Apiecalypse Now!

Veggielicious 2016! Sadly it’s over, but the middle two weeks in May were a “plant-based culinary celebration here in Toronto, with over 40 restaurants, cafés and bakeries around Toronto featuring prix-fixe menu items and great deals on delicious vegan meals.”

Top of my list for participating restaurants was Apiecalypse Now! – Vegan Pizzeria and Snack Shop near Christie subway station.

Apiecalypse Now! was offering a $20 “snacking tour” of their shop for walk-ins only:

2 counter slices ($9.31 in value), 2 jalapeño poppers ($5 value), 2 dips, 2 Arizona iced teas, 2 soft serve cones

Apiecalypse Now Pig Destroyer Destroyer Slice | thelittleredspoon.com

I got a slice of the “Pig Destroyer Destroyer” – creamy garlic sauce, house hot sauce, hickory BBQ soy curls, seitanrizo crumbles, secret spiced not-chicken, vegan bacon bits, vegan pepperoni slices, garlic artichokes, vegan smoked gouda, vegan mozzarella.

This is doing pizza right, people.

Apiecalypse Now BBQ Buffalobotomy Pizza | thelittleredspoon.com

Mr. Spoon tried the BBQ Buffalobotomy – extra-special Apiecalypse BBQ sauce, Buffalo not-chicken, red onions, vegan mozzarella cheese, vegan jalapeno cheese, ranch dressing swirl.

Both slices were fricking amazing. We both loved both slices and had a hard time deciding on which ones to get. We will definitely be coming back here again. The shop is right beside Christie Pits park and across the street from Christie subway station. Doesn’t get more convenient. The neighbourhood was cute too – unfortunately we had errands to do that day but when we go back I think bringing our pizza for a little picnic in the park and exploring more of the neighbourhood would be fun.

Apiecalypse Now Dipping Sauces | thelittleredspoon.com
The dips were basically unreal – creamy garlic and cheddar jalapeno. So good Mr. Spoon literally did a double take – we were both thinking “are these REAL? Did they do this entire shop vegan except for the dips? These are too realistic!” But yes, they are vegan. You would never know it.

Watermelon Arizona Iced Tea | thelittleredspoon.com

Sipped on a watermelon Arizona to wash it all down.
Apiecalypse Now Jalapeno Poppers | thelittleredspoon.com

These big-ass jalapeno poppers were made fresh and came out as kind of a second course. So big and stuffed with vegan cream cheese and bacon bits.

Apicalypse Now Jalapeno Popper Bite | thelittleredspoon.com

Mmm crispy outside, cheesy inside… Life is good.

Apiecalypse Now Soft Serve Vanilla Cones | thelittleredspoon.com

Vanilla soft serve for dessert. Tasted just like the real thing! You can get vanilla, chocolate or swirl.

I’ll let you in on an amazing secret though……. We weren’t just excited for killer vegan pizza.. This place does SIMPSONS donuts on Fridays and Saturdays. Yes that’s right, the iconic pink icing, sprinkled donuts that Homer Simpson loves

Apiecalypse Now Simpsons Donut Zoom | thelittleredspoon.com

Mmm Donuts Homer Simpson | thelittleredspoon.com

Mmm Donuts…

Every bit as amazing as they look… Fresh, soft, heavenly….
Apicalypse Now Simpsons Donut Bite | thelittleredspoon.com
The icing almost tasted like cotton candy. I can’t explain how good these were.. You would have to try them yourself. And the fact that they’re totally vegan.. *wipes tear* so fucking awesome

Homer Simpson Donut | thelittleredspoon.com
Grab one for yourself and see what I’m talking about!

Check out Apiecalypse Now! for some fully sick pizza and let me know how you like it (you will like it).
APieCalypse Now Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Apiecalypse Now BBQ Buffalobotomy Slice | thelittleredspoon.com

Sooo goooooood!

Grasshopper Restaurant

Grasshopper Restaurant. We went for Veggielicious and did not realize we went to the wrong location!

Disappointingly, the College street location that we ended up going to (and waiting 45+ mins for a table for after trying to make a reservation online) did not have any Veggielicious specials going on.

But hey, we were already hungry and kinda tipsy and waiting for vegan food so we ended up staying anyway.

