Michelle is proud to say that her restaurant is 95% organic and she sources locally as much as she can and when she can't - she supports fair-trade companies that live by the same principals including St. Johns' bread, Chocosol and Live On Chocolate. Michelle truly remains pure her philosophy not only in her food but also in her decor where her table tops are made of sunflower seeds, floors are made of palm trees and chairs made of reclaimed church pews. The take out containers are all biodegradable. The containers that are made with sugar cane will dissolve when placed under hot water and as a result of the efforts, the restaurant makes less than one bag of garbage every week! They were a full service take-out counter with a retail element but recently Michelle changed up the restaurant and has become a sit down place open for brunch, lunch and dinner and in the summer, there will be a nice patio as well for patrons to enjoy.
There are a variety of sandwiches, specials and soups that change based on the local ingredients and delicious gluten free baked goods available as well. There is an impressive number of options even though everything is baked instead of cooked there.
We had the privilege of having the parsnip soup which was the soup of the day. It came hot and was a velvety texture with a lingering after taste of root vegetable. It was really delicious and warmed our souls. I was feeling a little off that day and Michelle brought me out a Beet It juice which is hereby now my favourite drink. It's a mix of beets, apples, carrots and ginger and for the extra kick start - we threw in kombucha (a black tea mushroom that has energy raising and good digestion properties)
All the specials that Michelle described for the evening sounded so amazing that we decided to do a tasting menu which incorporated her special of the evening -a meatloaf stuffed with portabello mushrooms, and regular menu favourites like her bison burger and the buenos dias wrap. We also had an amazing helping of a salad which was filled with local ingredients with berries, avocado, leafy greens, tomatoes, seeds and quinoa with a raspberry vingrette. It was very fresh and just was the perfect introduction to our heavier mains. The meatloaf was perfectly spiced and the portabellos inside it were juicy. It was served with fluffy mashed potatos which were heavenly and felt like they were low on calorie content. The bison burger was very tender and succulent. The raw cheddar that topped the burger gave it a sharpness in flavour that was complimentary to the seasoning of the burger. It was served with potato wedges that were piping hot with a good crunchiness level. It came with their homemade ketchup and mayo. Michelle really wanted us to try her Buenos Dias Wrap as it is one of her more popular wraps at the restaurant. It was a wrap that had a black bean spread with avocado, quinoa, tomato, raw cheddar and caramelized onion inside it and it was sooo good and am so glad she recommended it. It was a good blend of textures and flavours and felt like there was some additional flavour discovery after every bite.
For desserts, Michelle insisted on us trying raw and gluten free desserts. We tried some "Live On" blue green algae truffles. They have no sugar and tasted like a bitter chocolate and are obviously healthy for you. The gluten free almond cookies and the everything cookies were delicious and had a lot of texture to them. We also tried a 5 spice chillii chocolate bar - OMG! I don't even love chocolate and the tastes were so interesting that I kept eating until the entire bar disappeared. We also tried her hallmark beet chocolate cupcake. We LOVED it- first in appearance - its a stunning hot pink colour and the moistness of the cupcake with the sweetness of both the beet and chocolate were such a good combination.
It was such a good meal and culinary experience and I'm looking foward to trying more menu items in the near future! Reservations are recommended as there are less than 20 seats for a sit down meal so there could be line ups for tables.
**** 1/2 starsThe Beet- 2945 Dundas Street West (Dundas and Keele)