I was reminded this weekend that I am an incredibly lucky person. Yes, I have great friends and family, I have a wonderful partner, and I’m in good health. Those things are all important, but there’s another reason that I felt so lucky over the weekend — because I live just a very short walk from one of Toronto’s best raw food restaurants, Live Organic Food Bar!
I haven’t blogged much yet about Live, but it’s definitely one of my favourite restaurants. I go there fairly regularly since it’s so close by, and I’m never disappointed. Founded in 2002, Live started off as a small juice bar, but soon expanded into a full-menu restaurant, with a beautiful, fresh interior, and sublime backyard patio when the weather is nice. The menu is 100% vegan, focuses on wholesome, organic food, and includes a variety of both raw and cooked dishes. This is something I love about Live, because it means there is always something for everyone to eat — friends who are less familiar with eating raw can find something to tickle their tastebuds. They mix up the menu seasonally (something else I love, because who doesn’t get excited over new dishes?), and they serve a spectacular brunch on the weekends. Live also sells a line of raw snacks and pre-made, fresh raw meals-to-go at local health food stores – a great way to eat raw on the go!
Saturday was date night. Before heading to the movie theatre to watch Inception (awesome film!), we stopped in at Live for dinner on the patio. It was the first time I had been there since they brought in the summer menu, so I was eager to try some of the new dishes. I had a hard time choosing! I always yearn for my old standard, the Rainbow Kale Salad (you know of my obsession with kale), but we decided to split two new entrees — the Unstirfry, and the Pepper Poppers. Am I ever glad we did!
The Unstirfry was mind-blowing, featuring jicama and parsnip rice, topped with teriyaki-tossed veggies, mixed seeds, and spicy almonds. Wow! Such a tasty way to get in some extra veggies. The Asian flavours melded together perfectly — this dish rivals any cooked stir fry I’ve ever eaten.
And the Pepper Poppers — yum! I used to love the deep-fried, cream cheese-stuffed red pepper poppers served at so many pubs and mainstream restaurants. But those things just can’t compare to Live’s Pepper Poppers, which were stuffed with sunflower seed pepper Jack ‘cheese’ and corn pepper salsa, served with sesame mayo and an almond cacao mole. So fresh and tasty! If you like Mexican food, you’ll adore these.
We skipped dessert on this particular evening, mostly because we had a movie to get to, but dessert at Live is always a pleasurable experience. I know I’ll be back soon to make up for no dessert on Saturday. And to try the remaining entrees on the new menu :)