Grasshopper Cranberry Chai Cocktail | thelittleredspoon.com

The cranberry chai cocktail was delicious. So at least that was a good start.

Grasshopper Banh Mi | thelittleredspoon.com

We got some kale chips for the table to share. They were good – freshly made and with a nice spicy kick. I ordered some chickpeas too but I guess the waitress didn’t hear me because they never came. We shrugged that one off, but too bad cause we all love a good roasted chickpea.

Grasshopper Banh Mi | thelittleredspoon.com

I got a “pulled pork” banh mi – Vegan “Pulled Pork” in a sweet ‘n tangy BBQ sauce; pickled daikon and carrots with cilantro. I asked for no cilantro cause I guess I’m one of those people who think it tastes like soap. If you ask me it just tastes super nasty and bitter, yuck. So I was glad to get it without.

The pulled pork was really tasty! I liked it. I would recommend this sandwich and get this again.

Grasshopper Portobello Burger | thelittleredspoon.com

The real star of the show tonight was this portobello burger! Burger “Wahn” (double Portobello mushroom with vegan cheese) with Chipotle BBQ sauce, served on a toasted multi-grain vegan bun with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and caramelized onions. 

SO GOOD! You haven’t had a portobello burger until you’ve had a deep-fried portobello burger filled with vegan cheese and caramelized onions. I will be recommending this burger for sure. I’ll probably be going back to this restaurant specifically to get one of these for myself. Damn!

Grasshopper Sesame Fries | thelittleredspoon.com

The sesame fries were also very popular. Regular thin-cut potato frites with a hint of sesame oil. Really crisp and tasty! Everyone liked these.

Grasshopper Quinoa Mac and Cheese | thelittleredspoon.com

The only disappointment of the night was the quinoa mac and cheese bowl. Honestly it was just kind of lackluster and way too peppery. The black pepper overpowered the dish and the sauce was just kinda meh. No match for my homemade mac and cheese sauce, that’s for sure.

Grasshopper Peanut Butter Blondie | thelittleredspoon.com

We also tried a Peanut Butter Blondie for dessert. Since we were so late getting into the restaurant and it took a while for us to get situated with food, it was almost close by the time we were wrapping up our dinner. We took this blondie to go and enjoyed it at home with some So Delicious Cashew ice cream Match made in heaven.

The blondie was really good, although I have to admit I’m not too crazy about desserts.

Overall we had some great food at the Grasshopper Restaurant on College Street. The service could have been a little better. I got the feeling that our server was annoyed with us for some reason, she didn’t come by the table too often and I got a STRONG vibe that she just wanted us to gtfo when it was 15-20 minutes to close. (As a former barista I understand the frustration, trust me…) We were definitely on our way once we realized what time it was but it didn’t help that she was kind of avoiding us even though we were the last table there. Not to say the girl was outright rude or mean in any way, but she just didn’t make me feel super welcome there either

Another thing that was annoying was that the website is NOT clear about having two locations. In fact, the entire website is pretty sucky. We decided on this restaurant after checking out the Veggielicious website and later looked on Google Maps for directions on how to get there. Google pointed us to the College Street location and their website doesn’t clarify that there are two locations and that only one will be serving Veggielicious.

I also tried to make a reservation online using their website and was told only once we got to the door that apparently they “don’t take reservations after 7pm”… That would have been nice to know on the website?! Not the server’s fault but dang, what the heck. She let us know that if we didn’t get a confirmation email then we didn’t have a reservation. Okay, but, we never got an email letting us know that we DIDN’T have a reservation either?? So that was pretty confusing and annoying.

However, all considered, I still had a good time and had a great meal and would go back to this place again.

Check out Grasshopper Restaurant and let me know what you think of their tasty vegan food.
Grasshopper Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vegan Mac and Cheese Sauce

Cheesy Noodles in Bowl | thelittleredspoon.comYou ready for this? Totally VEGAN cheese sauce to smother your favourite kind of noodles in!! And not made of some weird chemical goop, either! It’s made of VEGGIES Cheese Sauce Ingredients | thelittleredspoon.comGot this stuff lying around your kitchen? Or, at least most of it? Then you can make a pretty awesome cheese sauce. Even if you substitute the coconut milk for almond/soy milk and omit the cashews, you’ll still be able to whip this up. And, if you don’t have nutritional yeast, you’ll probably still be okay but it does add a certain cheesy taste and some very important B vitamins. The turmeric is mostly optional too but it makes the sauce nice and yellow. The carrots are really what make everything nice and cheesy orange.

