One Love Vegetarian Cafe
One Love Vegetarian Cafe adds to my belief that we're pretty spoiled for choice in Toronto when it comes to vegetarian/vegan food. With everywhere from Cafe 668 to Rawlicious offering meatless incarnations of most types of food, trying to decide where to go can turn into a coin-tossing dilemma.
As someone who didn't partake of the flesh for 15 years before switching back to carnivorous ways, I have a pretty healthy respect for any restaurant that can put a new spin on vegetation-based eating - and that's what One Love Vegetarian is doing.
This lo-fi spot, serving Caribbean-influenced vegan meals, opened at the end of May in the Annex (and is extremely visible from Bathurst Subway station thanks to it's huge, vibrant green mural).
One Love started life as a soup kiosk in Harbourfront Centre's World Cafe food court and the no-frills, unadorned interior of the new location reflects this. Owners Ikeila Wright and Ras Iville Wright had so many customer requests for more selection that they moved to a larger capacity space on the corner of Bathurst and London.
As the menu is still pretty small we manage to order everything on it except for the Funky House Pizza ($3 per slice).
We're served by Ikeila, who is one of the most friendly, radiant people you're ever likely to meet. As she is one of only two people doing all the serving and food preparation, it takes a little while to order but it's definitely worth the wait.The corn soup ($5) that made the original kiosk so popular contains whole sections of corn from the cob and enough spice to decongest our cold-ridden photographer, Emma.
A tasty, medium hot curried bean curd ($10) is made with ribbons of tofu and comes complete with organic salad and rice on the side.My large roti with spiced pumpkin filling ($8) is mild with enough creamy pumpkin onion filling that I have no trouble finding volunteers to help me finish it.
We all agree that the Love Sun Stir Fry ($10) is the best choice. Its unusual mix of rich sun-dried tomato, roasted red pepper and mushroom reduction over tofu chunks, spiced rice with lentils and topped with plantains has to be tried to be appreciated.
A sweet berry smoothie ($5) takes a while to arrive but cools everything down nicely and comes with the option of soy or rice milk. With everything on the menu coming in at $10 or less, One Love is a great deal for the quality of food on offer and deserves to become a neighbourhood fixture.