Summertime means light, fresh and sunny meals. That's why we went hunting for better salads: full of vitamins and healthy surprises! Our choice fell on two downtown restaurants whose reputations are well established, so much so that a new, cool veggie oasis is forming in the heart of Shaughnessy Village.
Mandy’s: The Queen of Green
About ten years ago, Mandy Wolfe concocted leafy creations deep in a Westmount clothing store. Today, with her sister and business partner Rebecca, she has 3 Mandy's locations in the city.
Their menu consists of a tempting array of custom homemade salads and is characterized by a variety of fresh, healthy and nutritious ingredients.
"At Mandy's, we offer cool in a bowl. Crisp, colorful and filled with protein is what defines a perfect salad!" explains Jackie, team leader at Mandy's Crescent Street.
Sitting around a nice wooden table and surrounded by retro objects, we wanted a Mandy's salad immediately after seeing our waitress wandering around, arms full of generous salads presented in beautiful ceramic bowls.
Quick note for the Wolfe Bowl, a harmony of flavors with lettuce, brown rice, arugula, kale, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, avocado and sesame seeds. A satiating mixture, it’s ready to compete with higher protein versions, like the Lumberjack salad with bacon, turkey and chicken.
With a made-to-go counter, homemade juice and delicious home cookies baked every day on site, your experience at Mandy's will most assuredly always be fun and green.
Crudessence: The Virtues of Raw Food
You guessed it: at Crudessence, most dishes are made from raw ingredients in an effort to keep all the flavor and nutrients in the food. Anchored in the Montreal landscape for nearly 10 years, Crudessence is the brainchild of Mathieu Gallant and David Côté.
This Mackay Street restaurant first seduces you with its’ modern decor and paintings made from recycled materials. In terms of food, the extensive menu is full of handcrafted organic, vegan and gluten free dishes.
The salad at Crudessence did not disappoint. First by the delicacy of its presentation, but also its bio leaves, pieces of ripe avocado, beet ribbons and delicious vinaigrette made with lemon and fresh herbs. Accompanied by a beet-based cocktail, it’s the perfect duo to give you a boost of energy and vitality for the summer!
Crudessence is much more than a vegetarian restaurant: you will find a line of light dishes to go, as well as a simple, tasty and beautifully illustrated book of recipes.
Goji Health Bar: A Healthy Mind and Body
Go to Shaughnessy Village to check out the Goji Health Bar, a small organic gem attached to AmenZoneFitness since last year. The bright and clean counter is made for athletes hoping to fill up on antioxidants or small gluten free sweets after exercising. This new healthy destination even has a partnership with Crudessence that provides a range of ready to eat meals every week.
"You are what you eat. That’s our motto! Here, everything is made in-house with 100% super healthy foods." explains Bruna, an employee of Goji Health Bar.
We loved the simplicity and balance of flavors in the Goji salad, combining the acidity of kale, fresh apple, parsley, cucumber and avocado, as well as crunchy hemp seed and pumpkin.
What better idea than to mix these super foods with juices carefully prepared before us by the friendly Bruna: the raspberry-based Hy'drade, with maple syrup and maple sap, and the Bloody Antioxy, made with beets (again!), pomegranates, grapes and cucumbers.
2067 Crescent Street
2157 Mackay Street
1972 Sainte-Catherine Street West