July is all about firsts, so after visiting Kindfood, I decided I would write my first restaurant review. I mentioned my visit briefly in this week’s MIMM, but I didn’t quite capture how marvelous the outing was. I truly believe that hard work and great execution deserves praise, and Kindfood did just that, so it only made sense to let others know how much I enjoyed my meal.
Chelsea is always talking about Kindfood on her blog and more often than not I am left drooling over the photos. When I saw her back in May at Whole Foods, we agreed that another lunch date was in need since we had more than one lunch worth of topics to discuss (It had been over a year since we last saw each other). Neither of us had to be convinced that Kindfood would be the place to meet up (the bigger issue was finding time). After looking on the website, I saw that Kindfood is Canada’s first, and Award-Winning, 100% Gluten-free Vegan Restaurant featuring local and organic plant based cuisine created with deliciously vibrant flavours that are nourishing, healthy and revitalizing (taken from the website). With a statement as bold as the preceding, I obviously went in with high expectations. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint.
What I ate: The Happy Buddha Bowl which was a bed of organic brown rice topped with grilled sweet potato, diced red onion, chopped tomato, cilantro and avocado. Mixed in for flavour was a combination of dried herbs, olive oil and tamari. It comes with sunflower seeds and raw almonds, but I omitted them due to my allergies and supplemented in tofu for protein instead. The only thing I might have added to my meal was a sauce of some sort. I don’t eat rice that often, so this request is more to do with texture than taste, but I did find that the rice needed something to make it a bit less dry. Maybe a spoonful of hummus?
Even though I had scanned the online menu before visiting Kindfood, I still had trouble deciding what I wanted to eat. The menu offers a great selection ranging from burgers to salads and everything in between. It is very detailed and informs you of all the ingredients in each dish, which I found particularly helpful for my allergies. They also have a juice bar, and sell pre made beverages such as beer and Kombucha. Other things that interested me on the menu included the Beauty Salad as it featured an orange & umeboshi vinaigrette, the Sprout Sandwich because the combination of hummus and cilantro pesto sounds very appealing, the QuinWOW bowl as it includes a sauce of miso gravy which is something I’ve never tried, Kelly’s Tempeh Burger because I hardly ever cook tempeh on my own, and of course the Salted Caramal Cheese cake because I can never resist a sweet and salty dessert, not to mention it’s vegan!
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back, and I would not only return, but also recommend this restaurant to friends and family. I found everyone to be so informative, friendly and outgoing. They were able to guarantee no cross contamination occurred with nuts, and they accommodated my addition of tofu, even though it isn’t on the menu (Thanks Chelsea for letting me know). My meal was delivered after only a few minutes of waiting, despite the restaurant being quite busy. The food was warm, had good presentation and was served by a waiter who possessed knowledge about my meal and polite manners. A meal might be delicious but if the customer service isn’t at least adequate, I won’t return to the restaurant. Kindfood received 100% and I repeated told Chelsea how kind (no pun intended) the staff was.
My meal was $12.00 before adding the tofu and tax. For the quality and care put into my dish, I actually would have expected to pay more. The ingredients tasted fresh. While I managed to consume the entire bowl, it was definitely a generous portion. On a typical day, I would have probably been over-satisfied after having half so if you divide the cost by two meals, it’s extremely reasonable. Did I mention it was organic? This is a quote I found on the menu: “Organic may cost a little more… but we think you’re worth it.”
In one word, the atmosphere is fun, but to be quite honest it’s hard to describe the atmosphere of the restaurant in depth, as I was more concentrated on my food and my get-together. I’d say it’s a location to go on a first date, or with family. It’s fairly casual as you seat yourself and get your own water. From what I saw, it was common for people to share two dishes so you can imagine the atmosphere is fairly relaxed (Fine dining often doesn’t involve passing plates around). Some tables are lower to the ground and some are higher up, so some tables offer stools or chairs and others offer a bench across the wall (I think!). It’s very cozy and very clean but you also have the option to sit on the patio! The walls are painted orange, the artwork is minimal, the menu is hand-written on a chalkboard and overall the restaurant is extremely welcoming. The meals were served in appropriate (wooden bowls), clean (no scratches from previous uses) dish ware that I actually owned (the plates, I am hoping to buy the bowls). You could dress this restaurant up by wearing a summer skirt and wedges, or you could show up in jean shorts and flip flops.
What would I change? Probably nothing! It’s situated downtown Burlington right by the lake which is a great area to go shopping in. After our meal Chelsea and I had a bit of time before she started work and I left to go home, so we walked off our meals. Parking is affordable, window glancing is optional and there is always the water to walk beside. Did I mention Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is owned by the same family? Apparently the baked goods were so popular from within Kindfood, there was a high demand for a separate bakery. Just recently Kelly opened up her shop less than a block away. I was too full to fit any more food inside so I bought four to take home. I’ll definitely do a review on the bakery in the near future (after I’ve tested a few more varieties of course) but they were excellent are a great for individuals who can’t stomach gluten!
Want to know more? Check out the website for Kindfood or Kelly’s Bake Shoppe! I just found out Kelly even has her own blog!What is one of your favourite restaurant? Do you prefer fine dining, cafés or even food trucks? Do you typically eat at a restaurant chain, or a local family-operated restaurant? ♥ Molly
“We all eat and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas