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.
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.