Cheese Sauce Chopped Veggies | thelittleredspoon.comStart by soaking your 1/2 cup raw cashews for at least 30 minutes. Chop up 2 small (or 1 medium) potatoes, 1 small/medium carrot, and 1/2 a medium size onion.

Veggies Boiling | thelittleredspoon.com

Get the veggies boiling in a pot of water. Cook until they’re soft. Depending how small you cut them, it will be around 20-30 minutes.

Cashews In Blender | thelittleredspoon.com
Once the veggies are cooked and the cashews are done soaking, get them in your blender.

Liquids and Spices in Blender | thelittleredspoon.com

Add the liquids and spices.

Cheese Spices | thelittleredspoon.com

Clockwise from 12: fine sea salt, nutritional yeast, cayenne, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder.

Blended Cheese Sauce | thelittleredspoon.com

Blend well. Use the liquefy/highest setting on your blender for 90 seconds or so. Blend longer than you think you might need to, basically. If the cheese sauce isn’t coming together, you can add a couple of tablespoons of the boiled veggie water.

Cheese Sauce in Blender | thelittleredspoon.com

It will be nice and yellow! Just like the boxed stuff, except way healthier.

Dripping Cheese Sauce | thelittleredspoon.com

Warm and cheesy Noodles Boiling | thelittleredspoon.com

Speaking of the veggie water – don’t throw it out! Scoop the vegetables out using a slotted spoon and keep the water to cook your noodles in. Cook them slightly under and then drain the water. Add the cheese sauce back to the pot and let the noodles cook for the final 2-3 minutes in the cheese sauce.

Mac and Cheese in the Pot | thelittleredspoon.com

Oh man! So good.

Recipe measurements adapted from here – originally I saw this recipe in a YouTube video posted below.

Vegan Mac and Cheese Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups pasta
  • 1 cup diced potatoes (yellow or russet)
  • ¼ cup peeled diced carrots
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup water (from the boiled veggies)
  • ½ cup raw unsalted cashews (soaked at least 30 minutes or overnight)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (substitute any vegan milk if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp (or more) Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika (more for garnish if desired)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste)
Instructions
  1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Get cashews soaking in water and chop vegetables.
  3. Boil vegetables until soft, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Add boiled vegetables to blender with slotted spoon and keep veggie water for cooking pasta.
  5. Add soaked cashews and remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Cook pasta in veggie water until about 2-3 minutes undercooked.
  7. Drain pasta and add pasta and cheese sauce back to pot, cook for remaining 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately, or spoon into baking dish, cover with bread crumbs and melted vegan butter and cook until golden brown.

Fork or Spoon | thelittleredspoon.com
So, what do you think? Do you eat your mac and cheese with a fork or a spoon? Personally I like to make mine very soupy and use a spoon. With these mufalda corta noodles and how thick the sauce came out, a fork seemed to work best this time. I’ll definitely be experimenting with how runny I want to make the sauce next time (and there will be a next time…)
Close up Noodles | thelittleredspoon.com

Do you like cheesy noodles? Let me know in the comments! Did you have everything on hand to prepare this recipe or did you swap some ingredients? Nutritional Yeast is one of those things that a lot of vegans use frequently, but not a lot of omnivores know about. I bought mine at a local specialty/health food kind of store called Fresh&Wild at Spadina and King. It’s not super cheap but it will last you a long time, is very versatile, has a TON of B vitamins and is great on popcorn. Check it out! Get some for yourself and it will grow on you – I promise!

Macaroni Served | thelittleredspoon.com

Check out this video to see where I got the inspiration! These guys have some great videos on their channel – like a 2-part series on how to make the entire Taco Bell menu at home! Sick! Not all their videos are vegan but they’re definitely accessible and fun to follow along with.

Gusto 101

Unfortunately, after loving this place for a couple of years now, and despite it being Mr. Spoon’s family’s favourite dinner spot, I kind of have to change my review of Gusto 101 since going vegan.

