Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Refueling: Crudessence, Montreal, Take 2


After all the goodies we ate around 11am last friday when were in Montreal, I was still pretty full by the time dinner rolled around. A trip to the Biodome and some walking around did a little bit of good, but I knew eating again was for a good cause. For dinner, we headed to Crudessence's bigger location on Mackay Street. Luckily, it had a more dinner feel in the way the Rachel Street location had felt more like a good sunny lunch place.

Located in the basement half of a cute little row of buildings, it had a more edgy and modern restaurant/bar type atmosphere. Everything was crisp and white and mood lit. All it needed was more people wearing black outfits and spacey techno-trance music and we would have been set. Haha.




The minute we got there we got straight to work, and started out with a bottle of their homemade Kombucha called Symbiosis (white tea and ginger). Andrew liked it quite a bit, but I found it a little too much on the sweet side. I like my kombucha bubbly and more "raw" tasting if that makes any sense... unfortunately, all I could taste was the syrupy sweetness, which I'm sure most people would actually prefer.

He ordered the Inner Jazz smoothie: a mix of banana, pineapple, mango, ginseng, Cell Food (supposedly liquid minerals and oxygen), and E3Live. I thought it was really tasty. I don't know if it was the Cell Food, but the smoothie had these big thick bubbles, and I felt you could taste the bubbles when you drank it. I know that mostly makes no sense, but it was a really neat sensation. If any of you have tried Cell Food to similar effect, let me know I'm not crazy:
Food-wise, here was the beauty that followed our drinks:
Ecstatic Rolls
A spring roll of veggies, sprouts, a sprouted seed paté
and a fantastic lemony dipping sauce


My BLT*
(Eggplant bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, aoili, and sprouts
served with that same fantastic salad and dressing as lunch)

*I could have renamed it the BFS for Best F***ing Sandwich. Seriously, it was amazing, that was hands down the most fantastic eggplant bacon.
Andrew's Pizza, "La Nuit"
(cashew cheese, fennel, olive tapenade, tomatoes, and Brazil Nut Parmesan)

The "pizza" was good. I guess we just thought it would be actual raw pizza rather than yummy toppings on a raw cracker/crust. It would probably have tasted it a lot better if we hadn't set ourselves up for pizza. I've had raw pizza, it looks like this, and tastes and looks like the real thing:
I was full by dessert, but again, there's no time like the present, so we tried therir sample dessert plate, and a banana split.


The plate ended up being a piece of brownie, a piece of raw baklava, a piece of date square, and a scoop of raw chocolate mousse with the most divine raspberry sauce. Again, I don't actually seem to be much of a raw dessert person (who needs more than fruit really?) but their brownies were actually fantastic. Barring raw ice cream, I think they may have been one of my favourite non-homemade raw desserts ever! The date square was satisfyingly just that, though I thought the baklava could have used more oomph. Because we so rabidly attacked the banana split, we did end up taking most of them home with us in the end.

While the banana split was also really good (I think by that point in the day I was just craving any kind of fruit), again, there is a certain expectation as to what a banana split should look like. While the ice cream was fantastic, the brownies pieces to die for, and well, bananas are bananas, the visual did take away from how good it actually was. (For what a genuine raw banana split should look like, this is it.) Thoroughly stuffed and satisfied though, it was an extremely successful culinary adventure, and we'll definitely be back at Crudessence whenever we're in Montreal!
If you want to check out Crudessence's Mackay location, head to 2157 Mackay. They're open Monday to Wednesday from 11am to 9pm and Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 10pm. A bigger location, they have all the same goodies and more than at the Rachel Street restaurant. They also have some handy things for sale like dehydrator sheets, juicers, and the like.

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