegetarian restaurant, I remember this place from previous visits, and although my standards may have been a bit lower in my younger years, it’s still pretty good. You choose your own noodles, sauce, and protein from the menu, which includes 2 veggie proteins, tofu and “zoya.” Then you fill up your bowl with veggies of your choice, and they fry them up on a big grill. I forgot to pay close attention, but I’m pretty sure there was a separate grill for the meat and vegetarian fries, which is different from the Mongolian grill. I like this style because you always end up with exactly the veggies you want!

Commensal

This place was recommended by a friend, and had good food. Buffet style, but you pay by weight, and there was a huge variety of different foods, hot and cold, from all over, including a lot of desserts. If you came to this place often, you would know what were the best dishes, and what not to bother with. With this style, it’s easy to take too much food, and focus on heavier stuff like pasta and potatoes, instead of salad, which can get the price up pretty quick. Ended up eating a lot of food, and didn’t get a chance to taste the desserts, but have heard they’re amazing.

La Banquise
Poutine at La Banquise

Poutine at La Banquise

We asked the person at our hotel when we arrived where we could get vegetarian poutine, and she recommended this place. They have a large menu of a lot of different poutine options, pretty much anything you can imagine. Most people ordered a regular for themselves, but not being Montrealers with arteries made of steel, we split one. It was great. Having spent many summers in Quebec eating poutine, I have a snobbish attitude towards poutine in Vancouver, where I once worked at a grill that called cheddar cheese on fries with gravy poutine (or “pooh-tine” as people call it), although I admit that it seems to be getting more authentic these days. In any case, this hit the spot.

L’Escalier

This hole-in-the-wall on St. Catherine’s was a good stop, especially since it was close to our hotel and there was a downpour. We had a sandwich and a pizza. The sandwich was good, the pizza was so-so, and the atmosphere was fun – seemed to be a lot of hipster students on a Tuesday evening. We almost missed the place going by.

Crudessance

We met a friend for lunch at this raw-vegan restaurant, our last proper meal in Montreal. Between the 3 of us, we tried the Pad Thai, and the Champion and Nirvana wraps, all excellent, along with a couple of tasty kombuchas. I’m somewhat wary of raw vegan cuisine sometimes, but this really was tasty.

We did a few other things while in Montreal, including visiting the environment museum at the Biosphere, which was an excellent use of a rainy day, and drinking a lot of beer. Also impressed with the bike sharing system in the city, with cyclists everywhere, albeit without helmets. But enduring impressions were definitely of food!

Bixi shared bike system

Bixi shared bike system

View from the Biosphere

View from the Biosphere

Green Wedding Planning Details

Obviously, in the course of the last few weeks, writing about everything that is going on has fallen to the wayside. But I still want to document it all, if for no other reason than so I remember it all later! So here is a roundup of all of the details I haven’t written about so far. I have found much inspiration from the Offbeat Bride site, as well as collecting images on my Pinterest board.

Photography

Practice photo session, Shari Riley Photography

Practice photo session, Shari Riley Photography

Photography is a super important part of a wedding, and having been to a number of weddings where the photography has been either amazing and very well coordinated, or interruptive and distracting, I knew this was important. For M and I, as a lesbian couple and neither of us in love with having our pictures taken, we needed someone who would make us feel comfortable, while leaving us with great pictures at the end!

I was really pleased that a book club friend of mine, who photographed another friend’s wedding (while also being a bridesmaid!), agreed to be our photographer. Having someone we know makes us both feel more comfortable, and we love to give someone we know the business. Shari Riley Photography.

Officiant

Similar to the photographer, we would have really liked to have someone close to us be the officiant. It is such an intimate yet public thing, saying marriage vows in front of your family and friends. Unfortunately, unlike in much of the US, it is not legal in BC for a friend or family member to get ordained to perform a wedding. But as a second best option, the mother of one of my oldest friends is a judge, and she offered to perform our ceremony. So although it is not a close friend or family member, at least our officiant is a woman, and has at least known me for a long time. She also had some lovely selection of vows, which was perfect for us, who wanted something personalized but didn’t feel up to the task of writing our own.

ShoesKaruna Shoes

Here’s what I was looking for: eco-friendly, purple flats. My partner is 5 feet tall, to my 5’6″, so heels were out of the question. Purple is our signature colour – M is wearing a eggplant-purple shirt. And of course, eco-friendly, which generally meant I was looking for recycled or low-impact matarials, vegan, and locally made.

It turns out, this was a fairly tall order. I even just started looking for any old purple flats, and came up empty handed. The only eco-friendly shoe store in Vancouver is Nice Shoes, and they had nothing that came close. M did get her wedding shoes there, though.

With some trepidation, I turned to the internet. Luckily, I stumbled across the perfect shoes. Karuna Shoes, although not local, are vegan, eco-friendly, the soles are made of recycled tires, and are hand-screened. The small company is in Columbia, and they were very helpful through email, and the shoes arrived in great shape and in lots of time!

Collected accessories

Collected accessories

Accessories

This was my chance to be a little bit funky. First came the earrings, which M found at a fair trade store in Gibsons. Recycled wire bicycles will hang from my ears, matching a pin on her vest. My necklace was sourced at Make It! Vancouver, a local craft fair, and is made of wood by Mana Jewelry Designs. I also found some hair pins at Make It!, vintage style, by Flight  Path Designs. I may not be the most coordinated of brides, but I love it all!

Music

This is the piece I am perhaps most nervous about. To save some costs, and also because the venue doesn’t boast a giant dance floor, we decided to put together our own playlist for the wedding. We have tried to get the right mix of new and old, upbeat dance and slow music, with hits from the 80s and 90s that will hopefully appeal to our 30-something friends, classic oldies for the parents, aunts and uncles, and some recent pop for the clubbers and 20-somethings. Given the venue, still not sure if people will really dance, but hopefully with enough beer in them, it will happen!

Countdown

I am now only a few days away from the Big Day. Out of towners start arriving tomorrow. Although I feel confident that things are together, the part of me that hates event planning is still sweating the details. Mostly, I just want it all to be fun, for M, for me, and of course, for the 55 friends and family joining us this weekend. Bring on the party!