This place is very Italian. I get it. Not exactly a place a vegan should be going to for dinner in the first place. A quick glance at the menu will tell you everything you need to know – lots of cheese and meat.

I guess I was just expecting something a little… more. I mentioned to the waitress that I was vegan and asked if she had any suggestions. Maybe I’ve been spoiled after my visit to The Only on King back in London, Ontario – once we were there for dinner and without my even having to say it (they figured it out based on my order), they asked if I was vegetarian and let me know they could whip up something off-menu for me. They even asked me what kind of vegetables I preferred and came back with a delicious bowl of veggie gnocchi.

I’m not expecting that kind of treatment at every restaurant but a half-assed “Uhh…. I guess you could get a salad without the cheese…?” is kind of disappointing.

Mind you, this was after I called ahead a week in advance to ask if there was anything they could do to accommodate a vegan. I wanted to give plenty of notice but was sent to an automated voice mailbox where I left a message and was never called back.

The waitress didn’t seem super interested in coming up with a creative solution or asking the kitchen what they could do.

Plain Salad Gusto 101 | thelittleredspoon.com

#whyveganspreeat

So, a plain rucola (arugula) salad without the cheese is what I did indeed get for dinner. Was it tasty? I mean, yeah, it was all right, at least there was half of an avocado. I dressed it with some balsamic and olive oil and salt from the table. As Mr. Spoon commented “I’ve seen you make a salad almost exactly like that for dinner” – maybe true but I didn’t pay $12.50 for it.

Don’t get me wrong, the ambiance is still really cool. The house wine is still really cheap and drinkable. The bread was still good, especially the focaccia. I’m sure the pasta funghi is still as amazing as ever. But I don’t see myself going back anytime soon.

Gusto 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fresh on Spadina

Is there anything nicer than taking a relaxing morning walk around the city? Not when we have such beautiful weather, that’s for sure. We decided to take advantage of the sunshine by getting up early and getting some errands done.

First stop – breakfast! I had some leftover “Free Juice” coupons from the last time we visited Fresh and wanted to get a nice healthy morning juice to walk around with.

Fresh Juices | thelittleredspoon.com
Mr. Spoon tried the Radiant Green green smoothie with kale, romaine, spinach, apple, ginger, lemon, banana and raw almonds. I had a Tropical Transfusion fruit smoothie with pineapple, strawberry, banana and coconut milk. The green one was way better! And sounds healthier. What was I thinking getting such a basic fruit smoothie? It was still good though.

Couldn’t resist the $2 vegan chocolate chip cookies on the counter.

Fresh Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie | thelittleredspoon.com

It was really tasty! And they snuck tofu in there somehow. I have to admit, yes, it did kind of have a “vegan cookie” distinct kind of flavour, but it was more or less healthy and that was exactly what I needed this morning to get my day going.

Blooming Cherry Blossoms | thelittleredspoon.com

We headed up to Robarts Library on University of Toronto campus to check out the beautiful blooming sakura trees while we sipped and ate.

Budding Cherry Blossoms | thelittleredspoon.com

Not exactly food related but it was beautiful!

Cherry Blossom Close-Up | thelittleredspoon.com

Too bad it looks like we might now get the usual spectacular full blooms this year or I would say everyone should get out to High Park or one of the other parks with a couple of sakura trees and have a nice picnic!

Fresh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sitara Indian Cuisine

Who knew Sarnia had more than one place where you can get a kick-ass veggie meal? Times have sure changed since I flew the coop…

We checked out an East Indian restaurant called Sitara Indian Cuisine on London Road near the Lambton Mall. This place is really tucked away in the back of a parking lot but it’s always bustling with happy diners.

We were seated right away and seemed to have made it just in time – we got the last table in the house! Lucky us. People that came afterward had to be turned away or asked to wait in their cars until other tables finished. Very shortly after sitting, we were given menus, waters and a basket of papadom with mango chutney.

Sitara Samosas | thelittleredspoon.com

We started off with a plate of samosas served with chana masala. Yum! They came out really fast and were very tasty. One little hiccup that we experienced – Mr. Spoon’s samosa came out a few minutes later than mine and my mum’s did – in fact it may have even been forgotten! But we mentioned it to the waiter and they brought his out very quickly after that. The owners and staff there are all SUPER NICE, very welcoming and will bend over backwards to make sure you feel happy about everything.

