Today I want to share with you my favorite bilingual cafe. Montreal’s first vegan restaurant, Aux Vivres. The translation is “to food”, a promising start.
If you are ever in Montreal, this place is worth visiting. I went twice! During that time, it became one of a handful of my favorite veg restaurants across the continent. Besides being delicious, it met my standards for whole foods ingredients and options that were at the same time uber-healthy, tasty, and satisfying.
They have both a French and an English side to the menu so feel free to pick your language challenge for the day. I took the easy way out…
The selection is vast, including sandwiches and burgers, bowls, full entrees, salads, smoothies and juices, brunch, plus a full array of desserts.
From the crowd and wait during Sunday brunch, it seems that many Montrealers love this place too!
Visit #1: B-day Brunch!
Yes, this is how I rock my b-day. Brunch at Aux Vivres. What can I say, food is my passion! Don’t worry, I went to Crudescence later on for some raw dessert and took a lovely walk in the park and climbed lots of stairs with my honey. Being in Montreal was enough of a b-day present! Check out the rest of my visit in my Montreal Photolog.
Aux Vivres has a laid-back atmosphere. During brunch, it was chaotic inside, but we asked for somewhere more private, and they seated us in an attached wing around the side. When we came back a second time, it was during that odd time between lunch and dinner around 3pm and it was peaceful and quiet.
Jay’s brunch meal came with chai tea which was beautifully presented and delicious with whipped non-dairy creamer and cinnamon. He shared.
I now have a new standard for a little cafe splurge. You’ll see me take this idea on the road next week when I post my Ottawa photolog. At home, I never add creamer or do anything fancy like this, but for an occasional indulgence, this fits the bill.
After ordering the Dragon Bowl, I started to see a pattern in which restaurant meals really satisfy me and leave me feeling clean. I understand why the Dragon Bowl is their signature. I loved it! You can’t see in the pic, but there’s brown rice underneath the toppings of cabbage, carrots, sprouts, beets, tempeh, and the delicious dragon sauce. Very flavorful yet grounding.
Jay had the full brunch-style breakfast, Le Complet. Tempeh bacon, tofu scramble, cornbread, sweet potatoes, and salad. There was only silence as he dug in.
You Mean I Can Take Away for Later?!
Attached to the full restaurant is a separate take-away counter with premade wraps, baked goods, dressings, sauces (aka their famous dragon sauce), and more. All vegan, of course.
Decisions, decisions. Which to get – the vegepate or vegelox? The pate won out and I didn’t regret it. The flavor is amazing – it reminds me of Thanksgiving stuffing. I used it for the next few days mixed into my salad as a salad dressing. It has a sunflower seed base so is pretty high fat and calorie. Meaning a little goes a long way.
Visit #2 and Hungry…
We returned – and walked 2 miles out of our way to get there – so you know the food was good.
In fact, I’d say it’s up there with my top few restaurants I visited on this entire 79 day North American Road Trip. I’m beginning to realize that the meals that leave me really, truly satisfied are the bowls – some kind of grain (brown rice, quinoa, whatever) topped with veggies and sauce on the side. Restaurants that have these get my vote – and my return visits.
For our second visit, I tried a different bowl – the Buddha Bowl. It was also delicious and satisfying though I possibly liked the Dragon Bowl better. I got the grilled tempeh again instead of the standard tofu. Oh how I love tempeh – though I don’t eat it very often. The fermentation process makes the soy easier on digestion; it sorta pre-digests it, if you will.
Jay tried the tempeh burger. He was extra hungry and knew from experience that a typical veg burger wouldn’t fill him. So, he planned ahead and ordered a second meal as well. He made it the Dragon Bowl on my recommendation because he knew it was hearty and would fill him.
Yes, his food budget is often twice mine. Sometimes I feel like I’m feeding a teenage boy! But, really, I love it when he eats. Yep, I’m a feeder.
During this quiet time of day, we had a peaceful meal. The only reason there was no visit #3 is because we left the next day!
If you’re ever in Montreal and in need of some good clean vegan food, do yourself a favor and hit up Aux Vivres. Now I just have to find a restaurant in Las Vegas that serves bowls just like these! Anyone know of one? Please share!
Now your turn. What meal do you order at a restaurant when you want to be completely satisfied? Leave it in the comments.