I awoke on my penultimate day in Montreal with a green smoothie made in three batches with the world’s tiniest blender—Lisa’s “Magic Bullet.” Despite the low-quality appliance, I managed to puree up a satisfying morning beverage before hitting the dorm gym for a workout. Lisa had class until 1:00, so I mulled about her apartment for a few hours, mixing up a salad for lunch, before catching the Metro to meet her at David’s Tea, eager to sample another of their myriad of teas after my delicious Fantasy Island experience the previous day.
The tea-ordering procedure at David’s Tea is as follows: 1.) Page through the catalogue filled with dozens of tantalizing tea flavors and choose several of particular interest. 2.) Chat with a “barista” who will gladly grab any tea you mention from a rainbow-colored wall of tea canisters, as well as a few others they think you’d enjoy based on your own selections. 3.) Waft in the sumptuous aroma of each tea and decide the flavor on which you’d most like to sip. 4.) Order your tea hot, iced, as a latte with soy milk, or sweetened with either honey or agave nectar. 5.) Enjoy your tea with zeal and happily reflect upon your experience at David’s Tea.
I opted to try the Toasted Walnut—a green tea augmented with hazelnut, almond, and walnut bits as well as dried pineapple and coconut flakes. Hoping for a more intense flavor, I didn’t fancy this tea as much as my beloved Fantasy Island, but appreciated its pleasant subtlety, nonetheless.
The rest of the day passed without much ado: after purchasing a pair of vegan patent leather heels to accessorize my prom dress, Lisa and I settled in at her cafe of preference, Cafe Art Java (apparently widely renowned for its cappuccino foam art), to painstakingly edit a paper and fool around on the Kindle, respectively.
Immediately following my delectable welcome-to-Montreal lunch at Aux Vivres on the afternoon of my arrival, Lisa and I vowed to patronize the classy vegan diner on a second occasion during my Canadian vacation. Accompanied by Lisa’s boyfriend and soon-to-be roommate (both non-vegans), we meandered down Rue Saint-Laurent through a gorgeous sunset to fulfill our dining promise at Aux Vivres. Recalling my delightful experience with the Dragon Bowl at our previous Aux Vivres excursion, I ordered the Macro Bowl—succulent steamed spinach and baby bok choy, tangy pink sauerkraut, unctuous and hearty wakame seaweed, crunchy crisp sprouts, refreshing cucumber slices, sweet shredded carrots, and impeccably grilled tofu smothered in miso-tahini sauce and served over a mound of brown rice. Boy howdy, does this kitchen have their bowl-crafting skills down to a science! Of course, being the juice fiend that I am, I simply had to sample the intriguing blend of tomato, carrot, beet, cucumber, and various spices deemed the Végé-Délice. Directly translated as “vegetable delight,” the juice’s name certainly fits its complex blend of sweet, savory, and spicy—I imagine the flavors would recall a (non-alcoholic) Bloody Mary. To finish off the meal with something sweet, I picked up a raw Boule d’Energie (“energy ball”) at the takeout/dessert counter. While I probably can’t identify every ingredient, I did note the inclusion of dates, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and coconut—a lovely single-bite dessert.
Meal Checklist: Protein—tofu, tahini in dressing, pumpkin and hemp seeds in energy ball. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—alfalfa sprouts, carrots, cucumber, tomato, beet. Leafy Greens—spinach, baby bok choy, wakame seaweed, cabbage in sauerkraut.
Once again immensely satisfied with Aux Vivres, I greatly lamented that I would not return until my next visit to Montreal. Returning to Lisa’s dorm that night proved slightly bittersweet, for I knew that the next day in good ol’ moose-country (har-har) would also be my last.
- David’s Tea—Le Centre Eaton, 705 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montreal, Quebec. (514) 284-6060.
- Aux Vivres—4631 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. (514) 842-3479.
Until next time, Ali.