Sitara Dinner | thelittleredspoon.com

I should have mentioned to our server that I was vegan!! That’s my mistake. So I ordered dal makhini – fresh small dark brown lentils cooked delicately in a curry sauce – not realizing it would come with a small splash of cream. Unfortunate, but you can’t always sweat the small stuff when you’re travelling. My mum tried the vegetable korma – cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots cooked with flakes of coconut in a creamy curry sauce. I have to admit I did try a bite but it was no match for my lentils

The lentils were SUPER tasty – really rich flavour, and very filling. I think I made it through about a third of that bowl. I would go back to this restaurant to get it again for sure.

Sitara Naan | thelittleredspoon.com
The real star of the show for the night was this NAAN though. This stuff was the bomb! So tender, tasty, flaky, fresh… Yasss We got some delicious garlic naan and I did remember to ask for this to be brushed with oil rather than butter, so definitely vegan.

Sitara Curry | thelittleredspoon.com

Not pictured is Mr. Spoon’s butter chicken which was apparently very delicious.

Overall – totally recommend this place! I know if I go again and mention that I’m vegan they will take excellent care to make sure everything is dairy-free. So the staff is great, the food is great, and the prices are great! Go check out Sitara and get yourself some curry and amazing fresh naan bread!

Sarnians, leave a comment below if you’ve been here before and let me know what you think.

Sitara Indian Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Greens Organic Cafe

Veganism is the future You know times are changing when a small city like Sarnia, Ontario has its own 100% vegan, organic restaurant.

Greens Organic Cafe at 192 Christina Street.

Greens Organic Cafe Outside | thelittleredspoon.com

Very cute little restaurant with a small assortment of vegan groceries and fresh-made desserts available.

I was impressed (and happy!) to find Chao cheese (at a great price) and Earth Balance vegan butter for sale in the little refrigerator near the entrance.

Greens Organic produce sign | thelittleredspoon.com

Also for sale was some organic produce… I love me some pea shoots! Yum

Greens Organic Cookbooks | thelittleredspoon.com

A selection of vegan cookbooks to browse near the entrance.

Greens Organic Mumbai sign | thelittleredspoon.com

This Mumbai Summer Bowl was calling my name.

Greens Organic Cafe Mumbai Summer Bowl | thelittleredspoon.com

The zucchini noodles were very refreshing. I loved this bowl! The raw cashew curry sauce was perfect. You can’t go wrong with any of the delicious ingredients in this dish and the fact that they’re all organic made it even better.

Greens Organic Cafe Zoodles | thelittleredspoon.com

At this point the pictures speak for themselves

Greens Organic Cafe Kale Soup | thelittleredspoon.com

We tried the Kale Soup. Really good, dreamy smooth. It was slightly on the salty side but very delicious and I would order it again.

Greens Organic Cafe Bistro Burger | thelittleredspoon.com

Bistro Burger – cremini mushroom and sunflower seed burger topped with baby arugula, Nuts For Cheese Brie, cashew aioli, sauteed mushroom and sweet onion. Loved the cheese, the burger itself was very tasty and had a great mushroom flavour but again was a touch on the salty side.

Greens Organic Cafe salad | thelittleredspoon.com

Living greens salad that came with Mr. Spoon’s Walnut Taco Roll…

Greens Organic Cafe Walnut Taco Roll | thelittleredspoon.com

Looks good! Spiced ground walnut, avocado, cashew sour cream, onion and raw vegetables rolled in a flaxseed and sundried tomato tortilla. Gone before I could sneak a bite – that’s how good it was!

Greens Organic Cafe Walnut Taco Roll zoom | thelittleredspoon.com

You want a taste too, don’t you? No shame in admitting it… The best thing about vegan food is stuffing your face with a HUGE lunch and not feeling bloated after because it was super healthy and mostly raw. And it was a reasonably priced bill, too!

Get a taste for yourself if you’re ever in the area. I would definitely go back to Greens Organic Cafe in Sarnia and recommend it to anyone looking for some healthy, delicious vegan food in the city.

Greens Organic Cafe & Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato