Vegan restaurants are to a plant-based diet exactly what omnivorous restaurants are to an omnivore's diet. That is, they are sometimes something fancy and a huge treat and sometimes they provide nutrition and sustenance without all the frills! Tractor Foods is not a vegan restaurant but offers vegans a place to get sustenance without cloth napkins during their lunch hour or during their busy day and without spending a fortune.
I had wrangled a ticket to see John Cleese at the Q.E. on Tuesday evening. The show turned out to be funny, nostalgic and a little bit sad (he is 82 now). On my way, I felt peckish and stopped at Tractor Foods. Mharie and I would pay another visit to try some more of their menu. Located near the corner of Richards on Robson, it is conveniently open until 8 and not far from the Q.E.
I started with a taste of their Tomato Fennel Soup which was tasty enough (the fennel was a nice touch) while feeling healthy and warming. This was the cup size and only $5. Not bad!
The menu offers all sorts of combinations and has the advantage of indicating which items are vegan (or gluten-free or whatever else your thing is) and I wish everyone did that. The salad bowls come with 2 sides. I chose the Tofu Bowl on greens and brown rice (you can have either or a combination) with Kale Ceasar and Snap Pea, Potato and Mint as my 2 sides. I think this was $15.50. Grilled tofu and a little bit of optional hot sauce were a substantial centre and everything else was the excellent supporting cast. I walked out feeling so much better than if I had blown my guts on a steak or big bowl of pasta. I was able to pay attention to Mr. Cleese without falling asleep!
Mharie and I went back on the weekend because clearly more information was needed! This time we tried the Red Lentil and Greens Soup. This was what you'd expect except for the greens. The soup was not too exotic but the idea of salad greens was somewhat original and worked pretty well!
We shared an Avocado Bowl and I can tell you that I will be grilling a lot of avocado from this point forward! Truly, this was a simple but tasty idea! Again we started with a base of greens and brown rice and one of our sides was the potato, pea and mint thing but the other was a Southwestern Style Quinoa which was substantial and well,...southwestern.
Cafeteria style, you order at the counter and take your food with you or they may deliver to your table if something takes a little longer to assemble. Seating is cafeteria-style as well but functional and not uncomfortable. There is plenty on the menu that is healthy and will satisfy your carnivorous companions (tuna, chicken, etc.) as well as allowing them to at least avoid the fast food burger and fries that might have provided their lunchtime sustenance. A convenient stop for vegans (there are several branches around town) but I would not have been offended if they had maybe a couple more vegan items as we kind of expended most of the options in our 2 visits.
Food 3 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 out of 5
Comfort 3 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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