AUX VIVRES; AN OVERVIEW

I live in the plateau neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec where there resides a healthy, affordable and tasty vegan restaurant called Aux Vivres.

Aux Vivres has been around for quite some time now and enjoys a regular following. The restaurant is simply decorated; with art from local artists changing every few weeks. There´s a juice bar and an outdoor patio during the summer time where they grow herbs and vegetables as well. The restaurant offers a menu made with mostly organic produce. The recipes are simple but wholesome and tasty. There are sandwiches and wraps, organic rice bowls, salads, soups and plates of dips with breads. They make they´re own vegan sweets as well and they are well worth it if you have a sweet tooth. On saturdays and sundays they offer two vegan brunch choices starting at 11am.

I´ve always found the service to be friendly and casual although at times they take forever to bring you your fruit juices or smoothies. I must admit though, that they´ve improved considerably over the past few months. It´s a nice little place to go, where i enjoy going alone or with friends. The ingredients are always fresh and although the dishes never make me salivate, they always satisfy me . I always feel good after having eaten there; energized, pleased and strangely calm… Perhaps its my conscious giving me a break, haha.

If I have one criticism about the place, and arguably this has more to do with the vegan food movement in general, its that the menu is too repetitive and isn´t bold or experimental enough. Because of this, Aux Vivres becomes like some kind of high end, although inexpensive fast food joint… Not exactly what i want from a place which does so much business and has the potential to excite the palates of meat eaters and non meat eaters alike. They have daily specials but they always fall under the boring and ´this has been done a thousand times over category´. There are a lot of great vegetable items out there to experiment with; let´s celebrate veganism appropriately! haha ( Notice how i turned this post into a rant on veganism instead of a restaurant review!)

Other than that, almost everything is good: The curry dishes are a bit weak to satisfy the north american palate which is disapointing but understandable. My favorite dishes are the MACRO BOWL and the vegan BLT in Chapati. I also like the weekend brunch choices and the dip plate with bread. I should point out that they make a mean corn bread.

For a dinner that will cost you under 20 $ per person with tax, tip and even tea or fruit juice included, this place is great. Try it out.

Other reviews:

http://www.montrealmirror.com/ARCHIVES/2004/052004/resto.html

http://restomontreal.ca/restaurants/index.php?section=viewresto&resto_id=15

http://www.voir.ca/publishing/article.aspx?article=42560§ion=21

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