From Courtenay, we took the main highway to Nanaimo. Of course, the coastal road is more scenic but we have been that way quite a few times. In this case, time was the limiting factor but it was still almost dark by the time we arrived at our motel. The days may be getting longer again, but they haven't come that far!
Gabriel's Gourmet Café, Nanaimo - Vegan Options
I don't know if they call it Old Town or what but Gabriel's Cafe is on Commercial Street near Museum Way in what I would call the touristy part of town. Anyway, we chose it for dinner as there are some impressive vegan options on the menu.
We started with one of the day's specials. This was a Curry, Kale and Potato Soup served with Bread and Kale Butter! The soup was straight-up amazing. It was rich and coconutty with a touch of curry and some chunky potato. This should be on their regular menu for sure!
Our server helped me to reel in my usual over-ordering by suggesting a half order of their Tunesian Tagine. It was a flavourful bowl of Middle Eastern flavourings with chickpeas, tomatoes, potato, avocado, and tofu over brown rice. You have rice options when you order, btw. Tasty and satisfying!
Finally, we had the Kimchi Salad Bowl. There were all kinds of tasty, healthy things in this bowl but roasted beets and a sesame ginger dressing really stood out. The kimchi was nice also. Never take for granted that kimchi is vegan. There is usually some kind of fish sauce or anchovies thrown in but not this time!
Comfy and warm while it was cold outside, we enjoyed being at Gabriel's. Service was friendly and the kitchen seemed on top of things, mind you they weren't overly busy when we were there. One thing that I really appreciate is that there is a "vegan" tab on their online menu. It is so much easier when there is some indication of what is suitable for us without having to ask a lot of annoying questions. We would definitely be regulars here is this was our home base.
Food 4 1/2 out of 5
Vegan Options 4 1/2 out of 5
Comfort 4 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 1/2 out of 5
Value 4 1/2 out of 5
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