I am getting slightly ahead of myself with this post (strictly speaking, we should have a generic post on Toronto first), but sometimes the heart wants things slightly out of order. On the second of our two nights in Toronto, I was delighted to fit in an early dinner with Hannah of Wayfaring Chocolate at one of Toronto's three Fresh stores.
If you read Canadian food blogs, you are likely to have seen Fresh reviewed previously. The restaurants (there are three) were on my list of must eat places for this trip, and feature many vegan salads, grain/noodle bowls, smoothies and juices, wraps and burgers, and a whole lot more besides. As I said to Hannah, I could eat the whole menu.
|Fresh on Bloor|
After exchanging blog comments for almost 3 years, it was wonderful to meet Hannah in person. She dazzles in person as much as she dazzles on her blog, and I think we talked for an hour pretty much non-stop. I also find it amusing that two Australians met for the first time in Toronto, on the exact opposite side of the world to where we originated. Given how briefly we were in Canada, I'm delighted we pulled it off.
|The special menu, which we didn't see until after we'd ordered.|
We visited the Fresh on Bloor Street, which was, I kid you not, a 2 minute walk around the corner from where we stayed. Mr Bite was suspicious of our accommodation choice when I discovered this, but it was entirely unplanned and fortuitous!
|Tangled Thai salad and gojicinno.|
Meeting at an odd hour (5.30pm, after Hannah finished work) we agreed that ordering from any section of the menu would be appropriate. Actually, I think we would have agreed that regardless of time - food conventions are meant to be broken, and Hannah is someone with whom I'd feel entirely appropriate ordering dessert for dinner. I did, however, stick with dinner-esque food, choosing the Tangled Thai salad (shredded carrot and yellow beats, jicama, napa cabbage, chopped peanits, cilantro, cucumber, peanut-lime dressing) with grilled tofu added.
The salad was wonderful. The carrot and beats were noodle-like and held the peanut-lime dressing beautifully, delivering a combination of fresh crunch, slight sweetness, and peanut butter goodness in every mouthful. The grilled tofu was perfect and if I could eat this every day, I'd be very happy indeed.
I also ordered a gojicinno with almond milk, a complete novelty that could have tasted awful but instead tasted incredible. The drink is made from goji berries and was described by Fresh as a mix between a cappuccino and a hot chocolate but not quite either. I agreed with that description and would add 'a bit like a chai latte' to the mix too. Allysia of The Real Meal talks about how to make your own in this post, if you're interested in trying one out at home.
Hannah ordered the muffin of the month, a vegan banana strawberry option made by Sweets From The Earth, a local Toronto bakery that makes all vegan products. In case she wants to discuss it herself, I shall leave descriptions to her - but I believe it was good. In fact, I believe anything by Sweets From The Earth is likely to be good. I wish they'd come to Australia, along with Fresh itself and a good many other place besides!
Hannah, thanks again for squeezing me into your week and allowing me to enjoy Fresh even more than I would have otherwise.
Are there restaurants you've seen reviewed elsewhere and long to visit? Fresh and Sweetgreen were big ones for me.