I used to be a non-believer. I used to wonder how foods without the above-mentioned three components could even taste like anything other than cardboard seasoned with grass. When my friend told me she was going to initiate me to my first vegan-dining experience, I must have postponed my date with her 20 times before finally running out of excuses. Now I know to know better. And In the words of a wise unicorn: "Shuuuuuuun the non-believers!"
|Aux Vivres storefront|
The service was a bit all over the place. The girl who brought us to our table seemed new and a little lost. After I told her how many people we would be, she told me just a moment and walked off. I assumed she was going to prepare a table, but then I saw her bringing water to another table. She was nice, though. She changed our water jug before we were even halfway done.
Our main waiter didn't even come by to say hi, and instead popped up randomly 15 minutes after we had settled into our seats to curtly jot down orders and disappear. We waited another good 15 minutes before our smoothies managed to make it to our table. The bus boy who brought it to us was really nice though.
Food - Grade: B+
Bonus Marks: Best vegan I've had in Montreal. Initiated me to vegan food.
I would have given them an A-, but I think their menu shrank. A lot of the 'comfort' foods and rice bowls disapeared, and they have more sandwiches and brunch items. Even their special of the day disappeared.
|Dragon Bowl, front|
|Dragon bowl, back|
|Dragon Bowl, close-up|
I don't know why I have so many pictures of the Dragon Bowl. Anyway, my cousin ordered this. The bowl consists of a bed of brown rice topped with a mix of cabbage, sprouts, carrots, beets, daikon and grilled tofu. It comes with a bowl of sauce (either peanut or sesame, I'm not entirely sure). The bowl was quite big, and there was plenty enough sauce to give the entire bowl flavour. The vegetables gave the bowl a refreshing raw taste and the bold flavours of daikon, carrot and sprouts gave each bite of rice a different taste. The tofu was tender and chewy, much like strips of chicken breast would be.
|BLT in Chipati|
My vegetarian cousin swears that the coconut bits taste exactly like bacon bits. While I don't think that's necessarily true (forgive her, all you bacon worshippers; she hasn't had the real thing in a long time), I do find that the seasoned coconut lends its own unique flavour and texture to the sandwich. It's crispy and light, with just a hint of coconut so you know what you're eating, but seasoned enough to let you know what it's imitating. It's not as greasy as bacon, so you don't feel heavy after eating the ginormous sandwich, but you still feel plenty full and refreshed.
Note that I haven't written anything for the chilli fries in the first picture. That's because it's no longer on the menu. Just like so many other things. Can you tell that I'm a little bitter?
Price - $$
The price for a plate here is around $10 before tax kicks in, but with a smoothie, it'll cost you closer to $15. The two smoothies and the two dishes came up to $40 with the tax and tip. So yeah, it's certainly affordable for students, especially the vegetarian students who are looking for a bit more variety in their meals.
Final Grade: B+
Despite the change in menu, I still have a soft spot for Aux Vivres. The food is good enough for me to get random cravings for it, and the prices are decent. Their desserts also look very tasty. I have no doubt that I will be back. After all, a vegan gyro? Who doesn't want to check that out?
4631 boul. St-Laurent, Montreal