Jim, who is usually OK with eating vegan and rather adventurous when it comes to food was being a bit of a stick-in-the-mud and was going to choose a boring spaghetti dish. He later confessed he just wanted to sit and have a beer more than anything, but the restaurant doesn't serve alcohol. He eventually loosened up and decided to try something different. You'll see his dinner below.
As a "side" option, I saw "salmon". Oooo, how exciting! When I ate meat, salmon was one of my favorites and I sometimes still miss the taste so I had to try it. It tasted like a very lightly smoked salmon (I always preferred mine poached. My grandmother made it kick-ass) and was good enough but not like the real thing. Of course the texture was off. All in all, it was worth a try and I would eat it again, but it wasn't "salmon-like" enough to fool anyone.
The menu at this place is packed full of so many dishes we had a hard time choosing. It was a case of "I think I'll have this. Oh! Wait! Maybe I'll get this instead. Didn't see that. That sounds good. Maybe I'll try that." Needless to say it took a while to decide what we wanted.
I was hungry and after my salmon taster I was ready to eat. I started with a salad that had a nice vinaigrette dressing. Kleo and I shared that. Jim was outside with my phone checking the web for a hockey score. He's not much of a salad eater anyway. (Just now, I was checking out the restaurant's website and I see they have a salad called Cleopatra salad! I wish I'd seen that when we were there because I would have so ordered it!)
Then came our main courses.
This is Kleo's plate. She opted for Shanghai Chow Mein. It came with tofu "ham", shitake mushrooms, peppers and lots of other tasty stuff. On the side, cauliflower, broccoli and some baby bok choy. Mmmm! She let me have a taste and it was really, really good.
Jim chose "Seafood" Shanghai Chow Mein. It came with some of the "salmon" and "King Prawn". I was very interested to see what he thought of mock seafood because we've never tried it before. He didn't like the "salmon" (so I ate it!) but said the "prawns" were very close. He ate almost his whole meal except for his broccoli. Bad boy!
I got the special of the day which was Zesty Cutlets made from seitan. The sauce was like a sweet & sour with little pineapple chunks. It even had "skin" on it to make it seem more chicken like I guess. On the side were some delicious skinny little noodles that I just love, and some cauliflower and broccoli. This was so incredibly good and the sauce was so delicious I wanted to pick up my plate and lick it clean. But I held back. Wouldn't want to embarrass Kleo.
We were all pretty full, but the dessert showcase was calling us. We thought we'd just get one dessert and share it. The waitress brought over a dessert menu and it didn't take long for us to decide what we wanted. All of us agreed in about 30 seconds - Chocolate Fudge Cake!
Holy doodle! This was chocolate heaven. The cake was so dark and dense and every once and a while, I'd get a nice chunk of chocolate on my fork. The icing was creamy and chocolatey and not too sweet. It was utterly perfect.
The staff were wonderful. Very friendly and chatty and one of the waitresses said this was her favorite restaurant and she was so glad to be able to work there. I got that impression with all of the staff.
On our way out I spotted some cookies for sale for take-out. I got one for me and one for Kleo.
These are spelt chocolate chunk cookies and they were awesome. Nice and chewy with very good quality chocolate in large chunks throughout the cookie. I liked mine so much I went to the website to see if I could order some or if they had cookies for sale somewhere close to me. No such luck! I guess I'll just have to go back to Vegetarian Haven.
We left the restaurant and headed back to the subway. Along the way we passed a bread factory and the smells coming from that place were sumptuous, I just wanted to stand there and breathe it all in.
We grabbed the subway and went back to Union Station and as we pulled in the platform was crowded with people in their hockey jerseys. Game was over and the Leafs lost in a shoot-out. Crap!
While Jim grabbed a pretzel, Kleo and I hit the ladies room. Since I'm usually on the lookout for post-worthy bathrooms for Alex I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take some photos. Now Kleopatra is even more famous!
It was getting late and Kleo had to catch a plane in the morning, so we started heading back. Along the way, we stopped at Dominion so she could grab some Canadian maple syrup to take back to California. She also got a couple of packages of Maple Leaf creme cookies.
I didn't want my evening with Kleo to end. I had such a great time with her. It felt like we were old friends. We exchanged addresses, had some hugs and said goodnight. Luckily, with the internet, she's still pretty close. Thanks Kleo for your wonderful company!
The verdict on the Primal Strips - DELICIOUS!!