Gardens Gangsters is located midway down Market Street , neighboured by a row of burgeoning restaurants and the St. Lawrence Market . Owner Ian Paech, a former banker and triathlete, wanted to bring quick, clean eating to a neighbourhood where ready-to-eat foods tend be especially indulgent.
Designed by Solid Design and Build , the room consists of a take-away counter, assembly line and seating for 20 inside (double that on the patio). Done up in marble, subway tiles, salvaged woods and exposed brick, the space is outfitted with industrial fixtures and punctuated with sunny yellow accents.
The menu features six signature dishes that balance wholesome ingredients with big, globally inspired flavours. The Cabo Cobb ($12), for instance, is loaded with avocado, corn, spiced black beans, pico de gallo, cilantro, shredded monterey jack and dressed with cilantro ranch and jalape単o vinaigrette.
It can be customized to order with a hearty base of brown rice, quinoa or greens. A choice of chicken, tofu, or tempeh is already included, or can be upgraded to shrimp or salmon for $2.50.
Cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, husked chickpeas, feta, sunflower seeds and parsley, dressed in lemon honey vinaigrette, make up the Moroc ($12), which is finished off with tahini and harissa-spice hummus. Skip the cheese and make it dairy-free by subbing in avocado for 50 cents.
Beverages options include made to order smoothies ($6.50-$7), and cold pressed juices ($6-$8) and house-made almond milks ($7.50) bottled to avoid oxidixation.
The rainbow of flavours includes juices like the Energize Me, made with orange, pinapple and grapefruit, and smoothies like the Cookies and Cream, blended with dates, banana, raw pecans and almond milk.
I'm here too late in the day, but the breakfast menu looks really right up my alley. Not only are there sweet oat bowls and fruity Greek yogurt options, but the morning menu ventures to the savoury side, too.
The Sunshine Bowl ($6.50) is loaded with quinoa, sauteed kale, shallots and mushrooms, then topped with an egg, while the Salmon and Dill ($6.25) yogurt bowl is garnished with dill, red onions, cucumbers and St. Urbain bagel chips.