Monday, February 27, 2017

Brunch at Planta

As someone who was raised vegetarian, I can appreciate a good plant-based meal. Growing up in a small town, never mind the idea of a vegan restaurant - I was lucky to find something to eat off of a chain restaurant menu. When I first moved to Toronto, it was as though I was dropped into a vegetarian's paradise. There were so many vegetarian options, that I even ate vegan for around a year. Though I no longer follow a vegan/vegetarian diet, because I ate that way for so long, a large amount of what I consume is free of animal products.

There used to be a nice vegan restaurant on Queen Street called Fressen, but unfortunately it closed down. I loved the idea of being able to sit down in a restaurant with a fun, sophisticated atmosphere, while being able to eat an all vegan meal. It's crazy that in a city of Toronto, although there are so many vegans and vegan restaurants, there isn't much to choose from if you want to have a vegan meal in a nice restaurant.

Enter Planta. When I first heard about Planta a few months ago, I couldn't wait to try their food. I went for the first time on my birthday and was extremely impressed with the cute, modern decor and the delicious meal we had. Planta was started by the Chase Hospitality Group, who also own Colette, Kasa Moto and The Chase. It only makes sense that the group who created some of the most beautifully designed restaurants in Toronto would be the first to open a chic vegan spot.

Brunch has always been my favourite meal. It's a great excuse to grab your girlfriends, get in your gossip and try some delicious food. This time I went with my mom and sister, as dining out is sometimes our only time we have to catch up during a busy week. As much as I love going out for dinner, I have the biggest sweet tooth, so I jump at any excuse to incorporate sugar into my diet. I was so excited to try another meal at Planta, and I'm pleased to say that brunch definitely lived up to my expectations.

So what did we order?

To start, we ordered a round of cold-pressed juices. My mom and I fit in a liquid salad with our Field of Green juice, full of cucumber, kale, celery, romaine, apple and lemon. My sister opted for a sweeter juice, Plant Punch, with beet, pineapple, lime, and coconut water (above).

The best part about dining out in a group of friends or family is that you can share a bunch of items, and really get a feel for the menu. It's hard to say whether a restaurant has either amazing or terrible food when you only order one dish out of a huge selection. Since all three of us had all been to Planta several times, we skipped out on their popular Crab Cakes and Planta Burger, and opted to try something new. We each chose one dish, and added on the Cauliflower Tots as an extra (top left). I honestly could not pick one favourite because everything we had was fantastic.

Bottom Left: My sister chose the Nachos mixed with the fire pit beans, queso, pico de gallo and chipotle cream. We all agreed that the nacho chips they used tasted fresh and house made. The queso 'cheese' had a nice flavour to it - it wasn't too strong and did not have a weird soy taste since it is actually made of cashews.

Top Right: My mom chose the Chicken-Fried Mushrooms with the spicy mayo sauce. They had the perfect kick to them. The texture of the oyster mushrooms was chewy but not slimy and reminded me of a fried calamari.

Bottom Right: As I mentioned above, I have the biggest sweet tooth, so naturally I chose the Banana Pancakes topped with maple syrup and walnuts. When I bit into them they tasted healthy, but still really flavourful. I love when you find food that is just as good for your health as it tastes. If I could have had it my way we would have also tried the Cinnamon Bun, but I guess that just means we will have to make another trip to Planta very soon.

I would highly recommend Planta to anyone - not just vegans/vegetarians. It is unlike any other vegan restaurant in the city, and something that Toronto was deeply lacking. I'm so happy that there is finally a place to dine where the restaurant looks and feels just as good as the food tastes.

Have you been to Planta? What was your favourite item on the menu? Comment below with your answers.

With love,

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