Dependably delicious vegetarian fare at a neighbourhood institution
One can’t help but feel healthy when you’re eating at the Green Door. This popular restaurant has been serving up a myriad of vegetarian and vegan choices in a buffet style set-up since 1988. For the most part, the food here is sold by weight, so you pay only as much as your hunger demands. Since you serve yourself, and even clear your own dishes, you’re able to get high-quality food at a very reasonable price.
Their sourdough breads are filling and inexpensive at only 30 to 50 cents for each hearty slice. The spelt breads flavoured with cheese, raisins, or onion and herbs are particularly good. Their daily soups are usually a good bet for the vegan set, but, on the day I went, the red lentil and potato soup was a little duller than I would have liked.
From the hot buffet, I sampled a couple of curries: one with chickpeas, the other with big hunks of potato and eggplant and a dusting of freshly chopped cilantro. The rich mashed potato and kale casserole is pure comfort food. Though there are many other options to be had, like the always-superb daily quiche, I’m saving room for some of the many cold salads. The green bean salad boasts the freshest tender, crisp beans, lightly dressed and adorned with dill and slivers of red pepper. The roasted yam salad, tiny marinated mushrooms and the sesame-flavoured Japanese noodle salad are all hits.
An astonishing array of desserts lay before us, many of which are wheat or gluten free – all of them looked tempting. Since the restaurant uses organic ingredients and natural sweeteners like maple syrup, you can indulge with guilt-free abandon. Although I usually opt for their decadent raspberry pie with the barley flour, almond and oat crust, this time my mom and I decide to share a slice of pumpkin pie with a healthy dollop of real whipped cream. Its gingery pumpkin filling and nutty spelt crust satisfied from first to last bite.
The Green Door’s dedication to seasonal, locally sourced organic ingredients makes them a natural fit as a sponsor of this month’s Reel Food Film Festival. From the local to the global, this year’s film lineup features 10 shorts and docs that treat the topic of food production and consumption with humour and introspection. Surfing the Waste: A Musical Documentary About Dumpster Diving, a Montreal short that examines society’s wastefulness, is playing on March 13. Watch environmental activist Vandana Shiva take on corporate giants like Monsanto in Bullsh*t, showing March 27. The films are showing at St. Paul’s University, right across the street from the Green Door (see www.usc-canada.org for more information). My advice: Head to Main Street this Thursday or next for dinner and a movie that’ll feed both body and mind.
The Green Door Restaurant
198 Main St.
Food sold by weight: $18.25/kg
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