I haven’t really done restaurant reviews on here before, because most of my readers – like all of us in the blog world – are spread far out, so me reviewing a restaurant in Vancouver isn’t really going to be of interest to someone in Florida, you know?
But I decided to go ahead and post this one for a reason that can benefit everyone. I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this (I doubt it), but when I’m lacking inspiration in the kitchen, I browse restaurant menus online.
When I find a menu that offers a good deal of veggie options that sound delicious, I get inspired to recreate the meal at home. So, I figured, if anyone out there likes to do that too, if you can’t visit this restaurant you might still want to check out the dishes and get inspired, right?
For that reason I may from time to time post restaurant reviews. But to be honest, it won’t be that often. a) I just don’t think it would be that interesting and b) I don’t eat out at different places that much. I love my local sushi joint too much – if I am going to get takeout, that place usually wins :).
Anyway, onto Subeez Cafe.
It’s located in downtown Vancouver, in the Yaletown area. I don’t know if you are over those Groupon type sites yet as well – I unsubscribed from all of them months ago. But a friend messaged me the link to a deal that was being held for Subeez Cafe whereby you got $50 worth of food for $25. The friend messaged me because Subeez had just announced it had launched a new organic menu with many gluten-free and vegan options. Knowing I liked health food, she thought it would be up my alley, so I got the voucher and gave it a go.
My best friend and I went for dinner a couple of weeks ago. I love the decor of this place, I gotta say. It’s large (not really a cafe), and part bar/part bistro/part diner in design.
(Sorry for the poor-quality pics, I just used my iPhone)
Look closer at the image I posted at the top of this post. If you can’t see the installation hanging up, here you go:
Pretty cool to think of having an iron installation, right?! Love the hanging shirt up at the top too, lol.
Anyhoo, I hate saying bad stuff, so let me get the bad stuff off the bat right away ;):
I didn’t really see many gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian options on the menu. Maybe a few more than your average restaurant, sure, but I’m talking vegetarian. Vegan things were few and far between it seemed. Perhaps because I wasn’t really looking for them (as I’m not vegan), but most of the vegetarian dishes I chose definitely contained dairy, so I can’t imagine what else there was.
Anyhoo, my friend and I decided to do a tapas-style dinner, where we ordered a bunch of stuff and tried it all. There was no way we could spend $50 on food with just the two of us having an entree each, so we decided this was smartest.
For a starter, we ordered the white bean hummus with veggies and pita bread (not gluten-free), and the marinated olives:
- I loved how substantial the cut veggies were. I love bulky crunchy carrots!
- The bread was amazing.
- The olives were TO DIE FOR. And there were so many we took a ton home in a to-go box.
- The white bean hummus didn’t have a whole lot of flavour. It’s hard with white bean hummus as white beans are really bland tasting. You need to flavour it a LOT. And I know some places go overboard on their garlic with the hummus, but this one just didn’t taste of ANYthing.
We then ordered the soup…this was a leek and potato soup and it was sooooo heavenly. Definitely not vegan. There was cheese, cream…it was certainly comfort food but really great as my friend was sick and just wanted some soup:
For the main course we went with the mushroom ravioli. I never pass up an opportunity to eat mushrooms :). I really enjoyed this, it was a bit heavy after the soup but I only had one or two spoonfuls of the soup so I was okay. If I had had the soup as a starter, these two items together would have been way too much – the ravioli was cheesy and creamy and again, very comforting. But also very rich. Between the two of us, we still left more than half:
Dessert is my best friend’s favourite course. I usually indulge with her when we eat out together (if it’s at night, then I can sleep off the sugar effects – ick!). So we made sure to get two to sample:
- The flourless chocolate torte
- The chocolate banana bread pudding
The chocolate torte was heavenly. I don’t even like fruit sauce on my chocolate desserts (I’m a chocolate purist!) but that didn’t even put me off this one. It was great.
The chocolate banana bread pudding was nice but it was a LIE! Haha. It said: “dark chocolate baked into a banana bread pudding”. There was maybe the tiniest speck of chocolate in the whole thing. Super disappointing. BUT had it been advertised as warm banana bread, I would have loved it. It was great banana bread! I had a spoonful or two of the vanilla gelato on the side and that was lovely too.
Worth a visit, but because our favourite things were the appies and because the ambience of the place was cool and the bar seemed really relaxed, I would say it’s best visited for an appies and drinks kinda place before heading out somewhere later on.
- Do any of these dishes catch your eye or give you cooking inspiration?
- Do you use restaurant menus for inspiration when you’re looking for ideas in the kitchen?